When Pastor Sakul and his wife moved to a new neighborhood in Manado, Indonesia, they were eager to settle in and make new friends. Soon they noticed that most of the neighbors tended to stay in their own courtyards. Everyone kept their metal gates locked to protect themselves. The Sakuls prayed that God would help them find a way to make at least one good friend in their neighborhood.

One day Pastor Sakul heard voices outside. He looked up and saw three boys walking down the road, talking loudly to each other. As he stepped to the door, the boys stopped and looked at him. “May we come in?” one of the boys asked.

Pastor Sakul smiled and opened the gate. These boys look hungry, he thought. After all, he had sons of his own, and he knew how hungry they could be. He invited the boys to sit down in the shade on his small patio. Then he went into the house and brought out a sack of fruit.  “Are you hungry?” he asked.  “Let’s have a snack together.”  The boys eagerly nodded and began to eat. 

That day a friendship began between Nando, Miguel, Firman, and Pastor Sakul.  The boys lived in a neighborhood of small, one-room houses on a hillside. Each home was very rustic, built of simple materials with a dirt floor. 

Almost every weekend the boys came to visit Pastor and Mrs. Sakul. One day the boys asked if they could stay the whole weekend. Pastor Sakul visited the boys’ parents and asked permission for the boys to stay with him. They agreed because they saw how much their boys admired the pastor, and how kindly the boys were treated.  Soon the boys were staying in the Sakul home every weekend.  They did their homework there, helped to prepare the meals, and attended church.  Each boy was given a Bible of his own.

One day Mrs. Sakul asked the boys if they would like to live at their house all the time.  The boys were thrilled. Nando liked praying with his new family every day. Miguel liked it when the Sakul’s grown sons would come home to visit on holidays, and Firman liked feeling safe in with his new family. They enjoyed having worship together.

The boys still spend time with their own families and help their parents with chores and other responsibilities. The parents see that their boys have changed.  They are more respectful, honest, and obedient. The boys share what they have learned about God and have showed them how to pray. 

When Pastor and Mrs. Sakul asked God for a new friend, they didn’t realize He would give them three new sons.  Have you ever asked God for something and gotten more than you asked for?  Sometimes God does surprising things!

--Nancy Kyte