His Light Shines Through
By Audris Rozelle
Katrina Evans runs a safe shelter, In His Arms, for abused and battered women. She just learned that she will no longer receive state funding to operate her organization. Because of the limited amount of money available, along with the rising cost of expenses, the house is in foreclosure. Without the funding, the women who depend on the safety and care that they receive at In His Arms will be without a home. This play is not just about getting justice, but also having faith in God as a consistent Provider.
Katrina Evans: Founder of In His Arms safe house.
Min. Gloria Richardson: Director
Gov. Timothy Benson: Governor
Steven Andrews: Prison director and proprietor
Trent McMannis: Personal aide to the governor
Eunice Bradstreet: Governorís Administrative Assistant
Mark Bradstreet:Euniceís husband
Monica: resident and victim
Elisa: Monicaís teen daughter
Shannon: resident and victim
Andrea: resident and victim
Reporter: Janice Fisher
Interim Governor: Shawn Phillipson
Act One: A Budget Re-visited.
Scene One: Governorís office. He is finishing up a meeting with his aide, Trent, and prison director, Steven. Eunice is on the other side of the door, but tries to listen to whatís going on.
Gov. Benson: Steven, I really want to help you out here. I just canít see how. The budget is overspent.
Steven: Sir, donít you see how valuable this program can be for these men. They need a program that will prepare them for the working world.
Gov. Benson: I completely understand but my hands are tied here.
Trent: Sir, if youíd like, I can run through the budget and see if there is somewhere that we can cut funds.
Steven: See, that is the music that I want to hear.
Gov. Benson: Trent, I have gone through the budget thoroughly. I donít see any room for adjustments. We must stay on schedule, at least until the next fiscal period. But, if you insist, be my guest.
Trent: Iíll get right on it. Excuse me, gentleman. (Eunice runs back to her seat just as Trent opened the door. As Trent leaves, Eunice returns to the door.)
Gov. Benson: Now, Steve, you just placed me in a difficult position. You do realize that, donít you?
Steven: I am in a tight position myself. Now, I need this money. I promised these men that I would help them. Prison inmates do not take to broken promises.
Gov. Benson: I am sure that they will understand very well if the money isnít there. We can review the program in the next fiscal period.
Steven: And I will make sure that you get your monthly kickback in the next fiscal period.
Gov. Benson: Now, come on! Donít you use that as a way to manipulate me?
(While appearing to be looking through files, Eunice moves closer to the door to try to hear what is going on.)
Steven: I am not trying to control you, in any way. But a deal is a deal. You helped me fill these prison doors to capacity. Now, I need you to provide the funds that we need to run a career enrichment program. I have 150 men that will be released. I want to, at the very least, prepare them for a new life.
Gov. Benson: Arenít receiving enough training with the jobs that they do? You have GED courses and some of your inmates have been taking college courses. I just donít see it to be necessary for me to give money for a new program. Especially since they are learning these skills already. Unless, you are looking to do something else with the money. Is there another reason for which you need this money?
Steven: Letís not get into that right now.
Gov. Benson: I think that we should. Itís my name on the line.
(The telephone on Euniceís desk rings)
Eunice: Governor Office, please hold.
(Eunice places the phone down to eavesdrop on the remaining conversation.)
Steven: Sir, I donít know how to tell you this.
Gov. Benson: Speak now before Trent returns.
Steven: I borrowed some money from the business account to pay some of my outstanding debts.
Gov. Benson: You did what? What kind of debts, Steve?
Steven: I got into something big with someone and I ended up losing a lot of money.
Gov. Benson: Gambling?
Steven: Look are you going to help me or not? We can just make it seem like the money is for a program. No one will find out.
(Eunice walks away from the door and sits at her desk. She appears sad and troubled.)
Gov. Benson: Do you realize that I am up for re-election next year?
Steven: Trust me, I will make it so that no one knows. Are you going to help me or not?
Gov. Benson: Promise me, if this leaks out, you will say that I didnít know anything about your gambling debt.
Steven: You have my word.
(Trent returns to the office.)
Gov. Benson: Trent, have you found anything that will enable us to help Steven? (Gov. Benson nods approval to Steven.)
Trent: I looked through all of the state programs and I found one in Philadelphia that can hold off funding for at least a year.
Steven: See, it worked out after all.
Gov. Benson: And what program might that be, Trent?
Trent: It is a domestic violence safe house. Looking at past payments that we sent to run the program, it seems that that they have more than enough funds to maintain their business.
