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Rasca's Growing Faith

How can I trust God?

Application:

If we keep on praying and trusting Jesus, our faith will grow more and more evey day.

Outline:

A three part serial story about a boy named Rasca, who learned to trust Jesus during World War II in Poland.

Text:

2 Thessalonians 1:3, "We ought always thank God for you, because your faith is growing more and more."  

 

Part 1

He's in My Heart!

Rasca could hardly wait to get home.  What an exciting day it had been.  First there had been the visitor to Children's Church who told them how much Jesus loved them.  Afterwards, his Teacher asked, "Who would like to give your life to Jesus?"  Rasca jumped up and said, "Yes please!"  All the children laughed, but Rasca didn't mind.  He felt such joy as he asked Jesus to come into his heart and save him.   Now he couldn't wait to tell his parents what had happened to him!

"Moma!  Papa!" he shouted as he slammed the front door, "Guess what happened to me today?"  He excitedly told them, "Jesus came into my heart and filled me with joy!  My teacher also read a Bible verse to us that said we need to trust in Jesus so that our faith will grow more and more."  

War!

That night Rasca went to bed with a singing heart and fell asleep dreaming of how he was going to serve Jesus with all his heart!  But, downstairs, his parents listened with alarm to a very serious radio announcement.  Germany had declared war against Poland.  The people were warned that an invasion by the enemy was expected at any moment!

Late that night Rasca woke up with a fright.  He could hear the sound of explosions in the distance.  He ran to his window and gazed in amazement at distant flashes of gun fire and bomb bursts.

Jesus, Help Us!

Rasca ran down the stairs, "Moma, what are we going to do?"  His mother calmly replied, "Our country is at war with Germany and an invasion of their army is expected.  Do you remember what you told me about that Bible verse?"  Rasca thought for a moment, "Oh yes, Moma, it was that our faith is growing more and more."

"Well then," replied Moma, "Now we need to ask Jesus to help us."  So Moma prayed with Rasca, "Jesus keep Rasca safe and help him not to be afraid."  She kissed him and sternly said, "Now Moma and Papa need to go out and find out what we must do.  Go back to bed in the meantime."  And so Rasca climbed back up the stairs again and into bed.  He prayed, "I know You will keep me safe Jesus!" and pulled the blankets over his head.

Falling Bombs!

Rasca woke again when air-raid sirens began to wail.  The sound of the gun-fire was now much louder.  A cold shiver went up his back as he heard aeroplanes coming nearer and nearer.  He tumbled out of bed and ran downstairs.  He looked in every room, but his parents weren't at home.  "Quick," he muttered, "Moma said I was to hide under the stairs."

He ran down the stairs and slid under the staircase just as the scream of a falling bomb grew louder.  Rasca cried, "Jesus please save me!"   He felt the ground heave under him and it became pitch dark as the lights shattered.  He trembled with fear the walls of the house around him collapsed as with a loud crash.  He coughed as a cloud of dust covered him and yelled as planks from the stairs creaked and then fell on top of him.

Trapped!

Rasca lay unconscious for hours and woke up groaning with pain.  "I can't move," he whispered, "I'm trapped beneath all these planks!"   He began to struggle when he smelt smoke.  "Oh Jesus, help me not to panic, because my faith is growing."  Rasca lay there helpless as scorching heat from the fire grew intense.  Just when he thought he would die, someone lifted the planks off his body and said, "There you are son, you are safe now!"

The fireman carried him outside into the cold night air and laid him gently on a stretcher.  An ambulance then took him swiftly to a makeshift hospital where a doctor bandaged his cuts and bruises.  "You can sleep here tonight," the nurse kindly told him.  Rasca lay back in the bed and whispered, "Thank You Jesus, You certainly heard my prayer tonight!"

Flight!

Later that night the nurse woke him.  "Your parents were killed in the air-raid," she said as she tried to comfort him.  Rasca cried as fear and sadness swept over him.  He lay shivering and whimpering through the long night.  Next morning he was told to go to the shelter at the school where all the homeless were being cared for.  He stayed there for several days crying himself to sleep every night.

The day came when someone ran in and shouted, "The Germans are coming!   Run for your lives!" The warden herded all the refugees into the street and told them "You must flee or you will be captured or killed!"  People panicked as they took their few belongings in their arms and hurried away.  Rasca gathered up a blanket and parcel of food that someone had given to him and put then into an old pram that was lying on the pavement.   He then followed the fleeing people down the road and out of the village.  "Now what will happen to me?" he wondered.

In Danger!

As he hurried along, Rasca remembered part of the verse his teacher had read: "You will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering."  He sobbed, "Jesus please help me find my way!"  Just then fighter planes swooped down and began to bomb and machine gun the road.  Rasca was thrown into the ditch at the side of the road as a bomb blew up nearby.  Covered with mud, he struggled out only to see parts of his pram strewn all over the road.  It was totally destroyed!

Worse was to come, when he heard the dreaded rumble of tanks and then the screech of brakes as a convoy of soldiers appeared.  Rasca quickly scrambled into the ditch again and crawled through into a wheat field that lay beyond.  Fortunately he found a haystack and hid inside it just as the soldiers began to search and arrest people.

Will I Die?

Just then he heard footsteps and his heart nearly stopped as a bayonet plunged into the hay right next to him!  Rasca burst out of the hay and pushed past the surprised soldier.  He ran for his life round the side of the haystack, right into the muzzle of a submachine gun!  "Stop, or I'll shoot you!" ordered a huge soldier.

