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Meet Ellen Nte White

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, December 16.

By Andrew McChesney


n the African country of Ghana lives a 13-year-old girl named Ellen Nte White.

She is named after her father’s favorite writer, Ellen White. Father hopes that his girl will grow up to write books one day.

But Ellen Nte White has no thoughts about writing books at the moment. After all, she is just 13 years old. But she is not just any 13-year-old girl. She is a 13-year-old girl who loves Jesus very much.

So, Ellen took notice when a new girl moved into the neighborhood. The new girl’s name was Ajara. She was younger, only 9. Ellen also noticed that the new girl didn’t go to church on Sabbath. So, she invited Ajara to go to church with her.

“Jesus wants us to be His disciples,” Ellen said. “If you don’t go to church and stay at home, you could easily pick up bad habits. But if you go to church and learn about Jesus, your life can be different.”

On Sabbath, the two girls walked 1 ½ miles (2 ½ kilometers) to church. They talked as they walked. Soon other children who were also walking to church joined them. It was a merry little company making their way to the house of God.

Ajara loved church. She loved singing and hearing Bible stories. She was amazed to learn from the sermon that every person has a guardian angel.

Ellen invited Ajara to come back the next Sabbath, and she went.

But when Ajara’s parents saw that she was going to church. They were furious. They weren’t Christians. They didn’t believe that Jesus is God. They belonged to another world religion.

So, the next Sabbath, Mother forbade Ajara from going to church.

“You have to stay home today,” she said.

Ajara cried the whole day. She wanted to go to church with Ellen. She wanted to sing and to listen to Bible stories.

Mother didn’t like to see Ajara cry, and she changed her mind the next Sabbath. She allowed Ajara to go to church with Ellen. But she still didn’t like the idea.

Mother decided to wait. She hoped that Ajara would get tired of going to church.

But the little girl didn’t. Ellen kept inviting her to go to church, and she kept going with her.

When Mother saw that Ajara loved going to church, she came up with a plan. She took the girl to Grandmother’s house in a far-off city. She told Ajara that she now would live with Grandmother. She said that Ajara would never see Ellen again.

Ajara cried and cried, but Mother didn’t change her mind. Ajara cried all week, but Mother still didn’t change her mind.

Ajara told Mother that she was ready to walk all the way back to Ellen’s house if she had to. “I want to go to church with Ellen,” she said.

Finally, Mother backed down and took her back home.

Ellen didn’t know why Ajara had disappeared. Her friend had been gone for two weeks. But she was very happy to see Ajara. Immediately, she invited her to go to church. On Sabbath, they happily walked the 1 ½ miles to church.

Today, Ajara goes to church with Ellen every Sabbath. She is eagerly learning Bible stories and memorizing Bible verses. Once, she had never heard of Jesus. Now, she loves Him with all her heart.

The kingdom of heaven belongs to children like Ellen Nte White. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14, NKJV). Ellen was 13, and Ajara was only 9. But Ellen paid no attention to the difference in ages. She saw only a girl who didn’t know Jesus. Ellen was a Christian, and Ajara belonged to another religion. But Ellen paid no attention to their difference in beliefs. Again, she saw only a girl who didn’t know Jesus. All Ellen wanted was to introduce Ajara to Jesus. And she did! “Of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will go to a nursing school in Ghana where future nurses can learn about Jesus. Thank you for planning a generous offering on December 30.