He didn’t see the shoes



This story is true, but the names of the people have been changed due to sensitivity.


Natasha’s heart just broke when she saw all the children gathering for kid’s camp. For the past several years, thousands of kids all across Belarus have had the opportunity to attend a kid’s camp. A church in Belarus sponsors each camp. The church then starts a Sunday school program so these kids can continue attending church and learning about Jesus. As a result, hundreds of Sunday schools have been started all across Belarus.

The kids who attend these camps are all hearing about Jesus for the very first time in their lives. At camp they do activities, play sports, eat great food, have services, and learn about Jesus. Almost all the children who attend camp give their lives to Jesus. Many, many children have also been filled with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Most of these camps have been paid for and provided by BGMC. Natasha couldn’t believe that boys and girls in America have sacrificed their money so that the kids in Belarus could attend camp and Sunday school. BGMC has also provided the Sunday school materials for the children in Belarus.

It wasn’t that long ago when children would not have been able to attend a camp like this, because there was not the freedom to worship God, like there is today. In fact, when Natasha was a child, it was forbidden to go to church or Sunday school. Christian families had to meet in secret or face prison or death.

Natasha remembered the time she and her brothers and sisters were almost caught having Sunday school and would’ve been taken away from their parents forever. Here is her story.

Several Christian families and their children had gathered for a Sunday school service in the house of one of the Christian families. Because the host family had several children of their own, the house was quite full of children.

The Christian parents wanted their children to know about Jesus and about the Bible. At this time, Christian meetings like this were illegal in Belarus. In fact, if the authorities found out about gatherings like this, the children would be taken away from the parents and put into government-run homes or orphanages. These parents were taking quite a risk meeting like this, but they wanted their children to know and love the God that they did—Jesus.

Because of the danger, all the children were instructed where in the house they were to run and hide if the authorities came to the door.

There were many children gathered that day, including Natasha and her brothers and sisters. The adults stood guard at the windows in case the authorities came.

Suddenly, a police car pulled up. The officers got out of the car and walked up to the house. All of the children quickly ran to their hiding places and remained very, very quiet. They couldn’t make a sound or they would be caught.

The officer knocked on the door and asked to be let into the house. When the representative of the authorities came in, he only saw the children of the family that lived there sitting at the desk doing their homework for school.

He said, "I was told that you were having a forbidden meeting for children here, but I don't see any children except for your children. I'm sorry. There must have been a mistake." So they left.

The interesting thing was that God closed the eyes of the officers because they didn't notice the pile of children's shoes sitting on the floor by the door. It is the custom in Belarus that when someone comes into your house, they leave their shoes by the front door. This is to be polite and not track dirt on your floors. There were more shoes there than what the children living in this house could ever possibly wear. The children attending Sunday school were all given hiding spots, but no one thought about hiding their shoes. God blinded the eyes (or the shoes) so that the authorities did not see the shoes of all the children. God kept the children and the house parents from getting into trouble.

Natasha and her family remained safe. Natasha never forgot those Bible stories and grew to love Jesus more and more. God protected Natasha and her family because He had a plan for them. Today, Natasha is in charge of some of the Sunday schools in Belarus and she helps with the camping program that was started by Missionaries Martin and Joyce Huff.

God had a plan for Natasha’s life, and God has a plan for your life. Seek Him, and He’ll direct your paths.


This story was provided by Martin and Joyce Huff, missionaries to Belarus.



From: http://4kids.ag.org/