Gov. Benson: Alright, letís not spend any more time with this. Forward the funds to Steven as soon as possible. Have Eunice type a letter to the shelter and tell them that we will not be able to send any money this quarter, but that we will look to see what we can do in the future.
Trent: Yes, sir. (Walks over to Steven and extends his hand to him) Steven, it is always a pleasure doing business with you,
Trent: Sir. (Trent exits office and approaches Eunice).
Gov. Benson: Steve, letís walk to your car.
Steven: After you, sir. (Both men exit)
Eunice: How did the meeting go, Trent?
Trent: The meeting went better than expected. We were able to help someone and that is all that matters. The governor wants you to draft a letter to In His Arms domestic violence shelter and tell them that we had to cut their funding this quarter. Let them know that we will continue to look for ways to in which we can be of assistance in the future.
Eunice: You are going to cut money from the shelter? What if these women have no place to go.
Trent: Trust me, their budget can afford it.
Eunice: (sighs) I hope so. I will draft the letter and have the governor sign it this afternoon.
Trent: Youíre the best, Eunice. (Scene ends)
Scene two: In His Arms shelter. Gloria and Katrina are holding a meeting with the residents to discuss upcoming changes for the shelter.
Min. Gloria: Hello, ladies. How are you doing today?
(All greet and respond to Min. Gloria)
Min. Gloria: Praise God. Who wants to open up in prayer?
Elisa: I will, Min. Gloria.
Min. Gloria: Alright. Everyone grab hands and bow your heads. (Everyone follows the command.)
Elisa: Lord, thank You for providing a place that makes us feel safe from hurt, harm, and danger. I ask that You continue to charge Your angels to watch over us. God bless Ms. Katrina and Min. Gloria who gives us everything that we need. We are working to become victorious and no longer victims. Bless this meeting. In Jesusí name, Amen.
All: Amen. (All take a seat around the living room.)
Katrina: Ladies, I am excited to let you know that we will be receiving $500,000 from the state. That is the largest amount of money that we have received thus far. This money will help us come out of foreclosure on this building, as well as make repairs, buy a new van, and have money to attend periodic conference. Isnít God good?
(Each of the residents shares a form of praise and applause.)
Monica: When will be getting this money?
Katrina: Within the next few weeks. I have spoken with the bank and they are willing to hold off until we are paid by the state.
Min. Gloria: Since we have this extra money, weíre looking for ideas that you think will be helpful to you.
Elisa: Some of the girls in high school are being abused by their boyfriends. One of the girls is my friend. I tried to help her, but she says that I donít understand. Iím thinking that we should have an assembly for teenage girls.
Katrina: That sounds like a wonderful idea, Elisa! Thank you! If we can stop the vicious cycle of abuse now while the girls are young, these girls will have a better chance to enter into healthier relationships.
Shannon: I wish that someone had come to my school and spoke out.
Elisa: Maybe we can offer pizza, snacks, and desserts. We will have a better turnout if we offer free food.
Monica: Baby girl, sounds like you have thought this through
Elisa: Yes, Mom. I am so excited and I want to help someone else.
Andrea: I can bake cookies and cupcakes!
Min. Gloria: I will call the principal and see about scheduling a date for the assembly. If we cannot get the school auditorium, we can have the event here.
Katrina: Iím getting excited myself. I wish we would have thought of this idea a lot sooner.
Min. Gloria: Next line of business. Two Saturdays from now, we are going to do some housecleaning and improvements. We will be purchasing some paint and renting a carpet cleaning machine. We are overdue for this. Katrina and I will not assign anyone cooking duty for that day. We will cater to you.
Katrina: I am going to pass pieces of paper around for you guys to suggest what you would like for us to cook for dinner. Keep in mind that you have to select a meal that will suit everyone. No one has any food allergies, thank God. But we should consider our fellow sisters.
(Katrina passes out strips of paper to each of the residents.)
Katrina: When youíre done, fold the paper and place it into the basket. Min. Gloria and I will pick on the Saturday before.
Min. Gloria: I think that is all that we have for now. Do any of you have any questions or concerns?
Andrea: I was wondering if we will be getting new beds soon. My mattress is starting to hurt my back. I think that one of the springs has broken.
Monica: Mine feels the same way.
Katrina: Yes, with the money that we are getting, we were able to budget new mattress. The mattress store has even decided that they will give us two free mattress sets if we buy two new ones.
