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Children's Story - Ordinary People

Happy Grandparents

One great symbol of this nation is the Statue of Liberty, which stands in New York Harbor, 151 feet high and holding a torch. I’ll tell you how the statue got there. Back in 1865, a French artist named Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi was having a dinner party. Someone said that nations don’t really have friendship, they have interests: they always look after themselves first. Bartholdi said the friendship between France and America was different, because both countries loved freedom. At that moment he conceived the idea of a statue which would try to depict what America is all about: liberty.


He went to America to study the idea, and he noticed that ships full of emigrants always passed a small island which was not used for anything at the time. He decided to put the statue there. He hoped it would be a gift from France in time for the 100th anniversary of America in 1876.


Well, one of you might end up doing construction, and when you do you’ll discover that unexpected problems sometimes arise and cause delays. In 1870 France fought and lost a war with Germany, which put the whole project back. But Bartholdi worked hard and raised enough money in France to build the statue. Bartholdi got Alexandre Eiffel, the man who built the Eiffel Tower, to design the iron frame for the statue.


But there was a problem. America was supposed to build the statue base, which was a large and expensive job, but neither the state of New York nor the federal government wanted to spend the money. It looked like the statue might never be finished. Joseph Pulitzer printed a newspaper in New York. He decided to help: he said he’d print in his paper the name of every single person who donated to the statue. Over 100,000 people sent in donations, often less than a dollar. So the statue was conceived by a great artist, but was completed by the ordinary people of America.


God’s work is described in the Bible, and in Sunday School we read about famous people like Moses and David, Paul and Peter. But the bulk of God’s work in this world has to be done by ordinary people, like you and me.

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