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“Olivia, guess what!” Jessie ran to her friend on the school playground. “I can come to your birthday party on Saturday. Mom just bought me a new pink sweater to wear, too!”
“Yay! I can wear my purple sweater. We’ll play games and eat cake and ice cream. I can’t wait!” Olivia squealed.
When Saturday morning arrived, Jessie heard rain pounding on the roof of her house. She ran to the window and saw the wind whipping the tree branches and blowing the rain sideways.
“Wow! I hope it clears up before Olivia’s party,” Jessie thought as she went downstairs for breakfast.
“Good morning, Jessie,” her parents greeted her.
“Good morning—I think,” Jessie replied, glancing out at the stormy sky. “Hey, Mom, will you help me wrap Olivia’s birthday present? I think she’ll really like the art set!”
Just then the phone rang and her mother answered it.
“Yes, she’s here, just a minute,” said Jessie’s mom. She handed the phone to Jessie. “It’s Olivia.”
“Hi, Olivia,” said Jessie.
“Hi, Jessie. I won’t be able to have my party today,” Olivia said sadly.
“Really? How come?”
Jessie’s friend explained what happened at her house earlier that morning. “We live right by the river, and the water came up into our basement because of all the rain.”
“That’s terrible!” Jessie said. “Did your stuff stay dry?”
“No! All my toys in the basement got wet. Some of them are even muddy and gross. Mom says I’ll have to throw away my favorite doll I just got for Christmas.”
“Oh no! She’s so beautiful,” Jessie said sadly.
“Well, she’s not beautiful anymore. There’s icky river goop all over her dress, and her hair is mucky and tangled,” Olivia sniffled. “I gotta go now, Jessie. Bye.”
Jessie hung up the phone and sighed. She told her parents what happened. “Olivia sounded so sad. I wish there was something I could do.”
The next day was Sunday, and Jessie listened to her teacher at church tell about King Josiah and how he decided at a young age to obey God then went on to do many good things.
“So remember, class,” said the teacher, “you don’t have to wait until you’re older to obey God and show his love to others. He can use you now.”
On Monday morning, Jessie was still thinking about King Josiah and wondering how God could use her to help her friend. Then her teacher, Mrs. Bentley, told the class that Olivia wouldn’t be back to school for a day or two.
“Mrs. Bentley,” Jessie said. “Olivia was so excited to have a birthday party with all her new friends from school, but then her basement flooded. Some of her things got wet, and her favorite new doll was ruined. I feel so bad for her. I wish there was something I could do.”
“Well, does anyone have a suggestion how we could all help Olivia?” asked the teacher.
“I know,” said Justin. “How about if we give her a party to make up for the one she was supposed to have?”
“That’s a great idea, Justin!” said Jessie.
“Yeah!” the class shouted.
“It sounds good to me,” said Mrs. Bentley. “But you’ll all have to help.”
The class worked together to make party plans. Jessie tried to think of things Olivia liked.
“We should have balloons and streamers. Oh—and cake and ice cream.” “I know some games we can play,” said Michael.
“I can play the birthday song on the piano,” Alyssa volunteered.
“What about presents?” asked Justin.
“We still have the presents we were going to give her on Saturday,” said Maria.
“That’s right! Bring those,” Mrs. Bentley directed. “Tomorrow is party day!”
Jessie was so excited. After school she told her mom all they had done for Olivia’s party.
“That’s great!” Mom replied. “I’m sure it’ll mean a lot to Olivia.”
“May I wear my new pink sweater?” asked Jessie.
“It’s too small, remember? Go get it so we can take it back for a bigger one.”
Jessie ran to her room to get the sweater then noticed the birthday gift for Olivia lying on her dresser, still unwrapped. Suddenly Jessie had an idea. She grabbed the gift and the sweater and raced downstairs to get in the car.
“Mom,” she said as they drove to the store. “If I don’t get another sweater, would we get back the money you paid?”
“And,” Jessie continued, “what if I take back this art set I was going to give to Olivia? Would I get the money back for that too?”
“Yes, Jessie. But what would you do with all the money?” Mom asked.
“I’d use it to buy a new doll for Olivia!” Jessie exclaimed.
Mom smiled. “I think that’s a brilliant idea!”
The next day at school, the class buzzed with excitement. The balloons and streamers were hung, and the presents were stacked neatly by the cake. The whole class waited breathlessly for Olivia to come in. Finally, the door opened.
“Surprise! Happy Birthday!” everyone shouted, startling Olivia.
Jessie hugged Olivia and handed her a large, wrapped gift. She tore off the purple paper and saw a brand-new doll staring up at her. Olivia smiled happily.
“This is amazing! I can’t believe you all did so much for me!” she exclaimed. “Thank you, everyone!”
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.