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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)

TITLE: The Astounding Expedition
By Lance Pisowicz


Captain Phillip stared exhaustedly at the tattered map. “We aren’t getting anywhere,” he uttered. “Why did we jeopardize our lives just to get stranded on vacant soil?”

William saw this as his opportunity to speak. “Captain, we are exploring here to find land and treasures, for the noble King Clark and all of Holland. Few have traveled it past the Cape of Fear and we are of that group. I am truly honored just to be capable to say that,” he said with an assuring smile.

“But what will the King do to us if we cannot discover any riches, that he passionately desires?” inquired the Captain.

“I’m not sure Sir, but I can guarantee you this; God will provide for us. We have not completed his work here yet, otherwise we would have perished at sea or starved to death during our voyage here,” stated William in a confident tone.

“I’m sure you’re correct, mate; we have countless souls here to attain for Christ and such inadequate time, but with God’s assist I’m positive we will finish the quest,” said Captain Phillip. “Now on the map it says, we are approaching a native territory, under Zulu control. Their leader is believed to be very dangerous and warlike, so we’d best keep exploring and hope not to be noticed by the tribe.”

“Of course Captain, I know I speak for the whole crew when I say we are entirely behind you,” replied William.

“Thank you William, but I hope I am making the correct decision. I trust that God will guide us on our expedition,” said Captain Phillip in a nervous tone.

The crew began ambling through a forest, which contained an immense variety of plants and animals. They smelled wild flowers and plucked delectable mushrooms to eat in their meals. The crew was so preoccupied by all of the gorgeous colors, that they didn’t notice the hieroglyphics on the trees and suspicious tracks in the trail as they traipsed on for interminable hours. As the sun finally dipped below the horizon, the crew observed fire in the distance.

“What do you believe that is?” asked a youthful cabin boy. “It appears we are approaching a tribal camp.”

“That’s not a camp, that’s a tribe in pursuit of us! Run!” cried William

At that moment the crew scurried as rapidly as they could to escape the approaching tribe, but the swiftness of the natives was overcoming them. Gradually, the tribe moved in order to encircle the crew. As the sun began to rise, the crew stood surrounded by the warriors in the middle of a ten foot circle. The tribe appeared infuriated at the crew. The warriors varied from tiny to enormous, from brawny to scrawny, and from thin to obese. The only thing that was the same though, was that every member of the tribe wore a dazzling, colorful headdress.

“Now let’s see here,” said the Captain in an anxious tone. “Can’t we work out some sort of deal? It would be a shame to have blood shed over this confrontation. I’m sure you great warriors can respect an agreement.”

“Don’t slaughter us,” pleaded William. “Dear Lord, please save us from these savages,” he silently prayed to himself. “Save us, Jesus, please, if it be Your will, Amen.”

All of the sudden the most immense, burliest warrior, approached them. He appeared to be the leader of the group. “You think we are murderers,” chuckled the man. “We have these spears, bows, and arrows, strictly for defense. We saw you white men coming and thought it would be kind to greet you. The last time Europeans came to our camp, they treated us well. They taught us of your God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I myself have become a Christian.”

“You mean you’re not going to kill us?” asked the cabin boy who looked shocked. “You people are Christians too?”

“Yes, lad,” replied the man. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Shaka Zulu, Chief of the Zulu tribe. I learned English and became a Christian many years ago when Europeans first came to my land. I know your kind very well.”

“But what about all of those legends we have heard about you, being a savage?” inquired the Captain with a befuddled expression across his face.

“Ah those are all rubbish, my friend. Many people make up myths just to get attention,” stated Shaka. Now how may I assist you, Brothers in Christ?”

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This article has been read 429 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharon Laughter03/12/09
The last section troubles me - we know many have died at natives' hands. HOWEVER what a GREAT read and the story is "twinkly." (good thing!)
Sharon Kane03/13/09
You did a good job of portraying the mixed motives of the early European explorers of Africa, and their (?misplaced) confidence that God was automatically on their side. I enjoyed the way you built up the suspense with them getting lost and then 'attacked'.
Lynn Jacky 03/13/09
Hi like your story - like the ending. thanks.
Allison Egley 03/14/09
Hehe Nice job with this one. I particularly liked your descrptions of the sizes of the "warriors." I could just picture a little guy who could barely walk among them. :)

The ending seemed a bit rushed to me, however. That word count can be hard to work with sometimes!

Great job! Keep writing.
Karlene Jacobsen03/16/09
Whew, what a relief! I am glad it turned out so well. God was definitely with them.
I enjoyed reading this.
Deborah Porter 03/25/09
Hi Lance. Just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry, "The Astounding Expedition," actually did very well in the Africa Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you made it into the Highest Rankings for Level 1, placing 13th in that Level. 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.

Again, well done. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)