Seven small boys caught Abigalle Nyatich’s attention as she waited in line for lunch after the Sabbath sermon.
The shy 14-year-old girl had never seen the boys before.
The oldest boy looked to be about 8 years old, and the youngest was around 4. Some boys wore shorts, and others wore trousers. No matter what they wore, their clothes were dirty.
“What kind of parent would allow their child to come to church in dirty clothes?” Abigalle wondered.
She decided to keep an eye on the boys. She wanted to help them. But how?
As she watched curiously, the boys reached the front of the line in the Kindergarten Sabbath School classroom, a simple wooden building with a dirt floor in Kisumu, Kenya. Five adult women piled the boys’ plates with rice, brown beans, chapati flatbread, and cabbage salad.
The boys sat together to eat in a grassy field outside the Sabbath School classroom. They didn’t talk with anyone. After eating, they left.
The next Sabbath, the seven boys came too lunch again. This time, however, they sat with the other children and made friends.
“What is this church?” one boy asked.
“Victory Seventh-day Adventist Church,” a boy responded.
“What time do you come to church in the morning?”
After eating, the visitors stayed to watch a special march of Pathfinders and Adventurers on the grassy field. A teacher invited them to join the march. The boys were shy and shook their heads. But when the teacher insisted, the boys smiled happily and joined the last 30 minutes of the march. Then the boys left.
Abigalle watched the boys all afternoon. She couldn’t understand their dirty clothes. She wanted to help them. But how?
The next Sabbath, the seven boys showed up in time for Sabbath School and went to the Primary class. They listened to the sermon and ate lunch. Afterward, they participated in the Adventurers Club.
Abigalle knew how she could help the boys. She told the Sabbath School teacher about how the boys had come to church in dirty clothes for three Sabbaths.
“Maybe they need some help,” she said. “Could we raise some money to help them?”
Teacher thought that was a good idea and went over to the boys. She asked about their homes. The boys said they lived near the church but their parents hadn’t wanted them to attend. So they had snuck out of their homes to come to church for lunch the first two Sabbaths. On this, the third Sabbath, their parents had allowed them to come.
Teacher also learned that the boys’ parents didn’t have much money. So, she organized a fundraising drive to obtain Adventurers’ uniforms for the boys. Some church members contributed money for blue and white cloth, and other sewed the cloth into uniforms. The boys were thrilled to receive the new clothes!
Abigalle was happy that the boys had new Adventurers’ uniforms. She also was glad to see the boys enjoying new friendships and learning about Jesus at church.
Seven months have passed, and the boys are still coming to church every Sabbath. They no longer show up in dirty clothes. Their Adventurers’ uniforms are always clean and neat. When the boys wear other clothes to church, those clothes are also clean and neat.
To this day, the seven boys don’t know that Abigalle helped them get the Adventurers’ uniforms. They don’t even know that she exists. The boys and Abigalle have never spoken to each other.
But Abigalle doesn’t want them to know what she did. In fact, no one knows about her kindness except Teacher — and now you.
“I don’t know why I wanted to help them,” Abigalle said. “I just had this desire in my heart.”
But she loves those seven boys.
“I hope and pray almost every day that they will bring their friends and parents to church and that they also will be baptized one day,” she said.