Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)
TITLE: The Missionary
By Kayla Rachal
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Celine Brentford repeated the words she had just heard in her mind. “Cancer……..three months to live……….inoperable………..prepare yourself.” The doctor had briefly summed up her life in a tidy little bundle of despair and hopelessness, and calmly left the hospital room.
Celine had spent the past seventeen years teaching Sunday School to the children aged five to nine at the little country church in her town. Everyone knew her and loved her, and she loved them all. How did a simple stomach ache turn into this monstrous physical attack on her being? She just couldn’t absorb the news she had just received.
She remembered her life in this little town as a child, and how she desperately wanted to grow up and become a missionary. However, her mother became ill at an early age and needed fulltime care. Celine, being an only child, had felt responsible to take the responsibility for her widowed mother’s care. So she had taken some part-time classes at the local college, worked part-time, and cared for her mother for seven years.
After the loss of her mom, she had thrown herself into her education fulltime. Shortly after, she received her bachelor’s degree in education. Her “children” became the center of her attention, and she had even requested to teach the little Sunday School class. Thus, for over seventeen years, Miss Celine was teacher and Sunday School teacher of many, many children.
Somehow, in the rush and flow of life, Celine had set aside her burning desire to become a missionary, thinking that someday when the time was right, she would drop everything and seek her destiny on the mission field.
As her life slowly ebbed away in the coming months, Celine spent more and more time feeling remorse for the failure to seek her missionary work at an earlier age. Tap, tap….what was that sound?? She struggled to rise, and after repeated tries, managed to reach the front door just as the second set of “tap, tap, taps” came. To her surprise, there were at least three hundred children outside. They were lined up all down the street, some were even in neighbor’s yards. Little Polly Peters was the spokesman. She looked up at Celine, and with an innocence only a child can display, said, “ Miss Celine, my mommy said I should tell you what is in my hear. So I am going to try really hard. My mommy says that a missionary is a person with a mission in life. Well, then, you are OUR missionary. You see, you taught my brother, Ben, to love Jesus with all his heart. Now Ben is a great evangelist. You taught my sister to seek after her talent, and use it to glorify God, and she plays the organ at the big church in town. You have taught me that Jesus is LOVE, and all of us wanted you to know that there is a lot of JESUS here today, because we don’t want you to go away. You are OUR missionary. Please stay with us.”
With tear-filled eyes, Celine realized as she hugged the little girl standing before her, that she really HAD been a missionary, right in her own “back yard,” you might say. “I will try really hard, Polly. But you have to ask Jesus about this too, because He knows best.
The old gray-haired lady rocking the tiny baby in the rocking chair remembered all too well. It had been many years now since the Lord had healed her of cancer. But now she had no regrets. She was a missionary all her life. She just needed a little child that Jesus sent to point it out and set her straight.
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