To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, April 24.
ddison’s eyes widened as his friend pulled the money from his pocket. He saw a $20 bill, three $10 bills, and a bunch of smaller notes. His friend, Antonio, had 100 Trinidad and Tobago dollars, or about U.S.$15.
“I stole this,” Antonio said with a big smile. “I want to buy something.”
The two 15-year-old boys were walking across the street from the public school in Bonaire, a town in Trinidad and Tobago. Antonio hungrily eyed food stalls selling fried chicken, fried fish, and fried pies alongside the road. He stopped and handed $20 to Eddison.
“What do you want to buy?” he said.
Eddison was hungry, and he took the money. None of the street food, however, looked appetizing. “I don’t want to buy anything here,” he said. “I’ll buy something to eat near my home.”
The next day, Teacher called Eddison into his office.
“I was just talking with Antonio about someone stealing $100 from a girl’s purse yesterday,” he said. “Antonio said that you stole the money. Is that true?”
Eddison felt very sad. He told Teacher about his conversation with Antonio and how he had accepted $20. Teacher was glad that Eddison hadn’t stolen the money. “But you still did the wrong thing by accepting stolen money,” he said.
The next day, Eddison found himself back in Teacher’s office. Also in the room was the school principal, his mother, Antonio, and Antonio’s mother.
“You are a good child,” the principal said to Eddison. “How did this happen?”
“I’m sorry,” Eddison said, sadly. “It will never happen again.”
The principal announced that Eddison would be suspended from school for seven days as punishment for accepting stolen money. Antonio was suspended for one month for stealing the money. Both boys were required to make restitution to the girl by giving back twice the amount of money that they had stolen. Eddison borrowed $40 from his mother to give to the girl.
That evening, Eddison’s father called when he heard about the school suspension. He and Mother were divorced, and he lived another town.
“You should go to church,” he said.
“Yes, I should,” Eddison agreed.
And he meant it. He hadn’t gone to church since he was a small boy. He looked around his home for a church. It had to be within walking distance because he didn’t want to ask his mother for money to take the bus. Then he remembered that there was a Seventh-day Adventist church only a 15-minute walk away. He went the next Sabbath and found everyone to be friendly and welcoming. He went again the next Sabbath, and then the next.
Three years passed, and big evangelistic meetings were organized at the church. Eddison invited his family to go with him, and they did. At the end of the meetings, Eddison was baptized together with his mother, grandmother, 12-year-old brother, 9-year-old sister, and an 11-year-old cousin.“I am happy,” Eddison said. “Now we celebrate Sabbath together, and we have the same love for God.”
Today, Eddison attends an Adventist high school, Caribbean Union College Secondary School, on the campus of University of the Southern Caribbean. He is a real missionary for bringing his family to Jesus. University of the Southern Caribbean wants to train more missionaries, and part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a missionary training center on the university campus.