The Best Birthday
Brother Noah was shocked to learn that Joshua knew nothing about himself, or his parents. He did not know what to say.
Then Joshua wanted to make the conversation a little interesting. He asked Brother Noah, "Where is your building, sir?"
Brother Noah smiled and said, "Well, it's not really my building, but I'm the leader of it. This building is not in Canada. In fact, it is located in a country not part of any of the seven continents."
"Then where is it, sir?" said Joshua, sounding amused. He knew that there were only seven continents.
Brother Noah got up and said, "Well I can't talk a lot now, because we have to take you away from the Bakers. Then you'll know all about this country. You'll even get to live in it."
"But how can I trust you, sir?" asked Joshua.
"Hmmm…" replied Brother Noah. "I was the one who brought you to this house. You'll know all this later. Ask them if you don't believe me." He pointed at Mr. Baker and Mrs. Baker.
Okay then…" said Joshua excitedly. "I'll come with you. But what do I need to take with me?"
Brother Noah went over to him and said, "Nothing, unless it's very special to you."
Joshua thought about this for a second. What did the Bakers give him that was very special to him? Of course, very little. But then he remembered something important.
He pointed at Mr. Baker and asked, "Can you give me the Bible that my friend gave to me?" He was talking about the Bible the Bobs had given him.
Brother Noah was reminded of something. So he asked, "Did you get the gift that I sent for your birthday six years ago?"
Before Joshua could answer, Mr. Baker said, "We sold it to someone, because we didn't want him to read your nonsense."
Finally, Mr. Baker gave the Bible to Joshua. It looked just the same as when Jeff gave it to him.
"I'm ready," said Joshua, feeling very fortunate and relieved.
Pastor Moses left the house first. Joshua thought that Pastor Moses couldn't talk, because he did not say anything the whole time that he was there.
He asked Brother Noah, "Does Pastor Moses talk?"
"Yes," replied Brother Noah, getting ready to leave. "But he doesn't talk a lot, because he's afraid that he might say something bad, you know. He wants to be holy. So he doesn't talk unless he needs to."
Mr. Baker got to his feet and pointed at Joshua and said, "You're not coming back to this house again! We don't want to see you any longer! Now leave at once!"
And without another word, they left the house.
"I'm used to this," laughed Joshua.
So finally, Joshua was free from the Bakers. He would be going to an unknown country very soon.
There was a car parked where they were standing. Pastor Moses opened the doors for them, and they all got into the car.
Brother Noah sat in the driver's seat. Pastor Moses sat beside him. Joshua sat beside Pastor Moses. There were no seats in this car, but there were three couches: one at the front, one in the middle and the third one was at the back of the car.
Then the car started flying, all on its own.
"How's that possible?" asked Joshua, amazed.
This time, however, Pastor Moses was the one who answered him. "Well the Lord has blessed us with special equipment. The Lord has also blessed us with skilful men and women. You'll see some amazing things in our country."
Joshua thought that he was dreaming, because he had never seen a flying car in his whole life with the Bakers. But this time, not only was he seeing a flying car, but he was actually in it.
"So where are we going?" he asked.
"To Ottawa," answered Pastor Moses.
"Aren't we going to your country?" asked Joshua, thinking that he was traveling to another country.
"Not yet," smiled Pastor Moses. "First, we'll take you to one of our families who live in Ottawa. And on September the 7th, you'll go with them to our world."
Joshua realized that he was asking too many questions. He had never been able to ask so many questions while living with the Bakers.
Pastor Moses, however, wasn't angry with him asking many questions.
"So…" Joshua wondered aloud. "If your world is better than this one, then why are one of your families living here in this world?"
Pastor Moses smiled again. He explained, "Well, only believers in the Lord Jesus Christ can enter our country. So not everyone can enter.
But many families come to visit their relatives who are not believers. They come almost every summer. That's why this family is here. Also, the father and the mother of the family that we're taking you to, work at our embassy in Ottawa. Their children, however, live in our world, because they don't like living in this world."
"So who's this family that you're taking me to?" asked Joshua, interested.
"Well, just as I said, they live in our building, and their children go to our school, but the father and the mother spend most of the time in Ottawa because they work at the Jerusalemite embassy."
