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Adventist Mission

Jiyul, 9

Birthday With Friends

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

By Oh Dongjun


ine-year-old Jiyul is a popular boy at his country school in South Korea. He is cheerful, and he gets along well with the other children. The teacher also likes him. After class, he helps the teacher clean up the classroom.

But Jiyul had a problem. His friends would not come to his house to play after school. Jiyul often went to his friends’ homes and saw their new toys, aquariums, and pets. But no one seemed to want to come to his house. He grew frustrated because he couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t come to his house.

One day, when Jiyul invited a friend to come over to play, his friend replied, “My mother said that I can play with you at school, but I cannot go to your house.”

“Why did your mother say that?” Jiyul asked.

“It’s because your house is a church,” the friend explained.

It was true. Jiyul’s house is a church. The boy is the son of a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, and their home occupies part of a Seventh-day Adventist church. Most parents attend three big churches that meet on Sunday in the town, and the parents of Jiyul’s friends didn’t want their children going to a house inside a church that meets on Saturday.

Jiyul told his parents about the conversation at school. His parents wondered for a long time how Jiyul could have friends over to play. Finally, they decided to do something special for Jiyul’s birthday. Instead of inviting Jiyul’s friends out to eat as they usually did for his birthday, they would invite the children to come to their home for a party. Jiyul liked the idea, and he prayed, “Please let my friends come to the birthday party and have a good time. And give their parents a kind heart for the Adventist church.”

Jiyul made party invitations with the name and location of the church. He gave the invitations to all his classmates.

Finally, Jiyul’s birthday arrived. When the party started, 10 friends had showed up. Jiyul was so happy! For the first time, he could play with friends at home!

From that day on, Jiyul makes invitations whenever there is a concert of other event at the church and gives them to his classmates. He has learned that the more often his friends come to church, the more often they come to his home to play. Now three friends come regularly to his house to play. He prays that someday his friends will worship with him at the church every Sabbath.

Your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering at the end of this month will help even more children — and parents — learn about Jesus in South Korea.