Shannon: That is no one but God working this out for us.
Min. Gloria: He sure is!
Scene Three: Home of Eunice and Mark Bradstreet. Eunice is looking down, not paying attention to the movie that Mark is watching.
Mark: Sweetheart, you seem like youíre in another place. Did you have a hard day at work?
Eunice: I canít really talk about it right now.
Mark: You know that you can trust me, Eunice.
Eunice: I know, itís just that I donít know if this information that I can share with anyone outside of the office.
Mark: Were you eavesdropping again? I told you to not do that because one day, youíre going to hear something that you donít want to hear.
Eunice: Well, that day has come. (She gets up from the sofa and walks away to another part of the room.)
Mark: What did you hear Eunice?
Eunice: Itís just that the governor is involved in some crazy business right now.
Mark: Crazy like what? Is he cheating on his wife? Is he doing business with the mob? Is he involved in drugs?
Eunice: No, Mark! Nothing like that. But it is bad and I have to write a letter to some people that may be hurt.
Mark: Now, you really have to tell me since. Iím not going to have my wife involved in anything that may hurt her.
Eunice: Honey, I know that youíre concerned, but Iím okay. Just trust God through this.
Mark: Well, I wonít pressure you any more to tell me. But I will tell you this, if you have an opportunity to do something right that will correct the wrongdoing, it would behoove you to do just that. No matter what the situation is, God calls us to do what is just and what is right.
Eunice: Youíre so right, Rev. Mark.
Mark: And that is why you married me. (he laughs)
Eunice: Now donít get carried away! (she chuckles)
End of Act One
Act Two: Unexpected News
Scene One: In His Arms kitchen. Min. Gloria and Katrina are putting away groceries.
Katrina: Gloria, did you happen to see if the mail came yet? We should be getting that check right about now.
Min. Gloria: Trina, donít worry yourself. It will show up right on time.
Katrina: I know, itís just that we are so behind on the mortgage. We canít afford to lose the house.
Min. Gloria: Just put your trust in God. The bank has been very fair and patient with us. God blessed us with this house. He gave us the tools to counsel and provide the safety for these women. And God has even made it that we donít have to charge a dime for any of the benefits that these ladies get.
Katrina: What would I do without you? Youíre right. I will try my best. Are you ready to pick next weekís meal.
Min. Gloria: Yeah. We should have done that before going to the market.
(Katrina looks sits down at the kitchen table and looks away from her)
Min. Gloria: Trina, youíre alright?
Katrina: Yes, I am just thinking about how far God has brought me. I remember when I thought that love meant for a mean to beat me in every room of the house, even for doing something so simple as smiling.
Min. Gloria: Yes, I remember when I first met you. At first, I thought that you werenít going to leave your husband. But, I stepped back and allowed God to water the seeds of faith that I planted in you.
Katrina: How about that? It has been 15 years, but I still remember the day that I came to my senses and got a glimpse of reality.
Min. Gloria: Hey, we all have those moments in various situations.
Katrina: I knew that once I got myself together, I was going to reach out and help other women. I just never knew that I would be running a shelter. (Starts to cry) I just donít know how I would be able to tell these women that we would not be able to help them anymore.
Min. Gloria: Stop working yourself up. We got the letter from the state, so our help is on the way.
(Doorbell rings. Each of the ladies looks at each other with surprise)
Katrina: And our help cometh!
Min. Gloria: Finish up in here. I will go to the door. (Gloria exits the kitchen).
(Moments later, Min. Gloria returns to the kitchen carrying an envelope.)
Katrina: Whatís that in your hand, Gloria? (Dancing around Gloria)
Min. Gloria: Girl, have a seat. FedEx just delivered a letter straight from Gov. Bensonís office.
Katrina: (Still standing) Come on! Letís hurry up and open it!
Min. Gloria: Be patient! (starts to open the envelope)
Katrina: Itís just a letter? What does it say? Hand me the envelope. Iím sure the check is in there.
Min. Gloria: (reading the letter) Oh, my (shakes her head)
Katrina: Oh my, what? Tell me what it says, Gloria.
Min. Gloria: I think you should sit down for this.
Katrina: Is the check coming at a later time? What?
Min. Gloria: It says that we will not be receiving a check at all. We have to wait for the next fiscal period to apply for another grant. My Lord, my God..
Katrina: No, that canít be! They just told us that we would be receiving the grant. How can this be? What am I to tell the ladies? Weíre about to lose this house!