"You have your own school too?" asked Joshua, amazed. He wondered how rich they were.
Pastor Moses looked at him and said, "Our building is huge. It contains thousands of sections. It also contains a school, a church, a shopping place, a restaurant, a very big hall and other sections. Finally, it contains small sections, which belong to the families who live there. Each of these sections are divided into few rooms and two bathrooms."
"What about kitchens?" asked Joshua, finding it odd that he said nothing about kitchens.
So Pastor Moses continued answering his questions, "We don't have kitchens, because all the people who live in this building eat in the restaurant. It's a very big restaurant. You can go and eat in it whenever you like, not just during lunch or dinnertime.
Although this place is a 'Community building', it is not just an ordinary building. It is called, "The Holy Community."
Joshua found all these facts to be very interesting. He tried to remember them all. Next, he asked, "Are there other communities that are similar to yours?"
"Countless!" replied Pastor Moses gladly. "In fact, most of the people who live in New Jerusalem are in these communities. So we don't have a lot of houses."
Finally, they reached Ottawa and the house that they were looking for. There was a man waiting for them. He looked about thirty years of age.
"Welcome, sirs!" he exclaimed when they were leaving the car. Joshua was not revealed yet, since he was behind Brother Noah.
Then Brother Noah and this man shook hands.
"We have someone very interesting for you," said Brother Noah, pointing at Joshua, who was now standing behind him.
"Well I always like meeting interesting people, you know," Brother Abraham explained. Then he looked at Joshua and shouted, "Joshua David! What an honour!"
"This is Brother Abraham," said Brother Noah to Joshua, introducing Brother Abraham to him. They shook hands.
"Come in!" said Brother Abraham, leading Joshua toward the house. So Brother Noah and Pastor Moses followed them.
"Come here, everyone!" shouted Brother Abraham to his family.
Within a second, a woman had entered the room, followed by three boys and a girl.
"Welcome, to you both." She pointed at Brother Noah and Pastor Moses. Then they shook hands.
"Thank you very much, Sister Sarah," they recited at the same time.
Then she looked at Joshua, who was sitting beside Brother Abraham.
"Is this Joshua David?" she asked nervously.
"Yes he is," said Brother Noah excitedly. "And he'll be staying with you until your children return to New Jerusalem."
"Joshua will be staying with us?" she asked, shocked. "What an honour!"
Brother Noah looked at Brother Abraham and said, "Well we have to go now. There's still some work that has to be done."
"Why don't you eat dinner with us and then you can leave," said Sister Sarah kindly.
"We can't," replied Pastor Moses. "But thank you very much." Shortly after, they left.
Brother Abraham looked at Joshua and asked, "So how did you get here?"
Joshua looked into Brother Abraham's beautiful eyes and replied, "Well Brother Noah and Pastor Moses came to my aunt's house, and then they took me and brought me here."
"We're very happy to have you with us!" said Sister Sarah, coming to him. Then she kissed him and began to cry.
"You are the son of Joseph and Mary, who were our best friends! You look just like them. You remind me of them. They were very kind to us." Then she left him and went to make dinner.
Then Samson, who was their oldest son, came and sat beside Joshua.
"Hi, Joshua," he smiled. "My name is Samson." He thought that Joshua would laugh at his name, but Joshua didn't laugh.
"Nice to meet you!" he said, shaking Samson's hand with delight.
"Samson!" shouted Sister Sarah. "Can you come and help me please?"
Joshua was left alone. He thought of how Sister Sarah was speaking to her son, and was reminded of how the Bakers spoke to him. They never used the word 'please' when speaking to Joshua.
After Samson had left, a very pretty and short girl came and sat beside him. He could tell just by looking at her that she was not born in Canada. However, he did not mind being with her, because the most important thing was that he was free from the Bakers.
"Hi," said Joshua nervously. "What's your name?"
Then she smiled and said in a sweet voice, "My name is Emily." This name reminded him of his friend from school. He almost wanted to cry, but he tried to sound happy.
So he said, "Nice to meet you." She held out her hand to him. It felt very sweet and warm.
When he shook her hand, he felt a little sick. It was perhaps because he had fallen in love with her very quickly.
