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Guna Raj, pictured, started stealing from his father when he was in the fifth grade, so he was sent to James Memorial Higher Secondary School in southern India. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

Guna Raj’s New School

My whole family witnessed a powerful miracle from God.

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, July 22. Click here for photos and an activity to share as you tell the story.

Ask a teen boy to present this first-person report.

I was born into a poor Seventh-day Adventist family with five children. That is, we called ourselves Adventists. But we did not attend church often, and we rarely prayed.

My father is a farmer and a driver in a large city in southern India. Because we were poor, my parents often quarreled about money. There was no peace at home.

When I was in the fifth grade, I began to steal money from my father to buy candy and other snacks. Although my father was quite unhappy that I had taken money from the family — money that we needed for food and housing — he was even more worried that I was developing a bad character trait. He wondered what to do with me.

My uncle told my father about an Adventist boarding school some distance from our home. Uncle told my father that the school provides everything that a child needs, and it even helps children from poor families with their school fees.

This was good news for my father, who certainly could not afford to send me away to school. By God’s grace I received help from Asian Aid, an Adventist charity organization that provides sponsorship to children from impoverished families.

Big Changes

To be honest, I had no interest in God when I started sixth grade at the Adventist school. But as I began to hear more about God in Bible class and church and began reading the Bible, I wanted to know more about Jesus.

With the help of caring teachers and kind classmates, I drew closer to God. I learned how to pray and to ask God for help. I started to put God first in everything that I do. God really has done a great work in my life!

Mother’s Illness

God has answered my prayers for my family as well. Recently my mother was seriously ill with dengue [pronounced: DEN-gee] fever, a painful disease carried by mosquitoes. My mother was hospitalized for three weeks, and my family prayed at her bedside for hours. God heard our prayers, and my mother was healed.

My whole family witnessed the powerful miracle that God performed. They recognized how He has taken care of us. From that day onward, my father and mother have given their hearts totally to God. The Holy Spirit is now present in our home. My parents no longer argue about money. Instead we praise God in good times and bad.

I’m grateful that God led my uncle to tell my parents about James Memorial Higher Secondary School. I love it here!

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a new girls’ dormitory at my school. The old girls’ dormitory is 65 years old and too crowded for the 100 girls who live there. It’s no longer a healthy place to live. Thank you for helping to provide a better place for children to live while they study in this great school!

For more photos, visit the Facebook page for the Mission quarterlies

For activities to accompany this and other mission stories, download the Children’s Mission quarterly (PDF)