(Based on a true story)

“We can move it!” said one little girl.

“Do you really think we can?”

“Of course we can!”

Some years ago, near the coast of Japan, there lived a houseful of little girls. The lady that they called Sensei (Teacher or Wise One) had rescued many of them from lives of slavery, and now they lived at Sunrise Home. Others had been in an earthquake, and needed a place to stay.

Miss Irene was Sensei’s real name. Miss Mercy lived at Sunrise House as well, and a lady named Ok-san. She had a little lame son named Daishero.

The little boy was in the hospital and one day, Sensei sadly told the girls that he would not get well.

“I want to bring him home to be with his mother,” said Sensei. “Ok-san and Daishero would like that. But his disease is contagious. He can’t be around you girls. I thought we might fix up the rickshaw shed.”

“We’ll help you!”

The girls used the shed as a playroom, but they were quite willing to give it up so that Diashero could be comfortable. They cleaned the floor and walls. They laid out his sleeping mat. They made the little shed as pleasant as they could.

But now Sensei had a new idea. “Look out that window. If only we could get rid of that big pile of dirt, then the sunshine could come in.”

“It’s as big as a mountain!”

“Well, not quite, but it is a lot of dirt.”

They decided that with everyone helping, they could do it. Each girl would move one shovelful of dirt each day. They would carry it across the lane and down to the beach, where they often swam in the ocean.

They got started right away!

Sometimes the older girls took two or three shovelfuls. Diashero’s mother made many trips to the ocean with shovelfuls of dirt, after her daily work was done.

But the pile was huge. It really did seem like a mountain to the little girls. It was taking more time than they expected. Would they be finished by the time Diashero was ready to come home?

One day, Sensei told them that she had to go away. She was gone for weeks, but the girls continued to move the “mountain.”

Sensei longed to get home and help. One day she got a note from the girls.

“We have a surprise for you,” she read.

Had they moved the mountain? Surely this had been a silly thing to suggest. Young girls moving that huge pile of dirt. They had been so discouraged when she left. But what else could the surprise be?

Finally it was time for Sensei to head home.

She got off the train and hurried to Sunrise Home. The children raced out to meet her.

“Come and see, Sensei!”

Sure enough, the mountain was gone!

“Did you do all that?”

“No, God had another way!” one little girl exclaimed.

Somebody else excitedly burst in, “one day some men came in a truck. They had shovels and pickaxes, and they loaded the truck with dirt and took it away. Then they came back, and loaded the truck again—and again! Until it was all gone.”

“But who were they? Why did they do that?”

“They heard about what we were doing, and they needed dirt to fill in a place where they’re making a playground,” the girls explained.

“The Lord moved our mountain!” exclaimed Sensei. “Gather ‘round and let’s thank Him. Just in time, too. Diashero is ready to leave the hospital!”

The next day, Diashero was brought home. He loved his little room. He could look out and see the sunset. There was no mountain in the way.

God was good, and gave him many bright days. The girls sent him surprises to cheer him. Soon he went on to heaven to be with Jesus.

But the little girls would never forget how they had moved a mountain, with God’s help.

The End

Adapted from Sensei  The Life Story of Irene Webster-Smith  By Russel T. Hitt