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Adventist Mission

Grandmother Ruth Jereh

Big Bright Light

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, April 16.

By Andrew McChesney


randmother was acting strangely when she came home on Friday night in Mazabuka, Zambia.

Usually, Grandmother arrived home singing. But this time she walked silently into the house and went straight to bed. She did not say a word to Grandfather. She did not say a word to little Cynthia. She lay down and closed her eyes.

But little Cynthia could tell that Grandmother wasn’t sleeping. Grandmother moved her arms and legs. She turned onto her right side and then onto her left side and then back onto her right side. Something was wrong. Grandmother certainly was acting strangely this Friday night.

Finally, little Cynthia went to bed. Grandfather also went to bed.

In the morning, Grandmother told Grandfather and Cynthia why she had acted so strangely. She had been scared.

Grandmother said she was drinking at a bar when the sun started to go down. Then the sky grew dark, and she decided that it was time to go home.

She was singing loudly as she walked down the dark street toward the house when suddenly a dazzling white light appeared in front of her. The light was not from a car or a streetlight. The light hovered in the air like a big bright ball.

Grandmother stared at the light. She did not know where the light had come from and where it might go. The song that she was singing stuck in her throat. Then the bright light vanished. Trembling from head to toe, Grandmother quietly walked the rest of the way home.

Little Cynthia was astonished to hear about the big bright light. Grandfather also was astonished.

“You’d better stop drinking,” he said. “This could be God talking to you.”

Little Cynthia wondered whether Grandfather was right. Was God trying to say something to Grandmother?

Little Cynthia was still thinking about God when she heard a knock on the door. Grandmother opened the door. Outside stood a woman wearing a bright blue dress and a white woolen hat.

“Happy Sabbath!” the woman said. “I would like to invite you to church.”

Grandmother didn’t have to be asked twice. Still frightened by the bright light, she wanted to go to church. Little Cynthia wanted to go to church. Grandfather also wanted to go to church.

The family attended the Sabbath worship service at an elementary school. It was a special Sabbath program organized especially for visitors.

That night, before going to bed, little Cynthia heard Grandmother pray for the first time. “Dear God, I’m not living a good life,” she prayed. “Help me to stop drinking.” The next night, Grandmother prayed the same prayer. Every night for two weeks, little Cynthia heard Grandmother pray to God for help. She wondered what would happen next.

One morning, Grandmother got up with a big smile on her face. Little Cynthia knew that God must have answered Grandmother’s prayers. She was right. Grandmother never drank again. She also gave her heart to Jesus.

Neighbors were shocked to see that Grandmother no longer drank. “How did you stop?” said one. “Tell us about the secret medicine that you got from the witchdoctor,” said another.

Grandmother happily told everyone that no witchdoctor had cured her. It was the God of heaven who had helped her to stop drinking. “The medicine that I used was prayer,” she said.

Grandmother did not stop praying. Little Cynthia heard her pray for Grandfather, and Grandfather gave his heart to Jesus. Grandmother prayed for her 14 children and many grandchildren, including little Cynthia. Many of them gave their hearts to Jesus. Grandmother is a real missionary because she brings people to God by praying for them.

Little Cynthia is glad for the Friday night when Grandmother came home acting strangely. It was the night that God began to turn Grandmother into a missionary.