To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, May 15.
unior is only 14 years old, but he has led about 50 people to Jesus in his home country of Colombia. How?
Junior’s father is a farmer who grows cassava, rice, and corn. His mother is a seamstress who makes dresses and sandals. Junior has 12 brothers and sisters. He is the youngest. When Junior was 5, his parents joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Around the same time, flooding damaged the family farm, so the family moved to higher ground in a mountainous village called Floralito. The closest Adventist church was four hours away by foot. After making the long trek for four months, Junior had an idea.
“Daddy, the church is too far away,” he said. “Why don’t we invite the neighbors to meet in our house?”
Father liked the idea.
“Amen!” he said. “We also can invite them to lunch after the worship service.”
Junior and one of his brothers knocked on the doors of the neighbors’ houses.
“Good afternoon!” Junior said. “Would you like to come to our house for worship?”
Some neighbors said yes, and others said no. When a neighbor said no, Junior mentioned that lunch would be served after the worship service.
“We will have yummy food,” he said.
“What kind of food?” the neighbors asked. Many of the neighbors were poor, and they didn’t have much food after a poor harvest that year.
Junior rattled off the whole menu.
“Mother will make homemade whole-wheat bread, bollo sweet corn wrapped in corn husks, lentil patties, beans, and shredded palm and tomatoes cooked in lemon juice,” he said.
On the first Sabbath, seven neighbors came to worship and eat lunch. The next Sabbath, 16 people showed up. On the third Sabbath, the whole village of 32 people came. Eight people were baptized over the next seven months.
After some time, Junior’s father found it too expensive to transport his cassava, rice, and corn to the market. So, the family moved to another village, Chalán. The church was an hourlong walk away, and Mother suggested opening a house church in a neighbor’s home. Three families worshiped the first Sabbath.
Father asked Junior whether he was brave enough to lead evangelistic meetings. The boy was 7 and had recently given his heart to Jesus. He agreed to try at the house church. Three people were baptized after the seven days of meetings.
As the house church grew, Junior and his brother decided to go door to door and invite neighbors to take Bible studies.
After giving Bible studies at one house, the whole household of six was baptized. The house church grew into a full-fledged church, and the owner is now its elder.
Junior wanted to do more, so he began preaching on the street. Junior, a brother, and his parents took turns preaching every evening for four months. Twenty-three people were baptized.
Seeing that everyone in the village was familiar with the Adventist message, Father decided to move to another village, Turbo. Ten-year-old Junior led three evangelistic series and children’s meetings there, resulting in 17 baptisms.
Today, the family lives in Mutatá, where Junior has led two evangelistic series, resulting in 13 baptisms.
“I like to tell other people about Jesus,” Junior said. “I want other people to come with me to heaven.”
Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a missionary training center at Colombia Adventist University in Junior’s homeland, Colombia.