Monthly Archives: June 2012

Danger in Dhaka-Finale

Our teacher told us the rest of Sanjoy’s story this morning!  I loved finding out what Sanjoy discovered at the end!

 “I told you Dhaka doesn’t have room for Christians.  What do I have to do to convince you?”

            Sanjoy said nothing.

            “I see you’re alone.”

            Kamrul knocked a pile of brightly colored shirts onto the dirt floor.  Then he knocked over the pants.

            As he turned to leave, he scooped up a pile of pants that had fallen on Sanjoy’s mat.  “Thanks for the new pants.”  Then, he was gone.

            Sanjoy hung his head and tried to pray.  Why was all this happening?  Why would God let Kamrul behave like this?  He searched for his Bible under the piles of clothes, but it was gone.

            When his father returned, Sanjoy told him about Kamrul’s visit, the mess, and his missing Bible.  His father cleaned up the scattered clothes, then carried Sanjoy home.

            That night, Sanjoy lay on his mat and tried to pray.  He didn’t understand why some people hated Christians so much.  His family had only been kind to their neighbors.

            He didn’t hear another sound until his father whispered to him in the middle of the night.

            “Sanjoy, get up.  Kamrul is here to see you.”

            Kamrul?  Here?  In the middle of the night?  Sanjoy pushed himself up on the mat.  His father pointed Kamrul to the mat beside Sanjoy.

            “I’ll be just outside if you need anything,” his father said, warning Kamrul with a stare.

            Kamrul held out a Bible in his hands.

            “I found this rolled up in the pile of pants I stole.  I’ve been reading it ever since I got home.  It’s what my mother has told me all along, that Jesus is the Savior.”

            “Your mother taught you about Jesus?”

            Kamrul nodded.  “She has taught me about Jesus for many years.  My father forbade her to speak of Jesus in our home.  The first time she defied him, I told him what she had done.  He was so mean to her, but she kept telling me about Jesus.  But I never told on her again.  Why do you keep telling people about Jesus when it causes so much trouble?”

            Sanjoy tried to think of something to say.  But the memories of what Kamrul had done held his mouth shut.

            Kamrul hung his head.  “I don’t blame you for not wanting to talk to me.  I wouldn’t either.”

            He turned and picked his lantern.

            “Wait!” Sanjoy said.  The lantern.  Something suddenly made sense.  “You carried a lantern with you tonight.”

            “I had to see where I was going.”

            “I just remembered something I read in my Bible today.  Jesus is light.  He shows us where to go, just like your lantern.  He told His followers they were like lamps that gave light to everyone.  But not everyone wants light.”

            “What do you mean?  Why would anyone want darkness?”

            “Because they’re used to it, and the light hurts their eyes.  When my father woke me and told me you were here, I didn’t want to open my eyes.  They were used to the dark from sleeping.  The light hurt.  Sometimes people hide their eyes from light, just like they try to keep their lives from God.”

            “Is that why you won’t stop telling people about Jesus?”

            “Right.  It’s the light’s job to keep shining.  Then the choice is up to you.”

            “Could I keep your Bible for a few days?”

            Sanjoy smiled.  “Sure!  We could even read it together.  I won’t be going too far for a few weeks.”

            Kamrul said, “I’m sorry I broke your leg.  I was just trying to scare you.  But I think now I’m glad it worked out this way.  I think I’ll be back soon with a lot more questions.”

            “And I’m sorry I stayed angry with you for so long.”

            Sanjoy watched Kamrul slip back out into the night, holding his lantern in front of him.  He prayed Kamrul would soon discover the true light that never went out.

How do you think you would feel if you were Sanjoy?  Would you want to talk to Kamrul and help him?  What do you think about what Sanjoy said, that it’s the light’s job to keep shining?

“Dear God, please help everyone who loves You to share the joy and love You give.  Please help me to forgive people who hurt me.  I know that without Your help, I’ll never be able to do it!  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

If you would like a printable version of today’s story, please click here: Danger in Dhaka-Part Three

Happy Father’s Day

Our teacher told us another part of Sanjoy’s story today.  I thought I’d let you know what was happening to him.

Danger in Dhaka-Part Two

             An hour passed.  Then another.  The winter fog settled in for the night, cloaking the end of the alley in mist.  He could not see a single soul.  And they could not see him.  He closed his eyes and prayed.  Had he done the right thing, telling Kamrul he would not stop telling people about Jesus?  He closed his eyes.

            The next thing he heard was a panicked shout.

            “Sanjoy!  Sanjoy!  Are you all right?”           

            “Mukta!  Get your brother.  Get Faruk.”

            Minutes later, Faruk ran down the alley and dropped to one knee beside him.

            “What happened?”

            “Kamrul found me.  My leg is broken.  My ribs hurt.”

            Faruk gently pulled the bicycle away from Sanjoy.  He and Mukta each wrapped one of his arms around them and pulled him up.

            Sanjoy winced as his broken leg fought being moved.

            “Mukta, don’t forget the sack of blankets.”

            “Blankets?”

            “My surprise.  There’s enough for both of you, plus a few more.”

            Faruk led them through the alleys and streets.  The never-ending sea of people slowed their progress.  Most didn’t seem to notice Sanjoy or his pain.

            Finally, they reached his father’s clothing stand at the busy market.

            As Faruk and Mukta explained what had happened, they laid Sanjoy on a mat in the back of the shop.  Then, they left with their blankets, promising to check on him soon.

            “Father, what I have done?” Sanjoy asked.  I needed my bicycle to tell people about Jesus, and it’s ruined.  Maybe I shouldn’t even bother telling anyone about Jesus.  No one seems to care.”

            “God told us some people wouldn’t care when we tell them.  But since we can’t know who will listen and who won’t, we have to tell everyone.  God is the only One who knows what choice they will make.”

