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Adventist Mission

Galina Pogorelova first heard about Adventists when she was a 14-year-old student in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

"Just Come!"

When I told my mother that I wanted to be baptized and join the Adventist Church, she was furious.

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, Oct. 21. Click here for photos to share while telling the mission story.

[Ask a teen girl to present this first-person report.]

Today’s story comes from the country of Kyrgyzstan [KEER-gih-stan]. [Locate Kyrgyzstan on a map.]

“Hey, can we hang out together this Saturday?” I asked my friends Olga and Karina*. It was the start of summer vacation. “No,” Olga said thoughtfully. “We go to church on Saturday.”

I was surprised! Didn’t all Christians go to church on Sunday? Karina explained that they are Seventh-day Adventists, and they worship in church on Saturday.

The Invitation

I thought about that for a minute. “May I go with you one Saturday?” I asked, curious to know where and how they worshipped.

“Sure!” Karina answered, a huge smile brightening her face. “How about this Saturday?”

I asked whether I needed to wear a long dress and cover my head with a shawl like women do in the church I was familiar with.

“No,” Olga said. “Wear a dress or a skirt—but just come!”

I was a little nervous when we arrived at the church. Would the people think I was strange? Would I think they were strange? But I needn’t have worried. The people welcomed me and made me feel at home. Best of all, the Sabbath School had a big class of young people.

My mother gave me permission to keep going to church because I had friends there. But she warned me not to get too serious about this religion. I returned to the church every Sabbath that summer.


When I told my mother that I wanted to be baptized and join the Adventist Church, she was furious.

Schools in Kyrgyzstan have classes on Saturdays. I wanted to go to church, but I didn’t dare. I asked God for help. I had learned that God wants us to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” So, I chose not to go to school on Saturdays. I left home as if I were going to school, but instead of entering the building, I walked around the school until classes ended. I didn’t dare go to church because I knew my mother would be even more angry.

But my mother found out that I was skipping school on Saturdays. This time she was even more angry. She said I could not go to the Adventist church again. She took away my cell phone so I could not talk with my friends, and she ordered me to go straight home after school every day.

I was very sad. My mother had always been my best friend, and her anger over my desire to attend church seemed so strange to me. Again, I prayed to God for help.

The Unfair Grade

Then something strange happened in school. My math teacher started giving me bad grades. I’m pretty good at math, and I didn’t understand what was happening. When I got an “F” on a math test, I asked another teacher I knew to look at it and tell me what was wrong with my answers. The teacher looked over my paper and said she couldn’t find any mistakes.

Then I realized that some teachers at the school didn’t like me. There was nothing that my mother or I could do about it. My mother was worried about the teacher’s actions, for she wanted me to finish the school year with good grades. So, she sent me to the Adventist school! She also told me that I could go back to church. I was so happy! I knew that the math grades were God’s way of answering my prayers!

How has God answered your prayers? [Allow children to reply.]

One of my prayers is for my Adventist school, Heritage Christian School. The school is quite crowded now, and many who want to attend there can’t because there’s no room. I pray that the school can finish its fundraising to build additional classrooms and a gym. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath offering will help build the gym. Then more children can come to the school and learn about Jesus. Please pray for my school as you save for the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.

* Not their real names.

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)