"So how old are you?" he asked, trying to keep the conversation going.
"Eleven, sir," she replied sweetly.
So they started talking to each other without being nervous. But John, who came and sat on the other side of Joshua, soon interrupted their conversation.
"Hi, Joshua," he said, holding out his hand. "My name is John."
"Nice to meet you," said Joshua, who had felt like he was at home. He decided to love this family as if it was his own. He felt very happy when each one of them would come to introduce him or herself.
John wanted to make Joshua his best friend. So he asked, "What grade are you in?"
"What do you mean?" he asked. He didn't understand what John meant because he thought that the Canadian school system was different from that of New Jerusalem. "I should be in great seven now."
"Oh I'm sorry," said John nervously. "I mean, is this your first year at our school?"
"Yes," replied Joshua.
"How old are you?" asked John.
"Almost twelve," replied Joshua.
"Great! Me too! So we'll be in the same classes!"
"And what grade is that in your school system?" asked Joshua.
"It's grade seven," answered John. "We don't have elementary school, high school and university or college. We start in grade one and end in grade sixteen. Now our grade one is grade one of elementary school in the secular world, and our grade sixteen is actually the fourth year of university or college."
Joshua found the subject very interesting. So he asked, "Do you live in that country even if you're not going to school?"
"Of course," replied John, sounding shocked. "It's our country, you know. And it's your country as well, because your parents lived there, and you're a believer too. We're only here during summertime, because most of our relatives are not believers. Therefore, they can't go to New Jerusalem. So we have to come to see them every summer. Plus, my father and mother spend most of the time here, because they work at the Jerusalemite embassy. As a result, we come to see them every summer. To be honest, I don't really like coming here, because I love my country."
"Well I don't have any relatives to see," laughed Joshua. "So I don't think that I'll have to come here every summer."
"I'll be back in two seconds," said John, getting to his feet. And he disappeared.
"Hi Joshua!" said another person, who was coming to sit beside him.
He sat on Joshua's right side and held out his hand.
"My name is Isaac," he said.
"Nice to meet you," said Joshua, shaking Isaac's hand.
After they had finished eating their dinner, Sister Sarah said to Joshua, "You'll be sleeping with John, if you don't mind."
"Of course I don't mind," said Joshua happily. "I have decided to love you all as my own family."
This touched Sister Sarah's heart. So she went and put her arms around him and hugged him very tightly.
She cried, "Your parents' kindness is still alive. It remains in you. They were very kind to us, and it seems that you are just like them." Then she kissed him and left.
Joshua was very happy to be free at last. He knew that this family would love him and treat him well. In fact, it seemed that they loved him as one of their own children.
The thing that surprised him the most was that Sister Sarah kissed him a lot. As far as he could remember, he had never been kissed before, except by Emily Bob.
The date that Joshua left the Bakers was August the first, 2212. So in twenty-nine days, it would be his twelfth birthday. This would be the first best birthday that he had ever celebrated in his life.
On August the twenty-eighth, Brother Abraham said to everyone, "Today we'll be going to buy your school stuff."
"Why can't we buy them when we get to New Jerusalem?" Joshua asked John when they were getting into Brother Abraham's car.
"Because," answered John, "We don't have time to buy them. We'll be leaving on September the seventh, and the school starts on the eighth. So we won't have time to buy all these stuff."
The country of New Jerusalem had an embassy in Ottawa, and beside that embassy, there was a big store that sold New Jerusalem material
That afternoon, they all went to the store. There were other Jerusalemites living in Ottawa. They too, were buying their stuff to be ready to travel back to their country. They all lived in the Holy Community building, in New Jerusalem.
"Hello, Brother Israel!" Said Brother Abraham to a man who looked older than he did.
"Oh hi, Brother Abraham! How are you?"
"More than happy!" replied Brother Abraham, shaking Brother Israel's hand.
"Well it's always great to be happy," said Brother Israel. "But what makes you so happy today?"
Brother Abraham pointed at Joshua and shouted, "This is Joshua David!"
Brother Israel almost fell to the floor, but his wife, Sister Leah, came and helped him. When people heard the name "Joshua David," they all became silent.
Next, Brother Israel went over to Joshua and shook his hand.