            The next two weeks passed slowly.  Only Faruk and Mukta’s visits broke up his boredom.   And  his leg still hurt.  It hurt worse when he remembered how Kamrul had acted.  Sanjoy knew he was supposed to forgive him, but he didn’t want to.

            The next day, Sanjoy’s father carried him to the market.  He watched the shop while his father went to a meeting of the church leaders.  Sanjoy enjoyed talking to the customers, especially when they asked questions about Jesus.  And in between customers, he read his Bible. 

            He looked up when he heard another customer enter.  But it wasn’t a customer.  It was Kamrul.

What do you think?  Did Sanjoy do the right thing by telling people about Jesus, even though he got hurt?  Is his father right when he says it is our job to tell people about Jesus’ love, and it is their job to respond?  What do you think Kamrul will do?

“Dear God, please help us do the right thing, no matter what.  Help us be strong and trust You, even when it hurts.  You did what You knew was right when You suffered and died to save us.  Help us tell others, so they can live with You and be forgiven.  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

If you would like a printable version of today’s story, click here: Danger in Dhaka-Part Two

Danger in Dhaka

It’s time to take another trip!  Only, this time we’re not going to Nepal.  This time, we’re going to explore the country of Bangladesh through a story about what life is like there for some of the people.  See if you can find Bangladesh on a map, and find the capital city of Dhaka.  Then, get ready to go on a trip with me and my Sunday School class as our teacher tells us the story Danger in Dhaka.

Danger in Dhaka-Part One

             Sanjoy shifted the sack of blankets on his back and pedaled his bicycle through the alley.  He knew he shouldn’t be out after dark, but he couldn’t wait to tell his friend Faruk the news.  Even though they were so far away, a church in America had sent a crate of blankets all the way to his church in Bangladesh.  Now Faruk and his sister could stay warm tonight.  Ever since they became Christians, their family would not let them come home.  They lived on the streets and slept at the bus station in Dhaka.

            All of sudden, his bicycle slammed against something.  He lurched forward.  The handlebars dug into his ribs.  The sack of blankets yanked him to the ground.  The bicycle crashed onto his leg.

            He tried to sit up.  Pain shot through his ribs.

            “Have an accident?”

            Sanjoy looked up and saw what had caused his crash—a rope pulled tight across the alley.  And he saw Kamrul with a broken board in his hand.  He prayed quietly, “God, please help me.”

            “I told you this would happen if you kept riding that bicycle and telling people about Jesus.”

            Sanjoy closed his eyes and waited.

            Kamrul brought the board down on the back wheel.  The thud sent a shiver down Sanjoy’s back.  Another thud, another shiver.  Another thud—

            “Stop!”

            “Will you stop telling people about Jesus?”

            Sanjoy shook his head.

            Kamrul brought the board down again.  The bicycle jammed his leg into the ground.  Sanjoy felt something in his leg snap.  His stomach rolled and threatened to come up to his throat.

            “That should keep you home for a while!” He tossed the board to the side and ran out of the alley.

            Sanjoy shivered.  He needed a blanket from his bag, but he could not move.  He leaned his face into the dirt and fixed his eyes on the end of the alley.  He needed help.  He needed someone to find him, someone who would help.

What do you think will happen to Sanjoy?  Will anyone find him and help him?  Is he really alone in the alley?

“Dear God, please help all the kids, like Sanjoy, who are being hurt and bullied because they love You.  Please help them not to give up.  And, please help all those who are doing the hurting and bullying, in Bangladesh and everywhere else, to hear about You and understand how much Jesus loves them.  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

If you would like a printable version of today’s story, click here: Danger in Dhaka-Part One

Mt. Everest, Life, and Other Tough Climbs

Today in Sunday School, we learned about another group of people who live in Nepal called the Sherpa.  The Sherpa people are known for being kind, friendly, and welcoming of strangers.  They are also known for helping people climb Mt. Everest.  They cook for many of the mountain climbers, help guide them up the dangerous mountain, and carry much of the mountain climbers’ supplies.

Let’s imagine we are taking a trip up to the top of Mt. Everest.  What sorts of dangers do we run into?  Make a list of what you can think of.

Here’s what I wrote down: 1) it can get awfully dark up on the mountain at night  2) we can slip and fall  3) we can get very tired  4) we need someplace safe to make camp  5) we can get into dangerous places where we have to help each other  6) we have to trust each other because sometimes things don’t make sense and it feels like we are going the wrong way.

And you know what I realized?  God helps us in all those ways.  It’s true!  Take a look at these verses and you’ll see what I mean.  If you don’t have a Bible handy, check out www.biblegateway.com.  God helps us …

1) When things look dark and hopeless

Psalm 119:105

2) When we feel like we’re slipping and falling

Psalm 94:18

3) When we’re tired and discouraged

Psalm 73:26

4) When we need someplace safe to rest

Psalm 31:3, 20

5) When we admit we need God’s help

Psalm 25:9

6) When life doesn’t make sense or seems unfair and we have questions for God

Psalm 73

I think if God helps us in all those ways, He wants us to help others in the same way.  We can all be like the Sherpa guides and help people overcome whatever challenges they face.  And, we start by asking God for His help and accepting His help.  Then, we can ask Him how to help other people who need help.  I’m going to go back through that list I made and write down ways I can help other people the way God has helped me.  Give it a try and let me know what ideas you come up with!

 

“Dear God, please help the Sherpa people of Nepal.  Just like they help so many people, please help them understand how much You want to help them and guide them.  Help them understand that Jesus died to save them, so they can overcome every obstacle that comes their way, even death, just like Jesus did when He came back to life.  Thank You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

 

If you’d like a copy of this post you can print, click here: Mt. Everest, Life, and Other Tough Climbs