Mary was a teenager who loved little children
just like you, and grownups just like those
who live in your home.

She also loved God.

People didn't have refrigerators back then.  
So every morning Mary walked to the market
to buy groceries so she could help her mother
fix meals for the family.

But sometimes when she did, she saw people
walking with canes because their legs hurt, or
people coughing because they had a cold.

Sometimes she saw children fighting each
other or grownups arguing.

Sometimes she saw foreign soldiers who
controlled her country.  They wore weapons at
their side.  Sometimes they took people to

It bothered Mary that bad things sometimes
happened to people.  But she knew she
couldn't do anything about it because she was
too young.

So Mary prayed that God would do something
about it.  God made the world and all little
children and grownups.  He loved everyone, so
he could help.

One day when Mary was alone, an angel
suddenly appeared to her.  His name was
Gabriel.  He was smiling.

Gabriel had wonderful news for her.  She was
going to have a baby ~ God's own son whom
he was sending to live with us.  Then God's
son could help us.

Mary was to name this baby JESUS.  He
would start a new kingdom that everyone who
wanted to could live in.

This kingdom would start on earth.  But some
day everyone in his kingdom would be taken to
heaven to live forever with God himself.  
Then there would be no more suffering.

Mary had always thought she was too young
to help people.  She found out she could help
after all through her baby by taking good
care of him.

Every boy and girl can help others, no matter
how young they are.  Is there something you
can do today to help someone who is hurting
in their mind or body?

You will make them smile.  You will make God
smile.  You, too, will smile.