Mission in the Park—Part 3

By Debbonnaire Kovacs

Kenya Jayne Washington leaned forward in her seat in Sabbath School class.

“So you see, even though God had given lots of gifts to all the people in the early church, He hadn’t given the same gifts to everyone,” Ms. Kimoto said. “And when they didn’t plan ahead and organize their different gifts, confusion was the result.”

Kenya’s eyes opened wide. “That’s what happened to us!” she exclaimed. Then she put her hand over her mouth. “I’m sorry, Ms. Kimoto. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“That’s all right, Kenya. What do you mean, that happened to you?”

The others were all nodding excitedly. “We tried to have a program in the park. But it was just a mess.”

“We found out some of us were doing the same thing,” Susannah added.

“Other things didn’t get done at all,” Solly said.

They told their teacher the story of their failed plan.

“What will you do differently now?” Ms. Kimoto asked them.

“Well, for one thing, we prayed!” Mike said decidedly. “We knew we should have done that at the beginning.”

“Good! Then, you have a new beginning.”

They brightened. “We do, don’t we?”

“Let’s make a list on the board,” Kenya suggested. “I mean—do we have time, Ms. Kimoto?”

“Absolutely. Who would like to be our scribe?”

Susannah volunteered. She wrote PRAYER in large letters at the top of the board. “I think we should keep doing that,” she pointed out with a grin.

They all looked at each other. What next?

Kenya took over. “First, let’s write what we had planned already.”

As the others listed things, Susannah wrote them.

Mike—play recorder solo.

Solly—Lord’s Prayer in two languages.

“What about English too?” Ms. Kimoto suggested. “So people know what you are saying.”

“OK,” Solly nodded.

Susannah changed “two” to “three.”

Kenya bounced in her seat. “Let’s work on a puppet show together, Susannah. Maybe we can figure out how to use all the puppets we’ve made so far. I think you should write it.”

Susannah—write puppet skit.

Susannah and Kenya—do puppet show.

Matt—build puppet stage.

“Only I don’t want to do it all by myself,” Matt objected.

“We’ll help,” Kenya promised. “My brother, Morgan, will help too, if you want. He’s really good at building things. And another thing. I don’t think we should try to do this in one week! Let’s set a date.”

“OK.” Susannah turned from the board. “I had another idea too. I was going to write a poem and read it, only I didn’t get time to. If we do it a few weeks from now, I could do that.”

“That would be great!”

Susannah—write poem.

Mike added, “I thought we were going to sing some songs. We should practice, if we want to do that.”

They decided they did, and set a time to practice every Sabbath afternoon.

Susannah wrote that down too.

“Then we have to pick songs,” Kenya said. “Mike, do you want to pick them and be in charge of the choir?”


“Sure. You’re our musician.”

Mike grinned happily. “OK, I guess that would be fun.”

Kenya ran her eye down the list. “Let’s see. Recorder solo, puppet show, songs, prayers, poem—anything else?”

“Well,” Mike began hesitantly, “I kind of had an idea, but it’s sort of weird.”

“No such thing!” Kenya told him. “Let’s hear it.”

“I was thinking that I didn’t have any real gifts . . .”

“You do too!” his friends chorused.

“Well, music, maybe, sort of. Anyway, I thought about how much I know about flowers. And you won’t believe it, but at night, in bed, ideas have begun to come, about how we’re like flowers in God’s garden. Like, God’s love has to shine on us to make us grow, and sometimes we need pruned, and stuff. Is that dumb?”

The others looked at him in amazement. “That’s so cool!”

Susannah turned to the board.


The others laughed, and Mike protested when they told him what she’d written, but they voted him down. “Mike—sermon” stayed on the board.

“Everybody has to be sure to tell their parents this time,” Kenya instructed. “And what about that park board, or whatever it was?”

Everybody looked at everybody else.

Ms. Kimoto smiled. “Looks like it’s your job, Kenya. You’re the one with leadership skills.”


“Sure. One thing every project needs is a chief, and once you’ve prayed and begun to plan, it usually becomes obvious who that person should be.”

Everybody talked at once, agreeing.

Kenya was amazed. “My brother and sister just say I’m bossy!”

“Well, you’re our boss now, ma’am,” Solly said, saluting.

“Don’t worry—if we think you’re too bossy, we’ll let you know,” Susannah promised with a laugh.

Kenya laughed too. “I believe that! OK, crew, here’s my first order.”

They waited.

“Pray every single day for this project!”

“Aye, aye, ma’am!” They all saluted, even Ms. Kimoto.

When Ms. Kimoto dismissed the class, she prayed for their project in her closing prayer. “And dear Jesus, I’m so proud of these kids! I know You are too. They are learning to use the gifts You gave them to serve You and others. Amen.”

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