Min. Gloria: Something doesnít sound right. (sits down and stares at the letter)
Katrina: God, WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? (sobs and runs out of the kitchen)
Min. Gloria: Lord, I donít understand, but You know all things. I pray that this is just a mistake and not of some shady business deal. Iím placing this in Your marvelous Hands. Oh, sweet Jesus!
Scene Two: Governorís Office: Gov. Benson is sitting in his office and reviewing some documents. Eunice is filing some paperwork and folders. She stands still for a brief hours and then decides to go into the governorís office.
Eunice: (standing in the doorway) Gov. Benson, do you have a few moments?
Gov. Benson: Sure, Eunice! Come on in and have a seat.
Eunice: (she enters into the office). I will try not to take too much of your time. (sits down)
Gov. Benson: How can I help you? And by the way, I know that I donít say this enough, but I really appreciate having you here.
Eunice: Well, sir, it is my pleasure. (She pauses a few moments before speaking) Do you remember the letter that you asked me to send to the shelter last week?
Gov. Benson: Yes, what about it?
Eunice: I just feel that it was a bad idea. As a woman, it crushed my heart to have sent that letter. These women depend on us to keep them safe by providing the money to operate the shelter. I feel especially bad that we sent that letter after we promised to give them the grant.
Gov. Benson: Eunice, I understand your concern and I highly respect you as a woman. However, you need to recognize my ability to discern what is best for the state. There is a program that needed the funds more.
Eunice: What place could possibly need money more than a womanís shelter, especially one that houses domestic violence victims?
Gov. Benson: Eunice, are you questioning my authority?
Eunice: No, sir. I just wanted to share my opinionÖ
Gov. Benson: (interrupts) Your opinion has been shared and my decision stands. If you donít mind, I have to continue getting some things in order before I meet with the President next month.
Eunice: (stands up) Good day, sir.
Gov. Benson: Good day.
(Eunice exits and returns to her desk)
Scene Three: Living room of shelter. Min. Gloria and Katrina gathered the women to explain the recent news.
Katrina: Ladies, we asked you to meet with us because we have something very important to tell you.
Min. Gloria: We just received news that we will not be getting the grant that was promised to us.
Monica: So what does this mean for us?
Katrina: We will no longer be able to extend shelter to you.
Elisa: But where are we going to live?
Shannon: There is no way that I am going back to my husband! Do you know what he did to me when I went back? He nearly killed me when he slammed by head into the wall.
Andrea: I have to go. I have to go (Andrea runs out of the house)
Min. Gloria: Ladies, please understand that we know how you feel right now. We are going to call a few agencies to see if they can squeeze you into one of their shelters.
Monica: Is there a way that you can get the bank to wait a few more months. We can try to raise the money from fundraisers. I can even ask the church to do a special offering.
Katrina: Monica, I have spent hours on the phone talking to several bank representatives. The mortgage is already behind and they are not willing to do any more right now. We have to vacate the premises by the end of the month.
Shannon: (starts crying) This doesnít make any sense. For the first time in my life, I felt safe. I felt like I didnít have to walk on cotton any more. And now you tell me that the safety net has been removed? How am I supposed to feel right now?
Katrina: Shannon, believe me. I know. I have been where you are. I was fortunate enough to know that my abuser is in jail for a long time. Your abuser is still out on the streets. I am going to do the best that I can do to keep you safe. God has us all covered. Right now, I just pray that we can find an answer to this problem before we leave.
Elisa: This has to be the worst day of my life! (Runs off stage)
Min. Gloria: Ladies, I know that this is hard to do, but believe that God will work it out. He always does. We just have to trust Him.
Monica: Min. Gloria, no disrespect, but that is not what we want to hear right about now. I donít have anywhere to go. This isnít right and it isnít fair! I have a daughter that needs protection too! (stomps away)
Katrina: Shannon, we are going to keep praying about it. It isnít over until God says so. It isnít over.
Shannon: Well, I hope so. I canít take any more of this. Iím going to my bedroom to start packing just in case something comes up.
Katrina: I am going to call the governorís office to try to make some sense out of this. I hoping that this is some sort of computer glitch.
Min. Gloria: Thatís a good idea. In the meantime, I am going to look for Andrea. I am hoping that she didnít return home out of desperation.
Katrina: Okay, sis. Letís try to re-group in a few hours. I am going to try and remain calm.
