No Sabbath School

By: Enjoli Canfield

Enjoli felt a slight breeze stir the humid air. Her Sabbath dress clung to her. Damp hair clung to the back of her neck. Enjoli’ parents were new missionaries in the Philippines, and they had gathered at a new, small church for Sabbath services. Enjoli glanced around at the people who had gathered to worship Jesus. She looked at the cement slab and four pillars that held up the roof. The roof provided some shade, but it was still hot and humid. As Enjoli brushed an ant off her leg, she heard someone say, “We will now break for Sabbath School.”

Enjoli wondered where the kids her age met for Sabbath School. She watched the adults gather for their Sabbath School.

This is strange, she thought. Why are the kids staying with their parents?

Some of the youngest children were squirming in their mothers’ laps while the older children just sat around or played in the loose dirt.

“Mom!” Enjoli whispered, tugging on Mom’s sleeve.

“What?” Mom leaned toward Enjoli.

“Why aren’t the kids going to their Sabbath School class? Why are they still with their parents?” Enjoli asked.

“Honey, this church is a new church. They don’t have a Sabbath School teacher,” Mom replied.

“You mean there’s no Sabbath School for all these kids?” Enjoli asked, feeling disappointed.

“That’s right,” Mom answered. “You can just stay with me like the others. Let’s be quiet and listen. I want to hear the Sabbath School lesson.” Mom sat back up and turned her eyes to the front.

Enjoli listened as her dad taught the Sabbath School lesson in English. It was interesting to hear the translator share Dad’s words with the members, but eventually her mind drifted to the problem of no children’s Sabbath School.

There has to be a solution, she said to herself. I can’t believe there is no Sabbath School!

* * *

The next week passed quickly. Enjoli couldn’t forget about the Sabbath School problem.

Finally, she came up with a solution. On Sabbath morning, she walked into the kitchen where she found Mom slicing mangos for breakfast.

“Mom,” she said as she plopped down on a chair.

“Yes?”

“I’m going tobe the Sabbath School teacher for the children,” Enjoli stated.

Mom stopped cutting the fruit and turned toward Enjoli.

“You see,” Enjoli continued, “I feel bad for those kids. A lot of them don’t know about Jesus like I do, so I want to teach them. I know I’m only eight years old, but Jesus was only a little older than me when He taught the priests in the temple, right?”

Mom smiled. “I think that’s a great idea! Do you need any help?”

“Well, I might need some paper and pencils,” Enjoli said thoughtfully.

An hour later, Enjoli sat in the car. She held a small pile of paper, pencils, and her Bible on her lap. On their way to church, Enjoli’s family picked up church members who didn’t have any other way to get to church.

When it was time for Sabbath School to start, Enjoli was ready! She quickly gathered the other children. “We’re going to have our own Sabbath School over there!” She pointed and coaxed the other children to follow her.

Enjoli wanted to start with a song. Hmm, what are some easy songs I can teach them? she asked herself.

Well, there’s always “Jesus Loves Me.”

“OK, I’m going to teach you a song called, ‘Jesus Loves Me.’ ” Enjoli knew that most of the children didn’t understand what she was saying, but she started to sing. To her delight, the children caught on quickly and started to sing with her. Next, she taught them, Father Abraham. Shrieks of laughter filled the air as they learned the motions and spun in circles.

Enjoli decided it was time for a story. Thankfully, one of the moms offered to translate for her. She told them the story of Noah’s ark. To her surprise, many of the children had never heard the story before. After she told the story, she handed out the paper and pencils her mom had given her. “On the paper, you can draw some of the animals that went into the ark,” she explained.

All too soon, Sabbath School was over. With a happy heart, she told the children to come back next week.

“Mom!” she exclaimed, as she sat down next to her mom for the church service.“

Shh, wait until after church to tell me,” Mom smiled at her excited daughter.

As soon as the family was in the car to go home, Enjoli told her family all about her Sabbath School. “It was so exciting to share Jesus with some of them for the first time!” she concluded.

“We’re really proud of you, Enjoli,” Mom said. “I came and watched you for a while. You were a great Sabbath School teacher, but more importantly, you were being a missionary and letting Jesus shine through you.”

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Enjoli sighed happily.

I want to be a missionary to other kids my whole life

, she decided.