Thirteenth Sabbath program and skit
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, Dec. 30. Click here for photos to share with this mission story.
If your class will present the Thirteenth Sabbath program for the adults:
- Practice singing “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” in Russian (see page 27 in the quarterly) to perform during the program.
If your class will not join the adults for a special program:
Present the following story during the mission time. You can invite Juniors or Earliteens to help present the program if you wish. This will help older children to become more comfortable in front of an audience, and give the younger children different people to watch and listen to during the presentation.
Before Thirteenth Sabbath:
- Send home a note to remind parents of the program and to encourage the children to bring their Thirteenth Sabbath Offering on December 30.
- Remind everyone that their mission offerings are gifts to spread God’s Word around the world, and that one-fourth of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will go directly to help the people of the Euro-Asia Division. The projects are listed on page 3 and on the back cover.
Father Has Completely Changed
Ask a man and a teenage girl to present this first-person report.
Anjila: My name is Anjila [pronounced: AHN-jih-lah], I am 18 years old, and I live with my parents and 14-year-old brother in a small town in northern Moldova. This is my father, Dmitry [pronounced: dih-MEE-tree]. He used to be angry all the time.
Dmitry: Good morning. I trained to be a music teacher. But I couldn’t find a teaching job, so I was working as a guard at a private lake. My job was to feed the fish and prevent people from fishing.
Anjila: When I was 12 years old, a Seventh-day Adventist woman came to our house and invited my brother and me to church. Mother took us to church every Sabbath for about a year. But my grandparents—my father’s parents—didn’t like it. They said, “Everyone is laughing at us. This is such a disgrace!”
Mother invited Father to come to church with us, but he refused because he was afraid of his parents. He offered excuses such as …
Dmitry: I have other things to do. I don’t have time for God. I might have time for God and church after I finish making major repairs around the house.
Anjila: That was the end of the discussion. Dad got tired of the church talk. No one was allowed to go to church.
The woman who had invited us to go to church kept visiting us and inviting us back, but we didn’t go.
After several months, Father finished fixing up the house. He said:
Dmitry: Finally, I have some free time.
Anjila: But he didn’t make time for God. He didn’t keep his promise to go to church.
Then strange things started happening to my father. He became afraid to stay at home alone. He was nervous and yelled all the time. He developed high blood pressure, and went to the doctor who gave him medicine. But nothing helped. The doctor didn’t know what else to do.
My grandmother advised Father to go to a nearby monastery. She said the priest would know what was wrong without even asking Father any questions. My father went to the monastery several times, but that didn’t help either.
Father began to look for answers elsewhere. He asked people about the point of life. One person he talked to was an Adventist church elder. After they spoke, Father accepted an invitation to attend a holiday program at the church. When he returned home, he told my mother.
Dmitry: I went to the church program, and I was really impressed. When I returned home, I told my wife, “Let’s start going to church.”
Anjila: Mother was shocked, but she was very happy. I was happy, too. I thought I was dreaming.
The next Sabbath we started to go to church, and we have gone every Sabbath since.
Dmitry: But what you don’t know, Anjila, is that I prayed before deciding to attend church.
I didn’t like being angry and afraid. But it seemed like my life was over. There was no point in living. I felt that something was pressing down on me. I know now that it was Satan working on me. He wanted to kill me.
So, one day I got on my knees and prayed. I knew that only God could help me. I prayed, “Help me, a sinner. I don’t know what is going on, but help me with Your strong hand.” When I finished praying, I felt a burden being lifted from my shoulders. I sensed a voice saying, “You need to move forward, and all will be fine. I will help you.”
Anjila: We went to church together, as a family. The pastor invited us to attend baptismal classes. All four of us—my father, my mother, my brother, and I—were baptized last year.
Grandmother and Grandfather are not happy about our decision. They think my brother and I are being forced to go to church. Grandmother told my parents, “You have disgraced the children. They are young and have their lives ahead of them. They can’t go out and dance. How will they get married?”
I told her that dancing is not important, and that I would let God lead me when it comes to marriage. We have invited Grandmother and Grandfather to church, but they refuse to come.
I praise God for performing a miracle for Father. He has completely changed. He is no longer nervous and worried. He isn’t the man that he used to be. He loves God and serves as a deacon and the music director of our small church.
Dmitry: My family and I were baptized at a Soviet-era health resort that the Adventist Church is turning into a Pathfinder camp and conference center. Your Thirteenth Sabbath Offerings will help complete renovations at the complex. Thank you for remembering Moldova and the Euro-Asia Division today as you give your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.
Narrator: Part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help make possible special projects in several countries across the Euro-Asia Division. The details are listed on the back of your Sabbath School lesson quarterly. Ask God how you can help finish the work here and around the world so Jesus can come.