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Adventist Mission

Priel Ndong, 16

A Falling Bottle

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, July 11.

By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission

Thirteen-year-old Priel Ndong swept the floor of his house in Libreville, Gabon, on a lazy summer afternoon.

After the floor was clean, he picked up a green bucket and walked to an outdoor tap. Nobody in his neighborhood had running water in their homes, so they all went to the tap with buckets to get water for drinking and bathing.

Priel carried four heavy buckets of water into the house and emptied them into a large basin.

That was a lot of hard work, and he felt tired after lugging the water. He took a short nap on his bed. Afterward, he felt refreshed and went out on the front porch to read a book. Sitting down on a white plastic chair, he opened a Christian book and began to read. Not more than five minutes later, he heard a noise from upstairs.

Errrrrrrrrrrrr …

He looked up. His family lived on the first floor of a two-story building, and neighbors lived on the second floor.

Errrrrrrrrrrrr …

Priel tried to understand the noise.

Errrrrrrrrrrrr …

It sounded like a glass bottle rolling on the floor, rolling, rolling, rolling. Errrrrrrrrrrrr …

Suddenly a voice said, “Get up and go!”

Priel felt annoyed and asked himself, “Why should I move? I’m reading a book here.”

Errrrrrrrrrrrr …

Then he thought, “That voice was no accident. I’d better move.”

He got up and took a step away from the chair. At that moment, a large green wine bottle fell from the neighbor’s balcony above and crashed onto the porch right in front of the chair where he had been sitting. His head had been directly in the path of the bottle. The glass bottle shattered into small pieces.

Priel jumped with fright at the sound. Not one piece of glass hit him. He was safe. Then he remembered feeling annoyed about the voice telling him to move. He felt ashamed. God had protected him in a remarkable way.

In his bedroom, he prayed, “Thank you, Lord. If You had not been there, I don’t know what would have happened to me.”

Priel has never forgotten how God protected him on that summer day.

“I learned a lesson,” he said. “God is so kind. He didn’t want me to be injured, and He spared me from a serious accident. We should always listen to God.”

Three years ago, part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped construct a high school for 280 students in Priel’s hometown, Libreville, in Gabon. Thank you for planning a big Thirteenth Sabbath Offering this quarter to help build more schools in two other African countries, Guinea and Liberia.