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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

By mick dawson



Missionary made it a point to spend time with individual members of the settlement of Haven whenever he was there.

One teenager took a particular liking to him. Ron Baker, Baker’s son led him to the edge of the village where they would speak alone. The red and black clad evangelist enjoyed his talks with Ron. He was an avid reader of his Bible and both enjoyed the challenging questions the boy would bring.

Together, they would speak on God’s word for hours, but the Missionary saw something else in the youth’s expression. It was not the usual eagerness to deliver another Biblical conundrum but a stare of concern.

“Can I go with you on your trips, Missionary?”

“Why?” asked the evangelist clearly taken back.

“The life you live must be so exciting. You travel across miles of hostile bush land and fight merge-mutations along the way. Then there are some of the merge mutations that you witness to.”

“I do it to reach the unsaved. It’s not about the thrill of it all, Ronnie. There are people living almost totally cut off in ones and twos. There’s no one else that can reach them, it’s all about gifting.”

The Missionary saw his friend scowl.
“Gifting.” He muttered disdainfully. “What are my gifts then? I know the word well and would make a good evangelist, you said.”

“Yes, I did.”

“What, here? We’re all Christians.”

“It’s not the only thing you can do.”

This conversation took the Missionary back to a similar time, before the world ended in a hail of missiles. He was Ronny’s age, seated in the office of his beloved pastor. He was a youth known as Brad Morton then.
Brad wanted to know what his gifts were. He was merely asking a question that all Christians asked sooner or later…What is my purpose?
A knowing smile emanated from the old man.

“I see a great man of God in you. I don’t know how I know but I am sure He has destined you for mighty works one day.”

Brad didn’t understand the magnitude of his words at the time. No girl had any time for him, he had no friends and had to come home to an over bearing father.

When the world ended, the Missionary was born. Anyone who ventured into the wilderness after the missiles had mutated everything would die. Only he could reach pockets of survivors as he was trained to live in their world by a merge mutation he had befriended. The passing of the female he loved still nagged at him every time he recalled her.

As the world had become so lethal to live in, the Missionary was the only evangelist to roam the land. He praised God every day for choosing him. His calling was vital as he first taught to repair their souls in Christ before trying to rebuild the world. It would seem that he was much more than an evangelist but a beacon to an almost extinct civilization.

“So that’s it?” Ron asked. “I just have to stay here? I get up everyday and do a bit of farming and write sermons no one will hear? I just breathe in and out, and then one day I don’t?”

The Missionary sighed.

“Maybe you have the gift of encouragement.”

“No…I don’t. I did volunteer work for Life Line once and four people committed suicide. The worst part was one of them was a wrong number. He only rang up to check how he went on the stock exchange.”

Ron looked into the shocked face of his companion.

“It was a joke.”

“I know it’s not that.” The Missionary said, shaking his head.

His expression collapsed all at once, and then he broke into raucous laughter. The laughter continued until Ronnie joined in the mirth.

“I’ve never known anyone who could make me laugh like you, even in the old world. It looks like you do have the gift of encouragement.”

“Yeah,” Ron agreed sheepishly. “But what good is it?”

“It’s vital Ronnie. When you amuse people, you give them the strength to go on. You will give people the courage to get up and face another day. Haven needs you.”

The two men embraced and returned to the village, each retiring to begin their separate ministries the next day. The Missionary would search for willing hearers of the Word and Ron would lighten the moods of his fellow villagers.

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This article has been read 668 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Holly Westefeld11/29/07
I am enjoying this series, and your talent at deftly applying the week's topic to your world.
Janice Cartwright11/30/07
You struck a reflective chord here. Without a spoon of humor to sweeten our lives where would any of us be? Well done!
Joanne Sher 11/30/07
This story definitely intrigued me. I wish there'd been more space to elaborate on the world - that word count can be a bugger! Very interesting characters, and a wonderful point well expressed. Keep writing!
Jan Ackerson 11/30/07
Very interesting, and told in a unique voice.

A few times you mentioned the "world ending", but it couldn't have ended, could it, with people still alive and in settlements? Maybe some clarification there?

I like your style--keep writing!
Temple Miller12/04/07
Surprising turn with good humor. I really liked it.