Stevie was alone. The dark of the evening was closing in around him and the fine rain was wetting his dark hair and drizzling down his neck. Once again he called to Henry to wait and let him catch up, but Henry didn’t hear him. He was too taken up with the excitement of trick or treating and too far ahead along the road to remember his friend.

Feeling again the sharp stabbing pain in his ankle, Stevie doubled over, wishing he hadn’t fallen and that he was still with his group of friends up ahead.

“Oh, it’ll be fun!” his schoolmates had exclaimed. “Come with us, we’ll knock on doors and get loads of sweets, you’ll see!” Instantly, 8-year-old Stevie had agreed, already looking forward to the excitement of the evening adventure.

And now he was here, in the gathering gloom, with the cars slushing by and the bright reflections of head lights and street lamps all suddenly bringing an air of loneliness. This wasn’t fun, he was alone and suddenly feeling rather frightened.

Across the road not far from him was a large, brightly lit building. As he looked Stevie could make out the shapes of lots of people inside. The sound of their laughter mingled with cheerful music and drifted over to him. Suddenly knew where he wanted to be.

Could he get help here? They seemed a happy crowd. Would they share some of their happiness with him?

There was a crossing nearby and as soon as the green man showed up, he hobbled over to the building and peeped through the nearest window.

A party was in full swing, people were singing and playing guitars and several children were enjoying balloons, all laughing and shouting as they tossed them to one another.

Suddenly, one of the children’s faces was staring out at him and for a minute they looked at one another, unspeaking.

“Ask him in!” Came a woman’s voice and before he knew it the door had opened and he was being ushered inside.

How warm he felt and how happy as people lead him to a chair, bandaged his sore ankle and brought him a drink and snacks.

“Why would they help me?” he wondered. “They don’t know me...and yet they’re welcoming me like a long lost friend!”

The child who had first seen him, a 7-year-old girl with red bubbly hair, spoke to him: “Look, you can share my hotdog. I’m Lucy, by the way.”

Soon they were chatting happily and Stevie discovered that this party was full of Christians, all eager to look after him and tell him about Jesus.

“Well, they certainly know how to have a good time,” he thought as he tucked into his third piece of cake.

Finally, when it was time to go home and he had been reunited with his parents and Henry, Stevie said to his friend: “Well, I’ve just had a great time and I tell you something else. This Jesus is ten times better than any kind of fun we have. I’ll be going to his party again next year!”