Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: South America (02/05/09)
- TITLE: Misericordia para el redimible
By Duwana Brennen
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Justice opened her eyes and sighed; no sigh was liberating enough to release her from the heaviness that came with reading verdicts or imposing sentences. She surveyed her desk and thumbed Peterson’s file. Still on her desk was the brochure about the special program in South America. Justice studied the “Misericordia para el redimible” pamphlet and wondered if Peterson would agree—so she called for the fiddlers three. Moments later, the bailiff reported with the defense attorney and prosecuting attorney in tow. The decree unraveled from her mouth.
Jonah signed the last few papers at the airport just before being escorted through the security checkpoint. As far as he was concerned, he didn’t care about his life or this stupid program he agreed to submit to; Jonah was just going to do this missionary thing and get back to life dysfunctional as he remembered it.
Overhead, the pilot’s powerful voice pierced through Jonah’s hardened persona and caused him to look out of the window. Below, a thick blanket of trees covered the ground, the water both frightened and amazed him. “Surely evil and misery are going to follow me,” he thought. The struggle between the wheels and the ground bounced Jonah back into reality; three violent bounces reminded him of the judge’s gavel. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. Why hadn’t he heard them before?
Miguel Christos patiently waited at the gate; he looked down at the ground and examined the ancient dust on his careworn sandals. He could just make out Jonah’s figure as the usual authorities escorted yet another pobrecillo perdido into his capable hands.
Nine weeks after arriving at the Misericordia complex, Jonah missed his lifestyle less and less. Miguel had become his mentor and home had become the complex. Jonah made a few friends over time, one being a seven year old girl named Dorotea. Dorotea had a contagious toothless smile and an even more infectious laugh. The complex volunteers had a goal of building five wells for the local villages, Dorotea’s village was the last one scheduled to receive their well. That night there was to be a tent revival and a celebration which would unite the volunteers and villagers. Jonah had not seen Dorotea for a few days, which was not uncommon during this time of year. Typically young children traveled great distances to keep the family’s water supply stocked for cooking or bathing. Jonah cleaned up for the evening’s events, his mind swirled with questions that were pulling on him lately. Miguel had shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Jonah but there was no interest until recently. Jonah sat alone in his bunk wondering if there was a God and if so, why had He allowed so many horrible things to control Jonah’s life.
The tent had a heavy burlap smell somewhat like straw or hay, the buzz of excitement propelled Jonah to the front. A makeshift pool of water held center stage—it was familiar to everyone who wanted to celebrate Living Water. Miguel Christos smiled as he led the celebration that evening, there was to be a sermon, a celebration for God’s gift (the wells) and a baptismal service. By the end of the sermon Jonah had an overwhelming feeling to dedicate his life to God. As he emerged from the water, Jonah felt a sense of newness and was greeted by two contagious smiles. The three friends embraced as tears streaked Jonah’s face—Living Water changed his life twice.
Judge Ratchett received a letter from Jonah some nine months after his departure—it was signed:
Redeemed In South America
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