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Adventist Mission

Ethan, 10

Traveling Mercies

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, May 1.

By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission


than’s family likes to have adventures. Once Ethan and Father and Mother traveled seven days by train on the Trans-Siberian Railroad in Russia. Another time, they rented a camper-van and traveled around Australia for three weeks. But the one trip that Ethan will never forget took place in his home country, Trinidad and Tobago.

Early Sunday morning, Ethan piled into the car with Father and Mother to go to the beach on the Caribbean Sea. Before turning on the ignition, Father prayed as the family always did before a trip.

“Heavenly Father, we ask You for your traveling mercies on this journey,” he prayed. “Please guide us as we go to the beach. Thank You.”

Then the family set off for the beach.

It was a pleasantly warm morning. The beach wasn’t too crowded, and Ethan happily splashed in the water. Around noon, however, the sun grew hot, and the beach became crowded.

“Let’s go home,” Mother said.

The family piled back into the car. Father sat behind the steering wheel, and Mother sat beside him. Ethan sat behind Father in the back seat. The family talked merrily as they rode along the forested mountain road. Suddenly …


A terrific crash shook the car. The sound of breaking glass and crunching metal pierced the air. The car jolted to a stop.

Father turned around and looked at Ethan. “Ethan, are you OK?” he asked.

The boy was sitting calmly in the back. He didn’t have a scratch. “Yes, I’m fine,” Ethan said. “What happened?”

“Something fell on the car,” Father said.

Mother was screaming. She didn’t hear Father and Ethan’s conversation. “Is Ethan OK?” she screamed.

“He’s fine,” Father said. “He’s fine.”

People quickly surrounded the car. Someone wanted to call an ambulance. Someone else offered water.

Ethan, Father, and Mother got out of the car. They weren’t hurt at all.

“Don’t worry about calling an ambulance,” Father said. “We’re fine.”

Ethan looked at the car. The windshield was shattered, and the front of the car was smashed in. In front of the car lay an enormous tree. The tree had fallen from a cliff high above the road and landed on the car. Now the tree was lying across the entire road, blocking traffic in both directions.

It was a miracle that Ethan and his parents were alive. If the tree had fallen a few seconds later, it would have hit the car roof right above Ethan’s head.

“It’s a good thing that we prayed for traveling mercies,” Ethan said.

Father and Mother immediately agreed.

“Thank You, Jesus,” Father said. “Thank You, Jesus.”

After that day, Mother always reminds Ethan that it is very important to pray for traveling mercies. “If You reach out to Him, He will protect you,” she says.

Father kept a piece of the tree as a reminder of God’s traveling mercies. When Ethan sees the piece of tree, he remembers that God is always with him and that he can be grateful for His protection.

He likes to pray before the family goes on adventures.

“Dear God, please be with us we travel, and please give us traveling mercies,” he prays. “In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Ethan and his parents, Leon and Corine, attend the University Church at University of the Southern Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago. Your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering three years ago went to help build a new University Church. Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offerings that help spread the gospel around the world.