From infancy, Joelito’s mother taught him to love and serve Jesus.
When she led small-group meetings, Joelito watched her and learned from her. When he was 8 years old, he asked to be baptized and to lead others to Jesus.
When Joelito was 10, the government of Peru passed a law requiring children to attend school on Sabbath. His teacher allowed him to skip classes and make up work on Mondays. But when the time came for national exams, the teacher couldn’t help him. “If you don’t take the exam,” she said sadly, “you’ll fail.” Joelito prayed that God would intervene, and in faith he spent the Sabbath worshipping God.
On Monday Joelito learned that the exam hadn’t been given on Saturday because the classroom key had been lost. Joel thanked God for making it possible for him to keep the Sabbath and still take the exam.
Joelito told his friends how God had answered his prayers. He invited them to church and offered to study the Bible with them, just as he had learned from his mother. When the church held children’s programs, Joelito invited his friends to attend. If they couldn’t attend, he offered to visit their homes and study the children’s Bible course with them. The mother of one of the children asked Joelito to study the Bible with her. “I wasn’t nervous,” Joelito says. “I had watched my mother give many Bible studies.”
Joelito’s church is small, and everyone takes part. When Joelito was 12, he began taking turns preaching and working as the stewardship leader.
During the summer vacation young people from throughout the country take part in a program called Mission Caleb. They go to a specific town to do community service, visit door to door, and give Bible studies. Joelito wanted to go, but he was told that he was too young. So he stayed home and helped a group of Mission Caleb volunteers that had come to his town to do similar work.
Joelito continues to work hand in hand with God visiting people, giving them Bible studies, and working in the church. “I don’t go with my mom to give Bible studies anymore,” he says. “I’m too busy giving my own Bible studies.” Joelito preaches in his church once a month, and he loves it.
Part of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering recently helped to build a small church in Joelito’s town. Thank you for sharing so that others can hear God’s message of love.
Joelito Tapia, 15, shares his faith in Trujillo, Peru.