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Adventist Mission

Christian, 8

Why Christian Is Smiling

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, October 1.

By Jason Sliger


rrrrrrrrrrmmm. The low throb of a small engine sounded overhead. Eight-year-old Christian squinted his eyes as he looked up to catch his first glimpse of the plane in the Papua New Guinean sky.

“Papa, is that it?”

“Yes son, that’s the Mission Aviation Fellowship plane that will take us to our mission outpost.”

The plane circled around the small runway at the Daru airport one last time and then landed and taxied up to where Christian and his family were waiting.

“Hello there!” came the friendly voice of the pilot as he walked up to greet everyone. “We need get going quickly. There’s a storm heading this way, and we don’t want to get caught in it.”

Christian grabbed his backpack. He’d flown on big planes before, but this was the smallest one he’d ever been on.

“The door’s on the other side,” said the pilot. “Go ahead, and get in.”

Christian walked around the plane, looking at the big propeller at the front and the three small wheels underneath it. Then he and his two sisters climbed in. Once inside the plane, he found a seat in the front, next to a window and right behind the pilot. The perfect spot!

The engine started, and Christian and his family bumped down the runway. Before he knew it, they were in the sky.

Looking out the window, all Christian could see were trees, trees, and more trees. “Are there any people down there?” he thought. “I don’t see any houses or streets or neighborhoods like in America.”

Soon, the mission plane circled a small grass airstrip in the middle of the trees. With a bump, it landed and quickly came to a stop at the end of the runway.

Christian picked up his backpack and followed the others down a path to a river, where he saw a fiberglass boat with the mission logo on the side. Once all the family’s bags were loaded up, the engine started, and they were on their way down the river, going fast! There was so much to see. There were egrets gracefully flying by, people paddling in long, dugout canoes, children on the shore waving, and beautiful trees. The people wore different clothes than Christian had seen in America. But that didn’t matter. They seemed very friendly as they smiled and waved. He liked this new place.

“Look!” Papa said. “There’s the mission outpost. That’s our new home.”

The dingy followed a bend in the river, and the motor slowed down. On the bank, people stood waving, with happy smiles on their faces. The dingy pulled over to them. When the engine stopped, Christian heard them singing, “We are happy today, we are happy today, we are happy to have you here!”

He couldn’t stop smiling. As soon as the song ended, he was the first to climb out of the dingy. Walking down the long, long line of waiting people, he shook hands with each one of them, taking notice of the large number of kids. He knew that he was going to like his new home.