Marika is nine years old and is in the fourth grade of primary school. She loves Jesus and is already serving Him as a young missionary.
Marika is a good student and goes to school faithfully every day that school meets except for one—Saturday. Each Sabbath Marika and her family go to worship with other Seventh-day Adventists in Ragusa, Italy. You might remember from last week’s story that Ragusa is located on the island of Sicily [invite a child to point to Sicily on a map].
Why Don’t You Come?
Marika’s classmates started asking her questions. “Why don’t you come to school on Saturdays?” they wondered.
“Because I’m a Seventh-day Adventist,” said Marika. “I go to church every Saturday because I want to worship God. God wants us to worship Him on Saturday—and we know from the Creation story in Genesis that God rested on the seventh day and made it holy.”
This made the classmates even more curious. “So what do you do in church on Saturday?” they asked Marika.
“We pray, we sing, and we study the Bible,” she said. “You know, the Sabbath is the real day of rest. God sanctified this day, He rested, and He made it holy for everyone.”
Marika also told her classmates about the Adventurer and Pathfinder Clubs that meet on Sabbaths. “We do many activities to help other people,” she explained. One of the ways that the Pathfinders help others is by being involved in a health education program helping other children to learn about how to be healthy.
To Learn More
The children were very curious. “Wow!” they said. “We didn’t know you could do all those things at church, and to be involved in such activities there!” They wanted to know more about Marika’s church.
One day Marika had an idea and shared it with her mother—what if the Pathfinder Club could come to her school and present a children’s health expo?! Her mother thought it was a wonderful idea and encouraged Marika to talk with her teacher about it. Her teacher also thought it was a good idea and talked to the school principal about it, who agreed for the Pathfinders to come and present the program.
“They were really touched how much we [Adventists] respect nature, the Bible, our neighbors, and living a healthy lifestyle,” Marika’s mother said.
Marika’s classmates enjoyed the program so much that nine of them decided to join the Pathfinder Club so that they could learn more and teach others what they had learned!
A Family Missionary
Not only does Marika share her faith at school—she’s also a missionary to her own family. Every summer she and her eight-year-old cousin, Serenity—who lives more than 1,100 km away in Florence, Italy—spend some time together.
Last year when Serenity visited her cousin in Ragusa, they went to Sabbath school and church together. Serenity had never experienced anything like it and wanted to learn more.
“I told her about Jesus and what Jesus does for us,” Marika says. “And step-by-step I taught her how to pray and know about Jesus. And now she is used to praying and reading the Bible because she knows it’s important.”
When they aren’t together, Serenity phones Marika each Sabbath evening to ask about what happened in Sabbath school and church that day. “When I explain what we have done, she asks me more about these activities, and more about what we’ve studied,” says Marika. “She’s really interested in learning more.”
Marika is very happy to share her love for Jesus with others and says, “I wish I could do more for God.”
Your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help to build a new Adventist church in Ragusa, Italy. Then there will be more room for Marika and the many others she brings to worship God.