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Adventist Mission

Jaira, 9

Saying “Thank You”

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, August 14.

By Andrew McChesney


hat is the first thing that you do when you receive a gift? Do you play with it or eat it? The first thing that Jaira does is to write a thank-you letter.

Jaira started writing thank-you letters when a surprise box arrived in the mail from the faraway state of Texas in the United States. Jaira and her two older brothers are Filipino missionary kids in the Marshall Islands, and their parents teach at a Seventh-day Adventist mission school.

Inside the surprise box, Jaira found a doll just for her. She immediately wanted to play with it, but Father stopped her.

“We thank the Lord for these gifts, but at the same time we remember that the Lord gave them to us through Grandpa Bob in Texas,” he said. “You guys have to write thank-you notes to Grandpa Bob.”

Jaira looked puzzled. She was only 6 and didn’t know how to write. “How do I do that?” she asked. “How do I write?”

“Just think about how you want to say thank you,” Father said.

Jaira thought carefully. She looked over at her oldest brother, Raijan, who was already writing a letter on a piece of paper. He was 13, and it was easy for him to write a thank-you letter for the toy car that he had received. She looked at her other brother, Jehuraian. He was 8 and also already writing something about the toy car that he had received. What could she write? Suddenly her eyes lit up. She turned to Father, sitting on the couch.

“I can draw a picture,” she said.

“That’s a good idea,” Father said. “You can say thank you any way that you want.”

Holding her new doll in one hand, Jaira used the other hand to draw a big red heart. Then she drew several smaller hearts. At the top of the paper she carefully wrote her name, “Jaira.” Now Grandpa Bob would know that she was very thankful for the doll.

The next month, another box arrived. Grandpa Bob had heard about the family’s missionary work through mission stories in the Mission quarterly and wanted to help. He put money in the Sabbath School mission offering every week, and he gave something extra when a Thirteenth Sabbath Offering was collected to help her school. But he wanted to do more, so he began to send boxes every month.

Every month a new box arrived, and every month Jaira and her brothers wrote thank-you letters. A year passed. Two years. Three years. Jaira didn’t really like to write letters at first, but it became easier as she wrote every month. She even began to write stories.

Father was pleased. Grandpa Bob had taught Jaira had to write. He had sent so many boxes that she had learned how to write through thank-you letters. Father thanked God for His big blessings.

Thank you for your Sabbath School mission offerings that help missionaries like Jaira’s family spread the good news that Jesus is coming soon. Thank you for being like Grandpa Bob and giving a little extra for mission work.