An Eternal Gift
Tragedy struck young Vishalini’s life when her parents divorced over a misunderstanding in the extended family. Vishalini sadly said good-bye to Mother after Father gained custody of her. Before long, Father remarried, and Vishalini had a stepmother. Vishalini felt so alone.
Her new stepmother did not like Mother at all.
Vishalini deeply loved Mother, and she looked forward to her occasional visits. The girl would smile and give Mother a big hug. Mother also smiled and gave Vishalini a big hug. Mother often had something else for the girl as well. She brought gifts. “Here is something for you,” Mother would say, pressing tasty treats into her little hand.
Vishalini smiled happily. She liked gifts and she liked tasty treats. But before she could eat them, her stepmother often snatched them away. “You are not allowed to accept any of her gifts,” her stepmother said, sharply.
Vishalini felt so alone. She grew up into a teenager, and Father sent her away to study at a boarding school in another part of Tamil Nadu state. It was scary to leave home for the first time, but Vishalini was glad to be away from family tensions and to be among friendly children and teachers. As the weeks passed, she became especially interested in hearing about Someone whom the children called “the real God.” She wanted to know more, and she began to learn about Jesus.
Today, Vishalini calls Jesus her Friend and says she will never feel alone again. Why? Because Jesus has promised, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20; NKJV). Vishalini has one Gift that no one can ever take away.
Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering that helped construct a new girls’ dormitory at Vishalini’s school, James Memorial Higher Secondary School, in Tamil Nadu state in southeastern India. The new dormitory allowed Vishalini and the other girls to move out of a dilapidated building that no longer was a healthy place to live.
This mission story illustrates the following components of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s “I Will Go” strategic plan: Mission Objective No. 2, “To strengthen and diversify Adventist outreach in large cities, across the 10/40 Window, among unreached and under-reached people groups, and to non-Christian religions”; Mission Objective No. 3, “To make developing resources for mission to non-Christian religions and belief systems a high priority”; and Spiritual Growth Objective No. 7, “To help youth and young adults place God first and exemplify a biblical worldview.” Read more: IWillGo2020[dot]org.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org