Praying for Parents
Johrel got tired of moving and wished that he could just stay in one place.
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, Oct. 20.
Johrel attended four schools in four years. Every time he went to a new school, he had to make new friends. He got tired of moving and wished that he could just stay in one place.
But moving wasn’t Johrel’s biggest problem. When he was 7, his parents got jobs in different cities in Thailand. His mother taught a kindergarten class in Pattaya, while his father worked as a high school math teacher, five hours away in Muaklek.
Johrel lived with Father, while Mother took Johrel’s baby brother to stay with her.
Mother and baby brother came to visit on weekends. She arrived by bus on Friday night, and the family worshipped together in church on Sabbath. Sunday was a special family day, and they did fun things together like swimming at the beach. Then Mother returned to the bus station early Monday morning.
Johrel liked the arrangement for a while. He was busy at his Seventh-day Adventist school during the week, and he looked forward to Mother’s weekend visits. She always brought him a food treat.
“I was excited when she arrived on Friday night,” he said. “I didn’t know what she would bring.”
But then he began to miss her terribly. He wished that his parents could live together. He told his father about his desire, and the two began to pray about it.
“Dear God, please help me and our family’s wish to come true,” Johrel prayed. “Please Lord, I would do anything for this wish to come true. I will be a good boy. I will do whatever it takes for this to come true. I will serve You.”
Johrel and Father prayed every day for two years. Then one day Father announced that he and Mother had been offered teaching jobs in the same city: Korat.
Johrel was happy to hear the news—but suddenly he wasn’t sure that he wanted to move.
“Why?” he told Father. “I like it here.”
He wanted his parents to live together, but he didn’t want to have to start his life over again and make new friends at another new school.
“I thanked God for bringing my family together again,” he said. “But I thought, ‘Why can’t it be here? Why do we have to move?’”
Johrel prayed that night about the situation. As he spoke with God, he decided that he was being selfish by wanting to stay rather than helping his family to be together.
The next day, he told Father, “OK, I’m ready. Let’s move.”
Johrel, who is now 10, is happy with his new home and new school. He is studying in the fourth grade at Adventist International Mission School. Both of his parents teach at the school, and his brother is in the kindergarten there.
“When we moved, I prayed that I would have friends, and an OK house, and I would still learn about God,” he said. “God answered my prayer. I have fun here. I am thankful for God and my friends.”
Johrel looks forward to the day when he will never be separated from family and friends again. His favorite Bible verse is John 4:14, where Jesus said, “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
“This verse tells me that when Jesus comes, I will never have to worry about dying or leaving my family,” Johrel said. “I will see them forever if I drink from this water. But in order to drink from this water, I have to follow the Ten Commandments. I really like this. Just imagine all the things you will see when you drink this eternal water and go to heaven and see your family and friends together.”
Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help Adventist International Mission School construct a new campus so more students can study about Jesus. Thank you for your mission offering.