(Min. Gloria exits the house while Katrina makes a call to the Governorís Office.)
Katrina: Hi, good afternoon. My name is Katrina Evans. I run a domestic violence safe house in the city called In His Arms. Some time ago, we applied for a grant so that we can make some renovations and get caught up on our mortgage. We received a letter from your office awarding us the grant. Last week, we received a letter stating that we will not get the funding. I have four women residing in the house and the house is used to hold monthly meetings for other victims. If I do not get this money, I will lose the house. (pauses) Yes, maíamÖÖsure, Iíll hold. But wait, what is your name again?....Ms. Eunice BradstreetÖokay, yes I have itÖ.thank youÖYou have a blessed day also (pauses to be transferred to Trent)
(Trent appears on far end of the stage)
Trent: Governorís Office, how may I help you?
Katrina: Yes, I was calling about the funding that we were supposed to give for the shelter that I own and operate.
Trent: Oh, yes. How can I help you?
Katrina: I am wondering if there was some sort of mix-up.
Katrina: Ms. Katrina. Katrina Evans.
Trent: Ms. Evans, our office sincerely regrets any confusion that we may have caused. However, after further review, we had to apply the grant towards a needier cause.
Katrina: A needier cause? My house is in foreclosure! What could be any needier than that?
Trent: While I am not at liberty to discuss that information, I will say that we made a wise decision.
Katrina: And what was the decision based on?
Trent: We reviewed your financial records and saw that you had received a substantial amount of money. We just didnít see a need to give you any more money.
Katrina: The money that you sent to me had already been absorbed. I have two other people on payroll, I pay a counselor per diem, and I still have to feed and shelter these women. Going by what I received is not enough to make a decision. You need to see how much I pay out each month.
Trent: Have you ever considered asking your tenants to pay some money for their stay?
Katrina: Why on earth would I do that? These women were beaten and abused by their boyfriends and spouses. They donít have any money. I am trying to help them so that they can get on their feet. How fair would it be for me to ask for money?
Trent: it IS a reasonable request, Ms. Evans.
Katrina: Reasonable? It seems like the only reasonable person in this conversation is me.
Trent: Is there anything else that I can help you with?
Katrina: I would like to meet with Gov. Benson as soon as possible. I have three weeks before we would have to vacate these premises.
Trent: Let me check his schedule. (Pauses). Gov. Benson is scheduled to meet with a few officials in Philadelphia this Friday. I can schedule for him to stop by around 4 p.m. Does that work for you?
Katrina: 4 p.m. it is. Thank you and have a good day. (Katrina hangs up the phone and lifts her hands up in the air) Lord, please.
(Trent leaves the stage)
End of scene
Scene Four: Itís Friday afternoon. Katrina and Min. Gloria are sitting in the living room preparing for the governorís visit.
Katrina: Gloria, do I look alright? This was the best that I could do in such a short time.
Min. Gloria: How many times do I have to tell you? You look great. Sit down.
Katrina: I just hope that I have chosen the proper hors díoeuvres. Do you think that I should brew some coffee?
Min. Gloria: We donít have to worry about that until we cross that bridge.
Katrina: Gloria, what happens if he tells us that there is nothing that he can do to help us?
Min. Gloria: Mustard seed.
Katrina: Mustard seed?
Min. Gloria: I usually say that when I am in a difficult situation. If I have the strength to say Ďmustard seed,í then I have enough faith to get me through.
Katrina: I have to remember that. Still no word from Andrea?
Min. Gloria: I went by her old place and stopped by her church. I have no idea where she could be. I just pray that she is safe and well.
Katrina: Iím going to keep praying. Maybe, we should have waited to tell the girls what was going on.
(Door bell rings. Katrina walks to the door to greet their visitor. Eunice walks in)
Katrina: Hello? Can I help you, Miss?
Eunice: Yes, my name is Eunice Bradstreet. I am here on behalf of Gov. Benson (Eunice takes a look at the place.)
Katrina: Oh, we were expecting Gov. Benson.
Eunice: Yes, I know. He suggested that since I am a woman, that I would be more sensitive to your needs.
Min. Gloria: Eunice, please have a seat. My name is Minister Gloria Richardson and this is Katrina Evans. We have been running this safe house for the past ten years.
Eunice: This is a beautiful home. Do both of you live here as well?
Katrina: Yes. My house got sold in accordance to my divorce decree. Min. Richardson stays here for most nights, but she has an apartment in the suburbs.
