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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Asia (02/26/09)

TITLE: Precious Cargo
By Dena Wilson


Carolyn Matthews tousled her sweaty, sandy brown hair with her slim fingers, beat her fedora hat on her knee, and surveyed the land around her. This land spoke of foreign soil completely unique to her familiar Kansas wheat fields. Nothing could stop her from bringing the message to the Kaladah people though.

Enduring tedious hours flying to reach a jumping off point, then the gut retching journey across the ocean, hacking her way through the mangroves swamps of southern Pakistan she would reach her destination with her most valuable gift intact. No one else was called for this task, she was the only one.

“How could I turn my back when the trek becomes too difficult? An entire village needs what I carry in my backpack. Without this vital cargo the people would suffer a life of damnation, and death,” thought Carolyn.

What lay before her now would challenge every fiber of her being, the mountain ranges of Bumboret, Rum bur, and Birir in Northern Pakistan. A valley, in the middle of these mountain ranges, is where the village lays, at best a hungry, three days journey. Carolyn had been forging off the land for food for some time, what she carried in her pack was more precious than food. Carolyn’s fear and apprehensiveness shook her at her core; she closed her eyes and dug deep into her spirit for the courage that knew no end. Only after reconnecting with this courage did she know, without a shadow of doubt, that she could contact this tribe.

Not long after the strenuous climb up the mountain the muggy air blew with a hint of a chill; before Carolyn reached her destination she would be wrapping herself in a warm parka.

“Who would have thought climbing grain silos, and to the top of a barn’s roof would prepare me for mountain climbing,” thought Carolyn.

Digging her spiked worn boots into the icy mountain side, she bent almost double to block the frigid wind and continued on.

On the opposite side of the mountain, she noticed a hint of warmth to the air and knew she was close to her destination. Carolyn stared mumbling the foreign words her tongue had learned before starting out on this adventure. She had come too far to be killed for a mispronounced word.

Fixing her icy, blue eyes on the river, she plotted a course towards it; knowing the Kaladah would have their village near a water source. The growl of her stomach made her tired, sore feet walk with briskness anticipating fresh fish sizzling over a warm fire.

Next morning with her belly full of fish she set out on what she hoped would be her last day of walking. Closing in on her destination, doubt and worry battled with her mind.

“Would the Kaladah people understand the value of her message? Would they embrace not only the priceless gift she cared, but the vast knowledge she carried in her? Would they listen to her, and accept her as one of their own?” Carolyn cast these thoughts out of her mind and focused on the One that mattered most.

Picking her way around a bend in the river she glanced up and caught her first sight of the village. For the primitive location Carolyn could tell it was loved and well taken care of. A pack of dogs announced her arrival as she neared the first buildings. The villagers stopped their daily chores upon seeing her, and gathered around an aged man.

Carolyn could tell this seasoned man had seen many troubles and hardships throughout his life. There was no question in her mind that he was the leader of the tribe.
Carolyn knelt before the wrinkled man, and reached into her pack.

A knife, of a daunting warrior, slashed out. Being responsible for his leader’s life his instincts would not allow him to stand still. Nothing but harm could come from this strange white woman’s pack. Carolyn’s life ebbed as the warrior plucked the book from her pack. The chief called for his daughter, who had returned recently after spending time apart to learn the ways of others

“Father, I have seen similar objects on my travels.” Her fingers traced the beautiful golden embossed letters, she read ‘Bible’ “Sit, I will share with the tribe.”

Generation after generation of Kaladah people accepted Jesus as their Savoir, and recited the legend of the white woman who loved them enough to give her own life.

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This article has been read 493 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 03/06/09
Perfect title, and an absolutely beautiful telling of a tragic story with eternal consequences. I assume this is based on truth. It came across as so.
Lynda Schultz 03/06/09
This sure piqued my interest. I would have loved to have read more the details (assuming this is based on a true story.
Mary Lou Cook03/06/09
Enjoyed the story. As a writer, you show potential. Carolyn seemed familiar, like an old friend.
Carolyn Crook03/07/09
Boy, I didn't see that coming. That was sad, as is the fate of many of the early missionaries that have given their life to share the gospel.
Ruth Ann Moore03/07/09
I enjoyed following the MC's journey. You're right, she could have no more precious cargo than God's word.
Debra Smith03/09/09
You brought Carolyn a live and likable , I cheer her on in her journey, cried at her ending while rejoicing at her mission being carried on by the people she was sent to. If this is a true story I like to read more.
Aaron Goulet03/09/09
I enjoyed this story very much. Too bad for the word limit, I would have enjoyed more.
Deborah Porter 03/13/09
Hi Dena. Just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry, "Precious Cargo," actually did very well in the Asia Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you made it into the Highest Rankings for Level 1, placing 6th in that Level (so you just missed out on an award). Competition in Level 1 is always very intense, so well done.

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.

You definitely deserve a pat on the back. Well done. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)