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Paula, 9

Big Changes in Canada

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, September 11.

By Andrew McChesney


ife changed in a big way for 9-year-old Paula when she and her family moved across Canada.

Paula had lived in the city of Calgary in western Canada. But one day, she got onto an airplane and flew 1,850 miles (3,000 km) to the city of Iqaluit in the Canadian Arctic.

Before, Paula had lived in a big city with more than 1 million people. Now she lives in a small city with 8,000 people.

Before, Paula had lived in the middle of the big continent of North America. Now she lives on the edge of a small island.

Other things also changed.

Paula started going to church with Mother every Sabbath. “I started going to church here in Iqaluit,” she said. “The people at church were so welcoming and caring. It changed my life a lot.”

Before, Paula had never read the Bible. Now she reads the Bible regularly.

As she went to church and read the Bible, other changes started happening in her life. Before, she had been mean to other people. Now she is kinder because she read Jesus’ words, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” (Matthew 7:12; NLT).

One more big change took place in Iqaluit. Paula got a new sister.

It all happened when Mother announced one day that the family was going to take in foster children. In Iqaluit, some parents are unable to care for their children, and Mother decided that she and Paula could help. The children would stay until their own parents could take them back.

Paula was excited to meet her new sister, 2-year-old Joy. But she was surprised when they sat down for their first meal together. Joy didn’t know how to pray.

Before eating, Paula prayed, “Dear God, thank You for this food. Please bless it. Amen.”

When she opened her eyes, she saw that Joy looked confused. Joy did not understand what had just happened. After the meal, Paula explained that all good things come from God and that she thanks God for the food before eating.

“Let me show you how to pray,” Paula said. “It’s easy.”

Joy obediently folded her hands and closed her eyes.

“Dear God,” Paula said.

“Dear God,” Joy repeated.

“Thank You for this food.”

“Thank You for this food.”



Paula smiled brightly. “Good!” she said. “Now you can thank God by yourself when you eat.”

On Sabbath, she invited Joy to go to Sabbath School and church. She felt good because she was sharing Jesus.

After a while, Joy’s parents were able to take their daughter back home, and other foster sisters and brothers arrived in Paula’s home.

Paula’s favorite Bible verse is Psalm 150:6, which says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” (NKJV). “This verse means that everyone should praise the Lord,” Paula said. “God changes our lives, and we don’t even know it.”

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a church and community services center in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, where Paula lives. Thank you for planning a generous offering.