Rasca was suffering, but his faith in Jesus was growing.  He saw that Jesus was helping him through all the bad things that were happening to him.  Could Jesus help him now?  Should he run or would he be shot?  You will have to come next time to find out!

 

Part 2

Arrested!

Rasca had run right into the muzzle of a submachine gun!  "Stop, or I'll shoot you!" ordered a huge soldier.  Should he run or would he be be shot?  All around he heard screaming as those who tried to run away were being shot.  Rasca was too scared to move.  Could Jesus help him now?  Eventually, he was herded together with all the men and boys who had been caught.  A soldier selected all the strong ones and Rasca's fear subsided when he was also chosen.

He and the others were forced to march at gun point all day.  He grew miserable as the day became colder and rain began to fall.  As evening came, they eventually reached a railway station.  "Into the truck," ordered a captain and Rasca wearily pulled himself into a stinking cattle truck.  The people continued to be crowded in until they were packed like sardines in a can.

Into Captivity!

The train jerked into motion and freezing air whistled in through the slats of the truck.  Rasca was pushed into a corner and this saved him as the press of bodies kept him from freezing that night.  However, many others died from the cold.  All next day they rattled and bumped on what seemed an endless journey into Germany.

At last they came to a concentration camp where they were hustled inside and divided into groups.  Rasca was put into a large wooden hut.  His heart fell as he discovered that his bunk had missing planks where previous inmates had burned them for firewood.  Next day they were ordered out as a work party and had to help unload ships at the docks.

Life is Hard!

Life was very hard as they were given hardly any food, and day by day they laboured from dawn to dusk.  Rasca grew thinner as he was forced to eat the disgusting cabbage soup and mouldy black bread.  Each night he climbed exhausted into his bunk and tried to sleep as he shivered under his thin blanket.

He saw suffering every day as the people grew weak from hunger and were beaten if they slacked off their work.  One day Rasca met a man called Petro.  They spent much time together and became great friends.  But, the day came when Rasca also got sick.  He lay shivering on his bunk from cholera and was too weak even to lift his head when Petro came to feed and nurse him.

The guards had killed many of the weak and sickly prisoners in the gas-chambers.  Would he be next to go?  He was so weak!   Later that night they heard guards coming towards their hut!  "Quick Rasca!  Hide and I will tell them that you died," whispered Petra.

A Good Friend:

Rasca hid under the lower bunk and lay as still as he could.  Petro covered him with old blankets as Rasca lay shivering so much that he was sure that the bed was shaking.  Would they find him?  And if they did, what would they do to him?  The soldiers marched into hut and began searching each bed.

Rasca held his breath as a pair of jackboots landed right by his face!   He thought of his favourite verse, "Remember your growing faith and trust in God."  But, dust tickled his nose and he was going to sneeze!   And you will have to come next time to find out what happened!

 

Part 3

Rescued!

Petro sat calmly on the lower bunk as the soldiers went from bed to bed checking the occupants.  As the guards came up; he calmly said, "They have taken Rasca away.  You can see that!"   But, he did not know that Rasca wanted to sneeze so badly.  The sergeant pulled the rags off Rasca's bed and then grunted as he moved to the next bunk.   They moved slowly down the hut checking each bunk.  At last, the sound of jack-boots grew fainter as the soldiers went to the next hut.

Rasca crawled out from beneath the bunk and sneezed loudly several times.  He threw his arms around Petra and exclaimed, "Whew, that was close!  Thank's Jesus, You kept me from sneezing!"

Free at Last!

Several days later they woke up late.  The camp was very quiet.   One of the prisoners went outside and came running back.  "The Germans are gone!" he shouted.  Everyone poured out of the hut.  It was true - the camp was deserted!  "Listen!" whispered Rasca to Petra, "I can hear a band!"

Soon all the prisoners heard it too and rushed to the gate.  As they crowded round, a jeep drew up and a grinning soldier climbed out.  "The Yanks are here!" he shouted and the prisoners began to cheer.  They were free at last!  The Americans took over the camp and now there was plenty of food, and even chocolate and ice-cream!

The Great Surprise!

Rasca was as thin as a rake and was kept in hospital until he began to feel well again.  One day as he looked out on the sunny spring, he thought, "What will happen to me now Petro has gone home?"  Rasca prayed, "Lord, You kept me alive, so please look after me for now I'm all alone!"

Just then a nurse came bustling into his ward.  "You have to leave now," she ordered, "You are well and we need your bed for other patients!"   Rasca walked sadly out of the clinic and as he went slowly down the steps he almost fell over when he saw a smiling Petro standing at the bottom!

A New Home!

"You're here!" Rasca shouted with joy and Petra opened his arms and swept him into a huge bear hug.  "Yes, and here's my wife, Anna.  We want you to come and live with us."    That night Rasca went to sleep in a brand-new bed.  His new parents kissed him goodnight and Rasca snuggled down in the warm blankets.  He had a home, plenty of good food and new parents who loved him!

Gratefully he prayed, "Thank You Lord, now I really know how much You love me!  You have looked after me and given me a new home and parents!  And You have made my faith grow more and more, just as Your Word said it would!"

Growing Faith:

And boys and girls, God will look after you and care for you in the same way.  Just keep on praying and trusting Jesus each day, and your faith will grow more and more, just like the Bible says it will!

God bless.
 

Copyright © Sharon Children's Ministries

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