Adult and Youth Mission Story
FINDING A NEW LIFE
Why do you want to be a Seventh-day Adventist?” Roshawnda’s
[ro-SHAWN-dah] aunt asked her.
“I finally understand who God is, and I want to have Him in my life,” Roshawnda
replied bravely. “He’s important in my life, and I must follow Him—on His terms, not
Eighteen-year-old Roshawnda hasn’t always had the courage to share her
beliefs so plainly. For years her shyness kept her from telling people what she
believed. When she was just 4 years old, her mother died unexpectedly. Her father
wasn’t able to care for Roshawnda and her older brothers, and they moved from
one relative to another. Finally her grandparents took the children in, and
Roshawnda and her brothers settled into a new life, but Roshawnda missed her
The Long Wait
Roshawnda’s brothers didn’t want to attend the local public school. Grandfather asked around and learned about Holbrook Indian School, a Christian boarding school operated by Seventh-day Adventists for Native American children.
When Grandfather told the boys about Holbrook, they were excited. But Roshawnda had to wait a year to attend school. That school year seemed to last forever.
New School, New Life
At last Roshawnda joined her brothers at her new school. She began making friends. “Everyone at the school became my new family,” Roshawnda says. She
enjoyed school and loved learning many new things, including who Jesus is and that He died for everyone.
The school years passed quickly, and Roshawnda enjoyed the activities in school and church. When she was in the sixth grade, she and several of her classmates were baptized. But God still wasn’t real to her.
At the beginning of her freshman year Roshawnda was asked if she would like to join a group of children from the school who share God’s love with other Native American children scattered across North America. But Roshawnda’s shyness left her feeling uncomfortable talking to people she didn’t know, especially to a group of people. And she couldn’t imagine praying in public! “No thanks,” Roshawnda told the leader.
The next year two of Roshawnda’s friends urged her to join the outreach program. “You’ve got to join our group,” they said. “It’s so much fun!
The Reluctant Missionary
Still resistant, Roshawnda told her friends she would think about it. She prayed about it and reluctantly decided to join the group—for just one year. But as Roshawnda became involved, she quickly became as excited as her friends had been. “I like learning about the other Native American tribes, and I’m learning to enjoy meeting new people,” said Roshawnda.
Roshawnda and her fellow students from Holbrook Indian School travel around the United States and Canada, visiting various Native American regions and teaching children through stories, crafts, songs, and skits about Jesus. Many of these children are just like I was when I came to Holbrook, thought Roshawnda. They don’t know Jesus. I’m so glad that I can help them learn about what God has done for us!
A New Mission
Roshawnda’s ministry experiences have helped her become more confident in responding to her family’s questions about her beliefs. “I’ve learned that I don’t have to be shy or afraid to tell others about Jesus,” she says. “It’s good to share what Jesus has done for us, for others need to hear about it.”
Roshawnda sees that she has a mission field within her own family as well. “I love being with my family,” she adds. “But it hurts me to see how alcohol and drug abuse has affected some members of my family. Because I’ve learned how to tell others about God through this program, it’s easier to tell my own family about Him. I want them to see that God doesn’t make us follow Him; He wants us to choose to follow Him.”
After graduation Roshawnda plans to work as a Bible worker among her people. God wants all of His children to hear about His love, and He invites us to be His voice to all the people of the world.
This quarter part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help support work among the Navajo in northern Arizona. Thank you for giving so that God’s long-neglected people can hear His message of love.
Holbrook Indian School is one of several Adventist schools that serve the Native Americans of North America. The teachers encourage students to meet Christ while still maintaining their native identity.
Several students from Holbrook Indian School have chosen to serve a year as Bible workers among their own people. Because they belong to the culture, their families and friends will listen to their testimonies.
This quarter part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help train young people at Holbrook Indian School to reach out to fellow Native American children throughout North America via Vacation Bible School programs.
