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Adventist Mission


Loving a Neighbor

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, November 25.

By Andrew McChesney


he old woman called out to 7-year-old Eliot in the African country of Ghana.

“I see that you don’t go to church,” she said. “Come to church with me.”

Eliot looked at the next-door neighbor whom he called “Auntie.” It was true. He didn’t go to church. But he liked the idea. He and his family had moved into the neighborhood just a few weeks earlier, and he didn’t have friends. Moreover, he was curious to know about God.

“Thank you for inviting me,” he said. “Let me ask Mother for permission.”

“That’s a good idea,” Auntie said. “When she gives permission, be ready to go early on Saturday morning. And put on your best clothes. We are going to worship God.”

Eliot ran home to ask Mother for permission. She gave it.

On Saturday morning, Eliot woke up excited about going to church. Then he remembered that Auntie had cautioned him not to be late. He quickly got dressed in his best clothes and ran next door.

“I’m ready to go!” he said as soon as Auntie opened the door.

“Happy Sabbath!” Auntie said.

She looked at the boy carefully.

“Have you eaten breakfast?” she asked.

Eliot shook his head. He had left home before Mother had finished preparing breakfast.

“Would you like to eat?” Auntie said.

Eliot nodded his head.

“Good,” Auntie said. “You need to eat.”

She served rice with tomato stew. It was delicious. After eating, Eliot got into a car with Auntie and her family, and they went to church.

Eliot didn’t know anyone in Sabbath School, and he felt terribly shy. He sat all by himself. But that didn’t bother him. He was amazed to hear for the first time about Noah and the ark. He understood that it is important to obey God. Noah obeyed God and got into the ark. Noah’s family obeyed God and got into the ark. Even animals obeyed God and got into the ark. But nobody else obeyed God, and they all died in the flood. Eliot decided to obey God always.

At home, Eliot told Mother about Noah.

“That’s a good story,” Mother said. “You should be like Noah and obey God.”

Eliot smiled. He had already promised himself that he would obey God always.

“I liked going to church with Auntie,” he said. “I want to go every Saturday.”

The next Sabbath, he went to church with Auntie again. But this time he didn’t feel quite so shy. Some of the children even spoke with him, and he made new friends.

He especially enjoyed the Bible story, and, back home, told Mother again about what he had learned.

As time passed, Mother began to look forward to hearing the stories that Eliot brought home from church. A desire grew in her to hear even more Bible stories. So, one Sabbath, she went to church with Eliot. Eliot was so happy!

More time passed, and Eliot’s older brother and sister also started going to church with Auntie, Eliot, and Mother.

And so it happened that the family who never went to church now goes to church every Sabbath.

Eliot is now 12 years old, and he is so happy that Auntie invited him to church when he was only 7.

“If other Adventists would love their neighbors like Auntie loved me, they would be able to gain many people for Christ,” he said. “If we treat people with love, we can easily win hearts for Christ.”

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help a nursing school in Eliot’s homeland of Ghana. The nursing school teaches students about Jesus and to how to help the sick. Thank you for planning a generous offering next month.