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Adventist Mission

Kamila, 13

No School on Sabbath

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, February 13.

By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission


amila had a big problem when she started eighth grade in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan. Up until then, classes had only been from Monday to Friday. But the public school required that all eighth graders study six days a week — from Monday to Saturday.

Kamila and her mother went to the pastor to ask for help. Mother, who was deaf and mute, used her hands to explain the situation through sign language to Kamila. Then Kamila spoke to the pastor.

“Let’s pray about it,” the pastor said.

He wrote a letter to Kamila’s school, asking that she be excused on Saturdays.

Kamila and Mother took the letter to the eighth-grade teacher. But the teacher said she could not give permission.

“We have to ask the principal,” she said.

Kamila, Mother, and the teacher went to the principal’s office. “Excuse me,” Kamila told the principal. “My mother wants to talk to you.”

Mother handed the pastor’s letter to the principal. “What is this?” the principal asked without looking at it.

Mother gestured in sign language. Kamila interpreted Mother’s words to the principal.

“That letter says that we go to church on Saturdays,” Kamila said. “We are Seventh-day Adventists, and we don’t work or study on Saturdays. Can you please excuse Kamila from classes on Saturday?”

The principal had never heard of Adventists. “Other Christians go to church on Sunday, and your daughter also can go to church on Sunday,” she said. “Then she can study on Saturday.”

Mother explained that Adventists are not like other Christians and do not work or study on Saturday.

The principal shook her head. “I don’t care,” she said. “We are not a Christian country. Many of our students go to school on Friday when they should rest according to their beliefs. We cannot excuse you.”

Kamila didn’t go to school the next Sabbath. Instead, she went to church with Mother. At church, Mother saw the principal of the Seventh-day Adventist boarding school in Tokmok, located about two hours away by car.

After the worship service, Mother explained the school situation to the principal and asked whether Kamila could go to the Adventist school.

“Let’s pray about it,” the principal said.

The principal prayed for Kamila. She asked God to find someone to help pay for Kamila to study at the Adventist school. Mother didn’t earn enough money to pay for the tuition.

“I’ll tell you next Sabbath whether I’ve found someone,” the principal said.

All week Kamila prayed for God to find someone to help.

“Dear God, please bless me with someone who can help pay for school, and bless him for his help,” she prayed.

The next Sabbath, the principal greeted Kamila before church. She had a big smile on her face. “God has blessed you!” she said. “We have found someone.”

“Thank you so much!” Kamila squealed with joy.

The next day, Kamila moved into the dormitory at the Adventist school. In addition to studying, she also is working, cleaning the school floors, to help pay the tuition.

“I am so thankful to God,” she said. “Now I can keep the Sabbath.”

Part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering three years ago helped construct a gymnasium at Kamila’s school in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan. Thank you for supporting Adventist education in Kyrgyzstan and elsewhere in the Euro-Asia Division.