Eunice: Iím quite impressed. Where are the residents? Are they here?
Min. Gloria: No. They went away for a retreat until tomorrow morning. With all that had been going through, an agency in Scranton offered the girls for a free overnight stay in the Poconos. Some Christian conference that they do every yearÖ
Katrina: (interrupts) I donít mean to be rude, but I need to know why youíre here? Are you going to help us or not?
Eunice: If I had the money, I would give it to you. I am sure Gov. Benson would do the same.
Katrina: This Trent that I had spoken with doesnít seem to empathetic to our concerns.
Eunice: He is strictly business. I donít expect him to show any feelings of sincerity. It doesnít mean that he doesnít care, but that he is more or less interested in getting to the root of the matter.
Min. Gloria: We need to find a way to get the money. We cannot afford to lose this house. These women do not have a safe place to go.
Eunice: I am at wits end. Are there any lender thatÖ
(Eunice is interrupted as Andrea thrusts through the front door. She is badly beaten and bloody. She stumbles to the floor)
Eunice: Oh, my Lord! What has happened to her?
Min. Gloria: Andrea! Andrea! Call 911!
Katrina: Yes, I need an ambulance sent to 1223 Camac Street. One of our clients has been severely beaten! (she kneels down beside Andrea) Andrea, please hold on. Help is on the way.
Eunice: You know her?
Katrina: Yes. She lives here. She left the day that we found out that we lost the grant. She mustíve returned to her old home.
Eunice: This is awful. This is awful! I canít do this. I just canít (she starts pacing the floor)
Min. Gloria: Eunice, I am going to need you to take a seat. We need to keep Andrea calm until help arrives.
Eunice: No, I canít hold it in any longer! I have to do whatís right. God compels me to do the right thing. Listen, there is something that I need to tell you.
Katrina: Can this wait? (pressing bandages to Andreaís head)
Eunice: No. Keep helping her. I typed that letter that you received. (She takes a deep breath) Just before I wrote the letter, I overheard the governor talking about the money that you were supposed to receive. (She pauses to look at Andrea)
Min. Gloria: Continue quickly.
Eunice: He gave the money to Powellton State Corrections facility. The gentleman that runs that prison ran into some financial difficulty of a personal sort. The governor agreed to give the money to bail him out.
Katrina: Are you kidding me? Who gave him that power?
Eunice: There is more to this.
Katrina: Can it really get worse than this?
Eunice: The governor gets kickbacks from the prison. In order to protect himself, he had to give up the money. When the governor gets in on Monday morning, he will find my resignation letter on the door. My suggestion to you is to get the media involved as soon as possible. (She reaches into her purse) take this business card. This is the PR contact at the local news station. You need to get the media involved.
Katrina: Iím losing her pulse. God PLEASE HELP US!!
Min. Gloria: Jehovah Rophe! I am calling on you right now, in the name of Jesus! Please save her. Please, Lord. Please!
Eunice: My prayer is with you all. If you need a source, I would be more than happy to help you.
Min. Gloria: May I ask you why you chose to tell us?
Eunice: I think right now, it would be best to thank God that He chose me to come.
(Heavy knocking on the door. Katrina gets up to let the paramedics in.)
End of Scene
Act Four: Justice Revealed
Scene One: Everyone, except Andrea, is gathered in the living room, crying and grieving their loss.)
Katrina: I canít believe that this is happening? How did I let this happen?
Shannon: Katrina, you canít take responsibility for this. We had no idea that Andrea would go back.
Katrina: No, I shouldíve waited before telling you.
Monica: You did what you felt was best to do.
Min. Gloria: I think that Andrea said that she had a brother overseas. We have to see if we can locate him to tell him about Andreaís passing.
Monica: She said that her brother was a corporal in the Marines. Weíll start looking for him soon.
Elisa: Mom, I canít bear sitting in this living room any longer. I just keep hearing Andreaís voice.
Min. Gloria: I think all of you should go get some rest. Katrina and I will clean up and make our way upstairs soon.
Shannon: Katrina, you must fight this. If not for you, do it for Andrea.
Katrina: Good night, Shannon. I will do all that God enables me to do.
(The three remaining residents exit the stage.)
Katrina: I just feel so awful, Gloria. This cuts deep.
Min. Gloria: Katrina, I know that this is devastating, but God is going to sort this out. We are going to call the news station in the morning and give them a full report, even what the governor did.
