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Adventist Mission

Saki Takahagi, 35

Power of a Book

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, December 18.

By Kazuhiro Hiraga


o you like to read?

Nine-year-old Saki loved to read on the Japanese island of Okinawa. She especially loved to read five books purchased from a stranger who had knocked on their door. Again and again she read Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories.

The books introduced Saki to Jesus. Her family was not Christian. Her parents, like many people in Japan, did not go to church or worship Jesus. In the books, she read that Jesus loves children and wants to make them happy.

As the years passed, Saki grew up; moved to Tokyo, the capital of Japan; and got a new name: Mother. Let’s call her Mother now that she has children of her own. Somewhere along the way Mother lost the Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories books.

One day, Mother realized that her eldest boy would soon be old enough to start school. But where should she send him? Mother noticed a school near her home and looked it up on the Internet. She learned that it was a Seventh-day Adventist school. Having never heard of Adventists, she looked for more information online and, to her surprise, read that the Adventist Church publishes many children’s books, including her beloved Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories. She knew then that she wanted her boy to study at the Adventist school.

But first Mother wanted to know more about the Adventist Church. An Adventist church was located at the Adventist school, and she began to attend Sabbath services. She felt peace as she sang hymns and listened to sermons. She also got hold of a new set of Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories and began to read them to her children. They loved the stories.

As Mother read to her boys, she began to read another book on her own — the Holy Bible. She had read many books in her life but never had she read a book quite like this one. The words of the Bible touched her heart. She read for the first time that Jesus died to save people. She gave her heart to Jesus and was baptized.

Today, Mother still reads Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories to her boys. She also shares Bible verses with them, especially when they complain. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” she says, reciting 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV).

Mother loves Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories. She loves the Bible. And she especially loves Jesus.

Mother learned about Jesus through Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories and the Internet. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will go to a project to help many Japanese people learn about Jesus through the Internet. Remember that we will be able to give our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering next Sabbath. Thank you for planning a generous offering.