During the Bible lecture, Ikuro Teshima often talked about historical and religious figures, both of Japan and the world, to show how a Bible believer should live. Sundar Singh of India was introduced as a man of deep prayer. A young man, Nathan Hale of the U.S. was an example of a man who dedicated his life for a greater cause. When we want to live up to God's will, these lives of predecessors are very suggestive. The following story was written for children based on Nathan Hale's life story.

* * *

It was before the United States of America was born. A group of people sailed to the new continent from England. They wanted a freedom to believe in God in the New World. They lived mainly on the East Coast of the continent.

At Home in Connecticut

The Hale family was living on a farm in Connecticut. A tall, stout man was shouting, "Enoch, Nathan, quick! Stack the hay on the cart!"

31nathan1

Little Nathan and his elder brother Enoch were piling up the hay on the cart with all their might. The two boys helped their father every day, soon after they finished studying.

The father again shouted sternly, "Boys, carry the hay to the barn. Hurry up!" Now the boys had to push the cart to the storage in the far corner of the farm.

"Going along the lane takes a long time. Let's take a shortcut. Come, let's cross the stream." Nathan whispered to his brother. "The bridge over there is old, Nathan." "Come on, it's all right, Enoch."

Enoch looked anxious but Nathan went far off the lane. When they reached the foot of the bridge, they roughly checked to be sure that the base was firm. Then the boys slowly began to cross the bridge.

When they were halfway across, the bridge squeaked. In a moment the boys and the cart all fell into the stream. Luckily, they had only a few scratches, but the cart was all broken.

When they went home that day, their father severely scolded them. They hung their heads low. Tenderly stroking their hair, their mother told them, "Why did you do such a reckless thing! What do you think could have happened, if the cart had fallen over you? Both of you may have been killed." Then she looked straight into their eyes and said, "Listen, as I always tell you, God gave us only one life. I want you to cherish it. Remember, you should dedicate it to a truly important matter." The two boys nodded silently. Now the mother was smiling as usual and put them to bed.

Story by Yosef Teshima