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Tini is from Ashhurst, New Zealand.

There was once a little girl called Sara. She had a dad and a mom. She had also a grandpa and a grandma—they were called Opa and Oma. When Sara was a baby, she was a very happy little girl. She jumped up and down on Dad and Mum’s bed, and on Opa and Oma’s couch. When she became older and could walk, she ran up and down the living room and screamed loudly out of sheer happiness. Dad and Mum and Opa and Oma loved her very much. She brought her toy animals to Opa who put them in a long parade. Oma cooked nice rice and chicken on Sundays, with apple sauce prepared in advance.

Sara really had a happy life. Now one day Mum told her that in a while they would have a new baby—a brother or a sister for Sara. Babies grow in mommies’ tummies. Sara’s mom showed that she was going to have a baby. Sometimes you could see the baby move inside Mum’s tummy. Then a shadow fell over Sara’s happy family.

Dad and Mum were told that the baby inside Mum had something wrong with its little chest that could cause it to die when it was born. But Sara’s mom and dad and Opa and Oma trusted in the Lord. They spent much time praying for the little unborn baby which they loved already even though they had not yet seen it. Everything seemed to be alright. Mum was in good health and very brave; she knew that something might happen to her baby.

Then three weeks before the baby was born, Mum had to go to the hospital far away. It was sad for Mum that she had to be so far away from Dad. And, oh, how she missed Sara. While Mum was in the hospital, Sara stayed with Opa and Oma who look after her. Sara was pleased to see Dad every day as his office was close to Opa and Oma’s house.

Sara was still happy—playing games with Opa as she was swinging in the swing. She loved her German shepherd dog that was also staying at Opa and Oma’s. Yes, Sara and Bruna had lots of fun together. Sara threw pine cones into the air and Bruna jumped high to catch them. It looked as if the two were performing in a circus.

Every night, before Sara went to bed, Oma sang an old Dutch song for her, that Sara loved. Although Sara was happy, she missed Mum very much.

In January the baby was born. A beautiful little eight pound baby girl called Joella. She was immediately taken care of by a staff of doctors and nurses. She was put into an incubator, a cradle which is kept at the right temperature. She had wires and tubes connected to her arms and legs. Dad and Mum could only touch her with one hand. They were not yet allowed to nurse or cuddle sweet little Joella.

The baby responded so well to all the care that she could be operated on after six days. After that she had even more tubes and wires, plus a big scar on her tiny chest. Mum was constantly by her side, touching her and singing songs to her.

When Joella was a bit better, Dad and Sara drove to the hospital, and for the first time Sara saw her baby sister.

The Lord, who is a helper in time of need, helped Joella to recover at an amazing speed. Many friends of Dad and Mum and Opa and Oma prayed for Joella. After 5½ weeks she was allowed to go home with Mum.

Mum came to Opa and Oma’s to pick up Sara. Mum, who in the past had so delightfully entertained Sara with books and games, was now very busy with Joella. Sara thought: “Why does Mum spend so much time with Joella? I get three meals a day, but look at the baby, who gets fed ever hour and a half. Not much room for me on Mum’s lap any more”…

But Sara learned that Joella was so tired after her operation that she could only drink for a short time and then she had to sleep again. Still, sometimes Sara was a little sad. But she had to become used to having to share Mum with Joella.

When she saw Oma, she was worried that she might have to stay with Oma again, as Mum was too busy. But Sara found out that it was fun to have a baby sister. Joella started to made big smiles at Sara; she was pleased to see her.

Sara became happy again as she understood that she had not lost Mum at all. Mum loved her just as much as before.

Mum and Sara and Joella loved to walk. Sara had strong legs. Joella was happy riding in the backpack, looking down on the world from high up. Sara started to understand the Bible a little. She knew that the Lord God made her and Joella. Also their horse, Sultan; Buffel and Bill, the two little calves in the paddock; Bruna, the dog; the chickens: Pippie, Henny, Magpie and Pickering; and the two guinea pigs: Oxalis and Tinus.

Sara stayed for a day with Oma. What a busy day that was! Together, Sara and Oma baked biscuits. Sara was a great help. She helped Oma fill the sugar bowl and watched the scales which showed how much flour, butter and sugar went into the mixture. When the biscuits were golden brown, she took a full container home for Mum and Dad.

Sara started to understand that the Lord Jesus, who is the Son of God, listens to our prayers. He even forgives our sins when we tell Him we are sorry. When we do something that is wrong, it is called sin. Boys and girls sin when they are naughty. Grownups sin sometimes, too, and the Lord forgives them if they are sorry for these sins, just like boys and girls.

Sara is now a big girl. She is two and a half years old. She loves food, and so does Joella. Mum spends lots of time preparing meals for them. Dad spends lots of time working hard to earn money so that Mum can buy the food.

Sara is learning that even though Dad and Mum work so hard for her and Joella, it is the good Lord who provides for them. That is why we have to thank Him for food and clothes and a house to live in. Oh, how good it is, to know that He cares about us.

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

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