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Dacosta and the Deacon

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, December 9.

By Andrew McChesney


acosta was bored. He could not go to school because it was closed. He could not go to church because it was closed. He could leave the house, but there didn’t seem to be anywhere for a 12-year-old boy to go. The Covid-19 pandemic had changed life in the African country of Ghana.

Then a church deacon asked Dacosta if he would be willing to preach with him on the street. The deacon was preaching at a busy bus station once a week, and he wanted the boy to help by reading Bible verses. Dacosta liked the idea. He loved to preach. He also was tired of sitting at home.

His parents gave permission, and, on a Monday, Dacosta and the deacon went to the bus station. But before they preached, the deacon gave the boy a black Bible and instructions on how to preach.

“Be careful not to drop the Bible,” he said. “Also, be confident when you read the Bible. Look only at the Bible while you are reading it. Don’t look up.”

Dacosta prayed silently for God to help him. “Help me not to feel shy,” he prayed.

Throngs of people were walking back and forth at the bus station. Some were leaving on buses, and others were arriving on buses. Other people were standing around, selling shoes, shirts, and other things.

The deacon set up a loudspeaker and turned on Christian music. People stopped to listen. After an hour of music, the deacon began to preach. He spoke about Jesus’ Second Coming. “Every eye will see Jesus when He comes in the clouds of glory,” he said. “But not everyone will be happy because they won’t be ready to meet Him.”

He turned to Dacosta, and the boy read from the black Bible. “‘Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him,’” he read. “‘And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.’” (Revelation 1:7, NKJV).

People were startled to see the young boy preaching with the grown man. Many stopped to listen. Turning to another part of the Bible, Dacosta read, “‘For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be’” (Matthew 24:27).

Dacosta felt a little nervous at first, but he grew more confident as time passed. To his surprise, a few listeners gave him money.

At the end of the sermon, the deacon was very pleased. “You have done well,” he told the boy. “If you continue to preach well, you will have a very big future.”

Dacosta felt good. He had enjoyed reading the Bible. Furthermore, preaching was a lot more fun than sitting at home! He gave the money that he had received to the deacon.

The next Monday, Dacosta and the deacon preached again. They also preached the next Monday, and the next. Every time they spoke, people gathered around to listen. After a few months, they had enough money to buy a new loudspeaker. Dacosta was happy because people could hear the sermons better.

One listener gave Dacosta a new shirt. She had been listening to him speak as she sold traditional kente shirts made of handwoven strips of silk and cotton. She was so thankful to see the boy reading the Bible that she had decided to give him a red, yellow, green, and black shirt.

Another time, a listener asked Dacosta to try on several pairs of black shoes until he found the right size. Then he bought the shoes and gave them to Dacosta.

“Thank you for preaching,” he told the surprised boy. “Keep it up.”

Dacosta has kept it up. One and a half years have passed since he first preached with the deacon. His school has reopened, so he cannot preach every Monday. But whenever he is able, he joins the deacon to preach at the bus station.