Katrina: You know, my husband is imprisoned there. It burns in my stomach that he may be smiling, knowing that the prison he stays in took money from me.
Min. Gloria: Come on, Trina. Youíve come too far to even think that he has victory over you. Donít let that get up in your head. God will prevail. He does every time.
Katrina: Can you just look at it for the real and answer with something other than what God will do. God allowed all of this to happen. For what? We lost a good person! She was about to start school next year. (sobbing)
(Doorbell rings. Min. Gloria answers the door.)
Katrina: Now who could be coming here at this hour?
(Enters Eunice with a reporter)
Min. Gloria: Eunice, we thought that you have returned to Harrisburg.
Eunice: Just as I was heading up the turnpike, I decided to turn around and get the ball started. You need to get your story out there as soon as possible. Monday morning is just too late. (Points to reporter) This is Janice Fisher. She is a political reporter who does a lot of writing for the Philadelphia Chronicle. Janice, this is Katrina and Gloria.
Janice: Ladies, I am sorry that we are meeting under such duress. I am here to help you get the justice that you deserve. I am willing to work all night to get this ready for morning press release. As a Christian, God calls me to do what is right for His people. I am about telling the truth and sharing wisdom at all times. Shall we proceed?
Gloria and Katrina: Yes (simultaneously).
(Everyone has a seat. Janice pulled out her notebook and took notes. In the background, ďDoes Anybody Hear Her,Ē by Casting Crowns plays in the background.)
Janice: Okay, Ladies. I think that we got all that we need. If I missed anything, I will be sure to call you. Try to get some rest tonight. I will be sure to present a really good wake-up call. We have to find a way to stop politicians from cutting money from programs that truly need it. Secondly, we, as a people, need to take a stand against dirty politics. I canít see any reason why the governor would need to take any kickbacks. It is my hope that he saved some of that money.
Min. Gloria: I am sure that the Lord has a place for that money.
Katrina: I can, at least, name one of those places.
Eunice: I feel much better now that I got this off my heart. My only regret is that I didnít get to you sooner. To avoid such a horrible loss.
Janice: As hard as it may sound, I believe that God used Andreaís death to bring forth justice. Itís hard to see that now, but later on when the dust settles, we will see God, even in the worst of situations like these.
Katrina: Thank and bless you. Be careful in your travels. We look forward to tomorrow morning.
Scene Two: Saturday morning in the living room. Everyone is gathered around the television, waiting for the 7 a.m. news to come on.
Elisa: Ms. Katrina, why did we all have to get up so early to watch the news?
Katrina: Just wait and you will see.
Monica: I sure hope that it is pretty good, because I am in need of some serious sleep.
Katrina: Ladies, I promise you that it is worth it. Gloria, turn up the t.v., thereís Janice!
Janiceís voice: Good morning, everyone. What I am about to report to you is disturbing, but it must be told. Last night, a young woman named Andrea has fallen victim to the alleged hands of her abuser. For the past year and a half, Andrea had been a resident of a domestic abuse shelter called, In His Arms located in North Philadelphia. When Andrea learned that the shelter would be closing due to bank foreclosure, Andrea ran away and allegedly went home.
The shelter provides a safe place for domestic violence victims to live. None of the victims pay for rent and board. They are free to stay as long as they wish. There is a minister and Christian counselor on staff to assist the women into safe transition. Due to the rising cost and the lack of dedicated funding, the house had gone into foreclosure.
The irony of this situation is that the owners and operators, Katrina Evans and Min. Gloria Richardson, for In His Arms received a letter from the governorís office, guaranteeing them a grant to assist with getting the house out of foreclosure and to aid in the services that these women need. It has since been reported that Gov. Benson allegedly repelled the grant and had forwarded the money to Powellton Correction Facility that is under the management of Steve Andrews. We are currently looking into Mr. Andrews financial affairs. It was reported, by someone working in the governorís office, that Mr. Andrews has been giving Gov. Benson kickbacks for the prisoners that are sent to PCF. In addition to that, the money that was supposed to be sent to In His Arms was used to cover Mr. Andrewsí gambling debt.
Iím sure that each of you finds this information to be very upsetting. We will continue to inform you as this story unfolds. Today, we mourn the loss of Andrea. Ms. Evans and Min. Richardson both state that Andrea left the safe house after she found out she would have to leave the premises due to the bank foreclosure. This is truly a death that could have been avoided. Iím Janice Fisher, reporting for Channel 11 news.