"You look exactly like your parents," he said, smiling. "Yes, they were a very nice couple. But too bad, they passed away. The good news is that they're in Heaven now. Actually, I taught them myself when they were at school in New Jerusalem."
Many people kept coming to shake Joshua's hand. So, because there were so many of them, he held both of his hands out.
"Now," said Sister Sarah to Joshua, "we need to buy you a controller."
"What's a controller?" he asked interestedly.
"A controller is like a cell phone," replied Sister Sarah sweetly. "But it has more buttons. You can control and do many things with it. You'll know all about it when you get to New Jerusalem."
After they had finished shopping, Brother Abraham asked his wife secretly, "Tomorrow is Joshua's birthday. So what should we buy for him?"
They thought about it for a second, and then Sister Sarah came up with an idea and said, "We'll get him a spy."
"That's a great idea!" said Brother Abraham in relief. "He needs it for his enemies."
So they bought him a spy, and hid it. They planned to give him his present on his birthday, the following day.
"Now," said Brother Abraham. "What would you like to drink, everyone?"
Joshua said to John, who stayed beside him the whole time that they were in the store, "If I drink coffee, will it hurt me?" He didn't know whether coffee was good or bad for him, because the Bakers never let him drink coffee.
"Why should it hurt?" replied John.
So Joshua asked for a big cup of coffee. He had never had coffee in his whole life. Once he started drinking, he loved it.
"Wait a second," said Joshua to Brother Abraham when they were getting into the car to go home. "Who's paying for all these stuff?"
"No one," replied Brother Abraham. "In our country, everything is free."
"But we're not in New Jerusalem now," whispered Joshua, so that only Brother Abraham could hear him.
"It doesn't matter," answered Brother Abraham happily. "The store belongs to the people of our country. So everything is free."
The next day, which was Joshua's birthday, everyone was happy. They were preparing to celebrate his twelfth birthday. Joshua had never celebrated his birthday in his whole life, because his parents were murdered when he was only six months old. The Bakers didn't care about his birthday.
"Don't work too hard," said Joshua to Sister Sarah. "I don't want it to be too big, you know."
"Well we're not working too hard, dear," she assured him.
But that night, the kitchen table was decorated with all kinds of beautiful stuff including flowers and twelve candles, because he would be turning twelve years old that night.
When they were all seated at the kitchen table, Brother Abraham said, "Let's read a few verses from the Bible. We'll be reading Psalm 150."
Joshua took out the Bible the Bobs had given him when he visited them. So He opened it to Psalm one hundred and fifty.
"Can I read it out loud please?" he asked excitedly. He had never read the Bible aloud.
"Sure!" said Brother Abraham happily.
So they all stood up with their Bibles opened to Psalm one hundred and fifty.
Then Joshua began to read:
"Praise The Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary! Praise him in his heavens for his acts of power!
Praise him for his mighty acts! Praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet! Praise him with harp and lyre!
Praise him with tambourine and dancing! Praise him with stringed instruments and flute!
Praise him with loud cymbals! Praise him with resounding cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise The Lord! Praise The Lord!"
Altogether, they all said, "Amen."
Joshua was sitting with John.
"What does 'Amen' mean?" he asked.
John answered, "It means 'certainly' or 'truly.' Every prayer should end with this word."
Then Brother Abraham returned to the kitchen. The whole place fell silent. He was carrying a little box. Suddenly, he put it in front of Joshua on the table.
"Happy birthday, Joshua!" said Brother Abraham. "This is for you! Open it."
Joshua opened it, and inside it, there was a device that had two microphones and two little cameras attached to it.
"What's this, sir?" he asked, holding the box in his hands.
Brother Abraham looked at the box and explained, "This is a spy. You can send it to anywhere and it will spy for you. Then after it comes back to you, you'll be able to listen and see what was happening in the area where the spy was. It can even fly. That's how you can send it to anywhere you want. I decided to buy it for you in case you want to know what your enemies are doing."
Joshua was amazed. So he asked, "And how do I bring it back to me?"
"Use your controller," replied Brother Abraham.
Then Joshua pulled out his controller and said, "So is that what the controller is for?"
"Not just for this," responded Brother Abraham. "But a controller can do countless things. This is supernatural technology."