1. Ten-year-old Joe played video games all day long with friends at his home in the Solomon Islands. But he wasn’t happy.
2. His family lived in a poor part of a dangerous city. Neighbors sold drugs, and children stole and got into trouble with the police.
3. Joe’s house was a popular place for neighborhood boys to hang out every evening. He noticed that one of his friends didn’t talk like the other boys and participated in a Christian club for children called Pathfinders every Sabbath. Joe decided to join his friend at the Seventh-day Adventist church to learn more. Soon, he joined the Pathfinder club as well and went to church every Sabbath.
4. After a while, Joe and the other Pathfinders were invited to fly to Australia to attend a camporee. A camporee is a big event where Pathfinders camp in tents and do all kinds of interesting activities together that help them grow closer to Jesus. Joe really wanted to go, so Mom worked hard to save money for his plane ticket. Joe flew to the camporee and enjoyed every second of it!
5. When Joe returned home, he told his friends stories about his amazing experiences at the camporee. They loved the stories so much that they asked to hear more the next evening. Then Joe thought to himself, My friends like to hear about the camporee. Why not tell them about Jesus, too? So each night he also shared a Bible story.
6. Joe’s friends enjoyed the Bible stories so much that they invited their friends from the neighborhood to come to hear them. Soon 30 to 40 children came to Joe’s house every evening to learn more about Jesus.
7. Joe’s new friends began to ask him whether they could join Pathfinders, and four joined him at church the next Sabbath. More of his friends came to church the following week.
8. The Pathfinder leader couldn’t understand where all these children were coming from. “Joe, why are so many kids from your neighborhood coming to our Pathfinder club?” he asked. “What did you do?” “I didn’t do anything,” Joe replied. “I just tell them stories about what we did in Australia, and we have evening devotions. That’s all.” The leader asked to visit Joe’s home to see the evening get-togethers for himself. When he came that evening, he was amazed at what he saw. Afterward, he said to Joe’s mom, “This neighborhood would be a good place to open a church.” He noticed that Joe's house had a large living room and asked to use it for Sabbath worship services. Joe’s mom agreed.
9. Several dozen neighborhood children came to Joe’s house for church the next Sabbath. All the Pathfinder leaders and their families came as well, and they brought food for everyone.
10. Then something happened that made Joe very happy: his mom decided to be baptized! Not long after, his 20-year-old cousin was baptized too, and so were three of his neighborhood friends whom Joe had introduced to Pathfinders.
11. Today, Joe’s living room is packed every Sabbath with some 70 people, and plans are underway to open a permanent church in the neighborhood.
Meet 13-year-old Joe, who grew a church for Jesus!

You, too, can help grow God’s church!

Do you know that our church has a special group of missionaries that start new churches just like Joe did? They’re called Global Mission pioneers. They share God’s love with those who don’t know Him and help them become followers of Jesus.

To read more amazing stories about pioneers, visit Global-Mission.org. Please pray for them and support their ministry at Global-Mission.org/giving!

More Children’s Mission Stories

This story and others like it can be found in the Children’s Mission magazine at AdventistMission.org/mission-quarterlies.

Watch this story in action at m360.tv/s1938

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Animation by Diogo Godoy

Andrew McChesney Office of Adventist Mission.