The ushers noticed the little boy right away, for 8-year-old boys seldom attend evangelistic meetings without their parents. But Marius came faithfully to the church’s evangelistic series. And whenever the ushers gave out papers or collected the offering, he always offered to help.
One usher, who had noticed Marius, stopped and asked him, “Do you come to the meetings every night by yourself?”
“Yes, sir,” Marius answered politely.
“Do your parents know that you’re here?” the usher gently asked the boy.
Marius hung his head and spoke barely above a whisper. “My mother left us. My sister and I live with our father.”
“I have an idea, Marius,” the usher replied. “Why don’t you invite your father to come to the meetings with you?”
Marius looked at the usher and said, “I asked him to come, but he doesn’t want to.” Then Marius held out his quiz sheet. “Would you please sign this so I can get the Bible? I want it for my father. I hope that he will read it and stop drinking. Then maybe my mother will come back home.”
The usher learned that Marius had seen a poster advertising the meetings. Then when his family received an invitation to attend, Marius decided to go. He was looking for hope and happiness, and he wanted to learn something that might help his father stop drinking.
The speaker had challenged the people to attend at least 12 meetings and fill out the quiz sheet every evening so they could receive a free Bible. Marius attended every night and listened carefully to the speaker’s message. Then he faithfully filled out his quiz sheet and brought it back the next night.
On the twelfth evening of the meetings the ushers waited for Marius to come. They knew he had earned his free Bible, and they were eager to see him receive it. When Marius and his sister entered the meeting hall, Marius could hardly contain his excitement. Two other people were with him. Marius smiled as he introduced his father and grandfather to his new friends, the ushers.
Marius showed his family to their seats and turned in his quiz form to receive his Bible, but the evening’s excitement had taken its toll on him. During the sermon he fell asleep on his father’s lap.
When he awoke, the meeting was over. Marius was disappointed that he had missed the message, but on the way home his father told him that he liked the program and wanted to attend the rest of the meetings.
Can you imagine how happy Marius was to hear those words? But that wasn’t the only good news he received. When the meetings ended, his father enrolled in the Bible class that the church was holding.
Before Marius attended the first meeting, he didn’t know how to pray. He only knew that he wanted his father to stop drinking and his mother to come home again. But Jesus knew that the wish in his heart was really a prayer, the kind of prayer Jesus loves to answer.
Please pray for Marius and his family as their friendship with Jesus becomes stronger.
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