A NEW SONG
From the time Isabele [ee-sah-BEHL-eh] was little she has loved to sing. She
and her father love opera, a musical performance in which people sing the story
instead of telling it. Mother enjoyed hearing Isabele sing.
The Children’s Choir
Mother was visiting the Adventist church with a friend. One day she told Isabele
that a children’s choir was going to have a special program at the church. “Would
you like to go?” Mother asked. Of course Isabele wanted to go. She loved music.
Isabele enjoyed the children’s choir a lot. And after the program, Mother asked the
woman who directed the choir how Isabele could learn to sing like the children in
the choir. The director said she doesn’t teach private lessons. Then she looked at
Isabele. “How old are you?” the woman asked. When Mother told her Isabele was
five, the choir director said, “You’re old enough to go to school! You should come
to John Nevins Andrews School (JNA), where I teach. You can learn to sing there!”
Isabele’s New School
Mother was looking for a good school for Isabele, and when she heard about
JNA, she decided to visit the school. Mother liked the school and decided to send Isabele there. Imagine how happy Isabele was to learn that the woman who directed the children’s choir would be her teacher! Kindergarten would be fun, especially
Isabele’s New Church
Mother began taking Isabele and her younger brother to Sabbath School at the Adventist church. Isabele loved Sabbath School—especially the singing! She wanted to be early so she wouldn’t miss a thing!
Isabele asked her father to go with her to church, but Father worked on Sabbaths and couldn’t attend church with Mother and the children. And when Mother learned how important it is to have family worship together, Father joined in too. Isabele taught the family several songs she had learned at school, and sometimes she told Bible stories that she had learned, too. Daddy often asked questions about the stories, and Isabele was happy to answer him.
Isabele and her mother and brother prayed for Daddy, and Isabele often invited him to church. But Father explained that he had to work.
Then one day Daddy told the family that he was taking a day off from work so he could go to church with them. Isabele was so happy that she hugged her father tightly. “Did you hear what Daddy said? He’s coming to church with us this week!” Mother gave a big smile.
That night in family worship the children thanked Jesus that Daddy was going to church with them. They prayed that Daddy would give his heart to Jesus. After visiting the church, Daddy asked even more questions during family worship. And Isabele noticed that he was reading his Bible too.
Then one day Father told the family that he wanted to join the Adventist Church. Isabele was so excited and happy. Now the whole family worships God in church together.
The Difference Jesus Makes
“I’m so glad that God led my mother to my new school and to the Adventist Church,” Isabele says. “Now our home is so peaceful and happy. Now we’re praying for my aunts and uncles who live in Brazil. They don’t know what we’ve learned about the Sabbath and that Jesus is coming again. We want to share God’s love with them.”
Isabele has one more thing to say to us today. “If someone you know isn’t a Christian, share God’s love with them. Invite them to church to learn that loving God is a great thing. Invite them to your house and read the Bible with them. Explain to them why it’s great to have God in your life.”
Isabele is right, children. We can make a difference in someone’s life by telling them about Jesus. And we can make a difference by bringing our mission offerings to Sabbath School every week. Let’s make a difference for God this week.
God used many people to lead Isabele’s family to the Adventist Church. Isabele’s love for music encouraged her mother to enroll her in the Adventist school, where her teachers taught her to love and honor the Sabbath. Isabele shared what she was learning with her family, while her mother’s friends encouraged her to explore her growing faith.
We all can be a part of someone’s growing faith by sharing God’s love whenever we have a chance.
Seventh-day Adventist Church
2828 Eureka Way, Redding CA, 96001-0221
530.243.1461 Fax 530.243.2811 email@example.com
“A church that is mission minded will not grow weary or weak.”
“This is the best web site I have ever seen.” Retired Adventist teacher.
Part of the miles of hiking trails at the Lema Ranch headquarters of the McConnell Foundation in Redding. Although the headquarters buildings are not generally open to the public, the trails are. A number of small man-made lakes make the views very attractive.