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Adventist Mission

Lyubov Babkina, right, with her mother. (Courtesy of Lyubov Babkina)

Lyubov's Call

“Through my mother’s experience, I understood that God brings people to Himself.”

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, Dec. 16. Click here for photos to share while telling the mission story.

Lyubov [pronounced: LYuw-BOWF] lives in Russia. [Locate Russia on the map.] Her name means “love” in Russian. Isn’t that a lovely name?

Lyubov has loved God for as long as she can remember. She attends a Seventh-day Adventist church and was taught to love the word of God since she was a small girl. Her mother set a good example for Lyubov, working in the church and the community to help others and share God’s love.

Then her mother fell ill. The doctor said it was cancer and it was too late to operate. Lyubov’s mother was sent home to die. Lyubov was very sad. She took care of her mother, and they prayed together all the time.

Lyubov’s mother constantly reassured Lyubov, saying: “Don’t worry. Don’t cry. Everything is according to God’s will. What is happening will prove to be a blessing to both of us.” Mother’s words always calmed Lyubov.

As her mother grew weaker, Lyubov sensed that she was close to death. So, she asked her mother whether she had any last wishes. Mother looked at her with a sad expression and said, “Daughter, I am grateful to you and God. But how can I die peacefully while I know that no one is around to continue my work for God?”

Those words bothered Lyubov. She decided to serve God like her mother had. But first she wanted to be baptized. She asked the pastor to baptize her.

“I know you well,” the pastor said. “I know that you know the truth. This Wednesday we will have a church board meeting with baptismal candidates. Come, and I will recommend you for baptism.”

Lyubov wrote an official request for baptism and showed it to her mother, who smiled as tears trickled down her cheeks.

Mother’s Surprise

The next morning, Lyubov went to the kitchen and was shocked to find her mother cooking borscht, a traditional vegetable soup made with beets. “Wow,” Lyubov exclaimed. “How can you be cooking?”

The mother replied, “I’m making you something to eat. It will be ready in a moment. Don’t worry, everything is fine.”

Lyubov’s mother didn’t die. She lived a long life, for God had healed her. Lyubov is convinced that her mother’s miraculous healing was a call from God for her to dedicate her life to Him. She said it reminded her about the truth of Jesus’ words in John 15:16: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit” (NKJV).

Lyubov said, “Through my mother’s experience, I understood that God brings people to Himself. I began to actively serve God—and I still do.”

We can serve God now—today. We don’t have to grow up to serve God. What are some things you can do to serve God in your home, your church, or your community today? [Encourage children to share their ideas.]

Part of this quarter’s Thirteen Sabbath Offering will help provide a community center in Lyubov’s home town of Rostov-on-Don that will help other people learn about Jesus.

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)