(Katrina turns the t.v. off)
Katrina: I think that this calls for a victory breakfast!
Monica: Yeah, but what about getting the money back? She didnít say anything about getting the money back!
Min. Gloria: This is where your faith must come in. We have to believe that God revealed this to us for a purpose. Donít give up. We have to keep believing.
Shannon: It is easier said than done, Min. Gloria.
Min. Gloria: How if we just do it, which is believe, and then we can make this process much easier.
Katrina: Min. Gloria is right. We have to have faith. This didnít happen by mistake. I think that there is something good that is going to come out of this.
Elisa: I sure hope so because I am not ready to leave from here. This has been the best place that I have ever lived in.
Min. Gloria: I am going to start a batch of pancakes. Elisa, would you like to help me in the kitchen?
Monica: I will help too. I can cook some bacon or sausage.
(Min. Gloria, Elisa, and Monica exit)
Katrina: Shannon, how are you holding up?
Shannon: I am still in shock about Andrea. She was my best friend.
Katrina: Yes, I know. You two spent the most time together.
(Doorbell rings repeatedly.)
Katrina: Lord, who is it this time of the morning. Every time, it has been bad news. Please donít make this be another one.
(She straightens out her robe and answers the door. She finds no one there, but a check.)
Katrina: Gloria! Gloria! Come quickly!
(Gloria re-enters the room, drying her hands with a towel)
Gloria: Katrina, what is it? Why are you yelling?
Katrina: Someone just left a check here for ten thousand dollars! Can you believe it?
Gloria: Look at God!
Katrina: That will be enough to cover some of the foreclosure fees.
(Doorbell rings again. Gloria runs to the door and is greeted by a couple dressed in their pajamas.)
Man: Hi, we live across the street and just finished watching the news. Weíre extremely sorry for your loss. While this check may not bring Andrea back, I sure hope that it will help save the house.
Woman: If you need more, please donít hesitate to ask.
(Katrina hugs and thanks the couple)
Gloria: This is nothing but the Blood of Jesus. I told you that He would not allow us to lose this house.
Katrina: This is a check for seventy-five thousand. Can you believe this?
(Phone rings. Katrina answers the phone.)
Thank you for calling In His Arms, how can I help you?....this is sheÖ.yesÖ.oh, thank you, sirÖ.oh thank you! That is so generous of you!...sure, someone will be hereÖ.thank you, again. God bless youÖ.okayÖ.will do.
(Katrina hangs up the phone)
That was a gentleman that owns a law firm in Center City. He will help us with any of our legal matters for free. He is also going to stop buy with some groceries and a donation of fifty-thousand dollars. (Starts to sob) God, how could I ever thank You?
Gloria: God has just shown to you that Ďno weapon formed against you will prosper.í He took something bad and worked it out for His good. See what a mustard seed can do?
Katrina: Yes, yes, yes!
Scene Three: Governorís office. Katrina and Gloria have been asked to meet with the interim governor to discuss funding.
Shawn: I thank both of you for taking time out of your busy day to drive up here. Please excuse the office. Federal agents have been in and out of the office collecting evidence.
Katrina: Oh, it is no problem, sir.
Min. Gloria: Weíre sorry that you had to assume office under such circumstances. However, weíre pleased to know that justice will show her face.
Shawn: The governor will be announcing his retirement later today. We are working to get Eunice to come back. We are very happy about the good in heart.
Min. Gloria: We are forever grateful. Since Saturday morning, we have received more than the grant money. Ford called us yesterday and will be donating a new van. We are in the process of finishing the three empty bedrooms to accommodate mothers.
Shawn: I am glad to hear of this. This story went all the way to the White House. The President is demanding that the state set parameters to prevent the misappropriation of funds. We are now no longer permitted to cut funds from safe shelters, public health clinics, and schools in depriving neighborhoods. In fact, this new law will be called Andreaís Law, to somehow honor a woman that started this all.
Katrina: (sobbing) I donít know what to say. I am just flattered that you would do this. I know that Andrea is smiling down on us.
Shawn: We certainly hope so. If there is anything that you ladies need, please donít hesitate to ask.
Min. Gloria: This is so amazing. Thank You, Father!!
(All three stand up to shake hands)
Shawn: My grandmother always said to me, ďEven in the darkest places, God can be found to shine light.Ē
Katrina and Gloria: Amen to that! Amen.
End of Play
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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