Margarida F. Sarli works at the Ministerial Association as researcher and assistant at Shepherdess International.

1 The Bible in the pillow

Lesson: "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart." Jeremiah 15:16.

The Judsons' were sitting down to supper the evening of June 8, 1824, when Burmese soldiers walked into their home and arrested them. Adoniram Judson persuaded them to release his wife, Ann, but he was bound with rope and dragged through the streets of Ava to the filthy prison.

Meanwhile, Ann ran about the house destroying letters and papers that might be used against her husband. The Judsons' most precious possession was the translation of the Bible into Burmese that Adoniram had been working on for more than ten years. Somehow she must save it. Wrapping it carefully, she buried it in the corner of the garden.

Soon afterward the soldiers came back to search the house, but they did not find the translation of the Bible. As soon as possible Ann dug it up and sewed it into a hard pillow. This she took to the prison.

"It's your Burmese Bible!" she whispered.

"Bless you, Ann!" Adoniram whispered back. Every night he slept with the manuscript under his head. No one bothered to steal such a dingy-looking hard pillow.

Nearly a year later the prisoners were moved to a different jail. This time they were not allowed to take any possessions. The old pillow was left behind.

Meanwhile, one of the judson's Burmese converts went to the old cell to see if there was anything he could take as a souvenir of his friend. He saw the dirty pillow and took it home. Inside he discovered the precious manuscript. As he read, the words spoke peace to his heart and he knew that he must keep the Bible safe so that someday all Burmese could know its wonderful message.

After almost two years of imprisonment, Adoniram Judson was released. Imagine his surprise to find the manuscript of the Bible still safe in the home of his friend! He immediately resumed work on the translation. Fifteen years later the Bible was ready to print. Because of it, thousands of Burmese Christians today know the happiness that only God's Word can bring. 

You, too, can discover this joy by reading God's Word.

2 Better than gold

Lesson: Psalm 19:9, 10.

James Marshall rushed into John Sutler's private room and stretched out his hands.

"Look!" he whispered, excitedly.

"Gold!" exclaimed Sutler in a hushed voice. "Where did you find it?" "At the sawmill," replied Marshall.

This news, whispered at Sutler's Fort on January 24, 1848, was soon on everyone's tongue. From around the world gold seekers arrived by ship, horseback, and covered wagon to seek their fortunes. The California gold rush was on! The lure of gold brought nearly 100,000 prospectors to California during the first twelve months. Accommodations were so scarce and gold so plentiful that a tumbledown shack rented for 100 dollars a week and a copy of an old New York newspaper sold for a dollar.

Men lived recklessly and fought over claims. Far from civilization, bedraggled prospectors with tattered clothes and scrubby beards roamed over the Sierras behind their mules, hoping to strike it rich. Day after day they panned in the streams, looking for those precious nuggets that would bring them a fortune.

Across the continent another search was in progress—a search for something far better than gold. A group of about fifty "prospectors" met at Albert Belden's farm near Middletown, Connecticut, to begin their digging. Led in their search by Captain Joseph Bates and James White, the people dug deeply into the Word of God, comparing scripture with scripture, until they had in their possession the precious nuggets of truth. By the time the first fortyniners reached San Francisco, the early Adventists had already mined their treasure of truth.

The California gold rush came to an end long ago, but the search for truth goes on and on, for the Bible is a mine that is never exhausted.

Around the world thousands are still discovering the gold of God's Word. For the precious nuggets of salvation—such as the Sabbath, and the second coming of Jesus—they are willing to risk all. For them the truths of the Bible are "more to be desired than gold." Have you made this discovery?

These children's stories were selected and edited by Margarida F. Sarli.