To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, January 7.
ared is a Mexican-Costa Rican missionary kid living in Rwanda. Jared is a Mexican because his mother is from Mexico. Jared is Costa Rican because his father is from Costa Rica. Jared lives far away from home in the African country of Rwanda because his parents are teachers at the Adventist University of Central Africa.
Jared likes being a missionary kid.
The other Sunday, Jared jumped out of bed, bursting with energy. He spent some special time with God in his bedroom, praying, reading the Bible, and studying the Sabbath School lesson. Then he found Father and Mother in the living room.
“Good morning!” he exclaimed with a big smile.
“Good morning, Jared!” Father and Mother replied.
His big brother, Arnoldo, joined them, and the family sat together for morning worship.
After breakfast, Jared and Arnoldo ran outside to ride their bicycles. After some time, Father called the boys to help him cart some things from the house to a storage place on the other side of campus. Jared and Arnoldo liked to help Father, and they agreed to carry some things on their bicycles as Father took bigger things in the family car.
Waiting for Father to get the car took forever for Jared. Hours seemed to pass as Jared waited and waited and waited. But Jared wasn’t upset. He got more and more excited as he thought about the fun trip across campus.
After what seemed like an eternity, Mother called the boys into the house.
“The car won’t start,” she said. “The battery must be dead.”
What were they to do? The nearest car repair shop was several miles (kilometers) away.
Arnoldo went to his bedroom to pray. Jared thought that prayer was a great idea, but he didn’t want to pray by himself.
“Let’s kneel and pray together,” he told Father and Mother.
Father called Arnoldo, and the family of four knelt in prayer. Jared was especially earnest in his prayer with God to fix the car. After praying, Jared was excited to see how God would answer.
“Can I start the car?” he asked, eagerly.
Jared jumped into the driver’s seat and turned the key. But the car did not start.
“Let’s pray again!” Jared said.
The family prayed again, and Jared turned the key a second time. The car did not start.
The family prayed again, and again the car didn’t start. Jared couldn’t understand what was happening. He ran to his bedroom and fell on his knees.
“Dear God, why didn’t You answer our prayers?” he prayed.
He felt terribly sad and discouraged. He prayed for 15 minutes. He was confused about why God had not answered him.
While Jared was praying, a neighbor came by the house and fixed the car.
Then Jared understood. God had answered his prayers. He had expected God to fix the car in one way. But the God of the earth, the seas, the land, and the entire universe had fixed it in His own way.
Jared has never forgotten that day. Whenever he wonders if God has not heard a prayer, he remembers that God hears all prayers — and answers them in His own way.
Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering in 2016 that helped build the school of medicine where Jared’s parents teach at the Adventist University of Central Africa in Rwanda. Your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering this quarter will help build new homes for teachers at the university.