Baptized Like Jesus
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, July 8.
ndrija was a boy with a dream. He dreamed about giving his heart to Jesus in baptism. But he didn’t want to get baptized in a church. He had read in the Bible about how Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Andrija dreamed about being baptized outdoors just like Jesus. He wanted to be baptized in the Adriatic Sea.
But Andrija had never been to the sea. He lived in Serbia, which doesn’t have a sea. The nearest sea was 300 miles (500 kilometers) away in the country of Montenegro. Andrija longed to go to the Adriatic Sea in Montenegro.
Andrija joined a group of children who were preparing for baptism. Andrija’s younger brother, Luka, also was in the group, and Luka also liked the idea of being baptized in the sea. All the other children agreed that it would be wonderful to be baptized in the sea. They excitedly dreamed about being baptized together at a Pathfinder camp on the Adriatic Sea. But Andrija didn’t know how he could afford the trip. Father was retired and didn’t have money to help.
Then Andrija learned that he had to come up with two sums of money: a small sum to register for the Pathfinder camp now and a larger sum to pay for the camp later. He needed to pay the smaller sum quickly. He had nowhere to turn but to God. “God, if this is Your will, can You help?” he prayed.
The next day, two friends of Andrija’s father stopped by the house. They said that they felt impressed to give some money to the family. It was enough to pay to register Andrija and Luka for the Pathfinder camp.
Andrija couldn’t believe it! God had answered his prayer so quickly. From that day, he knew that God would help him to get baptized in the sea. He read again and again in the Bible, “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:13).
The months passed swiftly, and soon it was getting close to the time to pay the second sum for the Pathfinder camp. Andrija didn’t know what to do. Then Father had an idea. Before retiring, he had sold Christian books as a literature evangelist. He offered to help Andrija and Luka sell books at a Serbian resort town filled with tourists.
The first day in the town was disappointing. “Please, check out these books,” Andrija called to people as they passed the table where he was selling books in a park. But the people looked away. That night, Andrija felt sad. He prayed to God, “Help us sell at least two books tomorrow.”
In the morning, as he was helping Father and Luka place books on the table, an old man started looking at a book. “What’s in this book?” the old man asked. “This book is about the last days,” Andrija said. The man bought the book. Andrija was so happy! God had helped him sell a book even before he started selling books for the day.
After that, he found it easy to sell books. In two weeks, he and his brother had earned enough money to go to the camp.
So, Andrija and Luka went to the Pathfinder camp on the Adriatic Sea in Montenegro. Both boys were baptized with their friends in the sea. As a special Bible verse to be read at his baptism, Andrija chose Isaiah 41:13, which says, “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’”
Every time Andrija reads the verse today, he remembers that God fulfilled his dream of being baptized in the sea. “I’m very thankful,” he says. “I’m really blessed.”
Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a new Pathfinder camp on the Adriatic Sea in Montenegro. The current building used by the Pathfinders is nearly 90 years old and needs to be replaced with a new and larger building for Pathfinders. Thank you for planning a generous offering.