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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: India (02/12/09)

TITLE: 8:28
By Adele O'Reilly


(The bridal waiting area of Fallsview Church. Sarah, dressed in a simple yet elegant white dress, is sitting in a winged back chair in front of a makeup mirror, fixing her hair. Donna, Sarah’s sister, comes into the room)
Donna: Here, let me fix that. (goes over and brushes Sarah’s hair)
Sarah: Is David here yet?
Donna: They just called. There was a traffic jam at Main Street, but they’re past it now. Should be here any minute.
Sarah: (looks at her watch) Good. We can still start on time. Is everything ready?
Donna: Yes, The church looks beautiful. The flowers, the candles…although I got a weird look from the pastor as we handed out the balloons to everyone as they came inside.
Sarah: You can blame David for that. It was his only request for the whole wedding. That, and the honeymoon destination.
Donna: Speaking of destinations, Stephanie told me to give this to you. (hands envelope to Sarah)
Sarah: Oh, the plane tickets, good.
Donna: Mumbai, India?
Sarah: Don’t start.
Donna: I’m just saying you could take a little time before you go off to some foreign land that hurt you so deeply.
Sarah: It’s not a foreign land. It’s a countryside filled with people living in darkness. David’s passion for the Maratha people is now my passion.
Donna: You could just send money.
Sarah: No, I can’t. I have to go. There are over 50 million of God’s people there, waiting to hear the Good News. They’re in my heart now, their stories, their lives…I can’t walk away from that.
Donna: I’m just so afraid to lose you. The bombings, the terrorists…
Sarah: I know. But I truly feel God calling me to do this. So pray, everyday, ok? I need to know you support me.
Donna: I will. I promise. (they hug) Did David know what he got when he asked you to marry him?
Sarah: Yes, he did. The first and second time.
Donna: The first time?
Sarah: Didn’t I tell you what he said to me the first time we spoke? He comes up to me after class and says “Sarah, right?” And I said “Yeah”. And he says, “Well, Sarah, my name is David Prince. If you marry me your name will be ‘Princess Prince’.
Donna: He knew the name Sarah means “God’s Princess?”
Sarah: Yeah…I mean, how many guys know that? So I look at my watch and there it is.
Donna: It was 8:28?
Sarah: Yup.
Donna: I don’t think your obsession with eight twenty eight is biblically sound.
Sarah: Donna you know me better than that. I don’t depend on numbers to guide me. I depend on God’s word here in my heart. I think of it more like a private thing between me and Him.
Donna: Like how Stephanie feels when she sees an eagle?
Sarah: Exactly. It’s a reminder of my life verse. When I see eight twenty eight, I see God’s love for me.
Donna: Even today?
Sarah: Especially today.
Donna: We better go out there. (pauses, turns back to look at Sarah) We all love you, you know that. We’re here for you.
Sarah: I know. Give me a minute, will you? I need to go over what I’m gonna say.
Donna: Of course. (exits)
Sarah: (Takes out balloon, blows it up and holds it up high) Today is August 28th. One year ago today I married the love of my life, David Prince. We didn’t have that much time together here on this earth, but we will share eternity together. This is not a funeral. Today is a celebration of David’s life, and all that God did through him. He would not want us to mope around, shaking our fist at some faceless terrorist. When he died, David was right where his heart was, in India, his adopted home. Let me share with you a verse from God’s Word that has special meaning to me.
Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to his purpose.

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This article has been read 643 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 02/19/09
Very moving. And I love the repeated use of 8:28. It is a verse I have held on to for several years.

A space between speakers might make this a bit easier to read.

Nicely done.
LauraLee Shaw02/19/09
Okay, two words.

Goose. Bumps.

Wowzer, what a twist at the end, and the thread of the verse all the way through is brilliant.
Kellie Henningsen02/19/09
Wow! Very clever -- the ending was such a twist. I had to go back and read the beginning again as I was convinced this was a wedding obviously. Very, very nice!
Seema Bagai 02/21/09
This is very well-written. I did not expect the twist at the end.

A couple of tiny things to note. Marathi is more commonly used than Maratha (which refers to a specific group of castes within India). Also, the 50 million people comment seemed to be just tossed in there. Not sure what you meant as it doesn't match the population of India, Mumbai, or the state of Maharashtra.

I really enjoyed reading this story. I can see this being expanded into a novel.
Millicent Pat-Nwaoyo02/23/09
This is so touching. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I felt like a part of it beacause August 28 is my husband's birthday. I love your writing. God bless you.
Chely Roach02/23/09
A very tender story with an emotional twist. Well done.
LauraLee Shaw02/26/09
Woo hoo!!!! Congratulations on 3rd place!!!! Soooooo happy for you!
Deborah Porter 02/26/09
Hi Adele. I just wanted to leave a quick note to congratulate you on your 3rd place win in Level 1, and to also let you know your entry made it into the Highest Rankings, placing 25th overall. That's excellent for a Level 1 entrant.

If you'd like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

Congratulations again. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Deborah Ann Belka02/26/09
Fantastic all the way through! I loved every word, and was captured by every thought!