Chipo is 10 years old and lives in southern Zambia. Her parents didn’t practice any faith, but when her neighbors invited her to attend church with them, she went. She loved learning about God and went to church whenever she could.
But Chipo’s father became angry when he learned that Chipo was attending the Adventist church. “Stay away from that church,” he warned her, “Or I will punish you. But Chipo loved Jesus and wanted to worship Him. So when her father wasn’t home, she would go to church. Her father found out and punished her harshly. But her father’s punishment didn’t keep Chipo from attending church and learning more about Jesus, who loves her. Almost every week her father would punish her.
“Why do you keep going to church when Father punishes you?” Chipo’s sister asked.
“God loves me, and I want to be His child,” Chipo explained. The next Sabbath Chipo’s sister went to church with her. When Father discovered the girls had gone to church, he followed them and chased them home and punished them. Chipo’s sister was afraid to attend church when Father was home, but Chipo went.
Chipo’s mother asked Chipo why she continued going to church when her father punished her. “I’ve learned that Jesus loves me, and I love Jesus!” she added. The next week Mother went to church with Chipo. She wanted to see for herself what was so special. The pastor’s sermon seemed to be just for her, and Mother decided to attend church again. When Father returned home, Mother told him what she had heard. She told him that she wanted to attend church again and invited Father to go with her. Father refused, but he allowed Mother and the girls to go. Chipo began praying that God would help Father want to join the family at church.
A few weeks later Mother again invited Father to go to church, and he went, though he didn’t seem happy. But after church Father apologized to Chipo and said he would attend church with the family. A few months later, Chipo’s parents were baptized. Now instead of chasing her from the church, he walks to church with her.
“God helped me to be faithful, even when Father punished me,” Chipo said. “God helped me bring my whole family to Jesus.”
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Chipo is growing up in Jesus in Zambia, Africa.