God Is Our Help
Good morning, children!” the teacher said, smiling as children came into class at the little primary school on the campus of Solusi University in Zimbabwe. “It’s time for worship, so let’s sing a song.” The children sang one of their favorites, “Jesus Loves Me.” They sang in English and Ndebele [n’deh-BEH-leh] and Shona [SHOH-nah], the main languages of the region.
“Let’s recite our memory verse, Psalm 46:1,” the teacher said. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (NIV).
“We’ve learned how God helped people in Bible times. How has He helped you when you were in trouble?” the teacher asked. One by one, hands shot up.
The teacher called on 9-year-old Papias [PAH-pyahs] to tell how God had helped him.
“One Sabbath last year my family was walking along the river by the dam,” he began. “My brother saw a fish in the water and reached in and grabbed it. I wanted to catch a fish too, but when I bent over to grab one my foot slipped, and I fell in. I can’t swim, and I couldn’t grab hold of the rocks. I went under the water, but I prayed that God would save me. My sister saw me and called my parents to come to help.
“My mother jumped into the water and grabbed me. She held me above the water so I could breathe, and then she helped me out of the water. Then my father wrapped me in his warm jacket, because the water was quite cold.”
“What did you learn that day?” the teacher asked Papias.
“I learned that God will help us when we are in trouble if we ask Him.” Papias paused a moment, then added, “I also learned to obey my parents. They warned me to be careful on the slippery rocks. And I learned that I need to know how to swim.” His classmates chuckled quietly. “I’m glad God was watching over me and kept me safe,” he said.
Sahana stood next. She’s 10 years old and in grade 5. Sahana was born in India, but her parents work at Solusi.
“When we were coming home from vacation,” Sahana said quietly, “my uncle was driving us to the airport. He had to stop suddenly to avoid hitting a car. The car door flew open, and I fell onto the pavement. I landed near the car’s wheels, but something pushed me away from the car, and the wheels didn’t hit me. My head and back hurt, but I was OK. I learned that everywhere we go we must trust in God. He will take care of us.”
A Snake in the Bed!
“We have time for one more testimony,” said the teacher. “Petronella, would you like to share how God helped you when you were in trouble?” Petronella stood beside her chair.
“Last year I was staying with my aunt in Zambia. One day we washed the blankets and hung them on the line to dry. In the evening I brought the blankets into the house. It was getting cold, so at bedtime I just wrapped up in my blanket and fell asleep. I woke up feeling something cold on my neck. It took me a moment to realize that the something cold was moving! I jumped out of bed and turned on the light to see what was in my bed. I couldn’t believe my eyes—there was a snake in my bed!
“I screamed, and my aunt came running. She took me into her room while my uncle killed the snake. The snake was a kind that lives in the trees. I guess it was getting cold and decided that my blanket would keep it warm too! I was so scared that I didn’t go back into my room for three days!
But I’m glad that God saved me from that snake.”
The teacher smiled. “We can trust God to save us. Let’s repeat our memory verse again. ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.’”