To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, May 22.
even-year-old Elina arrived home from school in tears in Colombia.
Holding out her hands, she showed Mother that her palms were covered with black lead and red spots.
At school, a 9-year-old boy had taken a sharp pencil and poked her hands.
Teacher had refused to intervene, telling Elina to fight back.
“I don’t want to go to school anymore,” Elina cried.
Mother and Father asked Teacher to stop the boy from bullying Elina or they would go to the police.
The boy didn’t bully her again. But on another day, two girls who were friends of the 9-year-old boy kicked Elina in the stomach.
Father and Mother spoke with Teacher again.
“Elina has to learn how to protect herself,” Teacher said.
Now Elina really didn’t want to go to school.
One day Teacher told each of the children to bring a toy for a school activity.
Elina brought her baby doll. Two other girls, who also were friends of the 9-year-old boy, snatched the doll and hit her hard on the head.
Mother decided to send Elina to another school.
The girl ended up in a public school in the town of Janeiro.
Unfortunately, the bullying started again.
A group of 10-year-old boys saw that Elina was smart and began to make fun of her.
The principal overheard and scolded them.
“Why are you laughing at Elina?” he asked the boys. “She hasn’t done anything wrong.”
“She knows everything,” one of the boys said, as if that were a bad thing.
Elina stopped playing with the other children. She preferred to be alone. But she did have one friend, a girl named Shaila.
Mother had an idea.
“Let’s form a small group for children,” she told Elina. “Children can come to our house and listen to you tell Bible stories.”
Elina liked Bible stories, and she invited her one friend, Shaila, to come over at 5 p.m. Friday.
Without telling Elina, Shaila invited the mean boys to come to the meeting as well.
On the first Friday, twelve children came to hear Elina tell the story of David and Goliath. Afterward, Mother fed the children a meal of empanada pies and red palm juice. All the children enjoyed the meeting and wanted to come again.
The next Friday, the same twelve children returned and brought four friends with them.
Soon thirty children were coming Elina’s house every Friday to hear Bible stories. In three months, ten children gave their hearts to Jesus and were baptized. Four of those who were baptized were the boys who had laughed at Elina for being smart. They were no longer mean to her. They had become her friends.
The mother of one of the children also was baptized.
Today Elina is 10 years old, and every Friday evening she tells Bible stories to a small group of children in her home in Colombia.
She no longer worries about bullying. Instead she plans to spend all her time looking for ways to share her love for Jesus.
“I dream of bringing people to Jesus,” she said. “It is not for my own glory but for His glory.”
Elina is a real missionary for telling Bible stories to other children in her home every Friday evening. This quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a center to train missionaries at Colombia Adventist University in Elina’s homeland, Colombia. Thank you for planning a generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering to help students train to become missionaries.