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The Precious Sabbath

Today’s story comes from Bujumbura [boo-joom-BOO-rah], the capital city of Burundi.

Ever since Bella was little, her parents have taught her to love God and the Sabbath. But when she started school, she realized that not everyone loves God or the Sabbath as she does.

Bella’s school held classes six days a week, Monday through Saturday. When school started each year, Bella’s parents helped her explain to her teachers that Bella worships God on the Sabbath and would not be in school that day.

Standing Alone

Her first and second grade teachers allowed Bella to be absent from classes, but her third grade teacher told her that she wouldn’t receive any credit for the tests she missed on Saturdays.

Bella told her parents, and they spoke with the school principal. The principal said that it was up to the teacher whether or not Bella could be excused. Bella’s parents urged her to pray about the problem, and finally the teacher agreed to let her take the Saturday exams on Monday.

Saturday was a half day of school, and the teachers almost always gave quizzes to be sure that students understood the work they had covered that week. So every Saturday they had three quizzes, and every Monday Bella had to take these quizzes early in the morning or during recess.

Other students noticed that the teacher wasn’t happy that Bella was absent from school on Saturdays. They began mocking her, and some said she was lazy for not being in school. Bella often felt alone in her stand to keep the Sabbath, but her family supported her and told her she was obeying God rather than man.

Bella and her family began praying that God would make a way for her to study in a school that didn’t require Sabbath attendance. Bella studied hard to get good grades and high marks on her tests, and when children took their national exams, she scored well enough to choose the school she wanted to attend. She applied to study in a school that didn’t hold classes on Sabbaths.

Precious Sabbath

“The Sabbath has become more precious to me because I have had to struggle to keep the Sabbath,” Bella says. “I urge children to be faithful to God, to honor His will and His laws, even when those around you make it hard. Being faithful gave me chances to share my faith with others and let them know that God makes a way for those who trust Him.”

Bella is right. When we honor God in things big or small, He helps us. And others see our faithfulness and may want to obey God too.