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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)

TITLE: Drought and Famine
By Pam Ford Davis
04/20/09


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Life on the small south Texas ranch provided a good income for James, Carol and their two sons, William and George. The family could not predict the changes that occurred. Three consecutive years of drought not only meant famine; it caused feelings of desperation. Drastic measures were needed…

“Carol, I spent most of the night in prayer. I believe we have no alternatives; we must leave and start over. I guess I could hang on a little longer, if it were not for the boys. My heart breaks when I look into their pleading eyes. There is no work available here. I’ve heard from some men that there are jobs at a new auto plant, just across the border into Mexico.”

“Oh, James; I don’t know if I can bear to leave our home!”

“We’ll be back. This drought can’t last much longer! The Almighty will send refreshing rains. Carol, you must think of the boys.”

Carol began to sob and leaned on the shoulder of her weary man. She realized she would be leaving behind the home where they began their marriage and family. The following days were busy sorting and packing only bare necessities. Embraces and prayers from family and friends gave them the courage to leave.

“William are you asleep?”

“No, I’m just thinking about Mom and Dad, how they say all of this is best for us. We start at a new school tomorrow; and I miss our friends back home and my bedroom in the big house. I’m scared!”

“It will be alright; we are all together; that is the important thing.”

Weeks turned into months; and years swept by. The Texas family adjusted and survived on a meager living. Both boys were sickly, due to the early formation years of famine and malnutrition. Now as young men each battled health problems and high medical bills.

“Lord, I’m tired and afraid. James is slipping away, right before my eyes. Help me! I will be a widow with two sons in a foreign land!”

God’s comfort and strength kept Carol going, following the death of James. She leaned upon her two sons. They finished high school and found employment at the auto factory. Unknown to Carol, both were dating behind her back.

“Mom, you might as well know the truth. We are both married; we were afraid you would not accept our brides. They are both Muslims; please understand how much we love them.”

Carol wails! “Lord, why do you attack me? I lost my house and my husband! Now, I am supposed to welcome two pagan women under my roof! I guess there is no way out. Bring your wives in; they are now a part of our family.”

The large family lived in cramped quarters, with opposing religious beliefs. Carol proudly proclaimed her faith and trust in her Lord. The women, Lupe and Maria, deeply admired and respected her. Both women were forced to work, caring for invalid husbands. Then the men were gathered home to heaven and Carol mourned.

“I am a lonely bitter woman! I have enough money set aside to return home and die in my homeland. You go back to your families.”

Lupe did go back to her parents.
“Maria, why do you linger? Go along, too.”

“No, I will go with you. Your God will be my God!”

The move became a reality and Carol could not believer her eyes, seeing 20 years of change in Laredo. She left young and sad, but returned old and bitter! The women cleaned the deserted boarded up house and worried about legal challenges against their ownership.

Carol searched for a job and waited for offers. She heard news about a citrus crop close by and went to gather culls. The owner, Mr. Christian learned her story and grew to admire her. He offered to do the title search and secure the property for Carol. His admiration grew into affection and he and Maria were wed!

Carol began to feel hope rekindled and then could not hold in her excitement at the news of Marias’ pregnancy! “I will have a grandchild!”

When the baby arrived friends and family gathered to see the new baby boy, Joshua.

“Ladies, the beginning of my sorrows started right here where I stand! We were forced to leave our home. I lost my husband and both sons. Look at me now! My joy can not be contained; the ending is worthy it all!


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Member Comments
Member Date
Patricia Herchenroether04/25/09
An interesting take on Ruth.
I got a little confused over James' death and both sons somehow keeping secret marriages.
Probably it had been due to word restrictions, but I felt the story was crammed with too many conflicts.
You're a good writer and show a lot of promise.
Loren T. Lowery04/28/09
A broad and sweeping story that points to the fact that the events in the life of Ruth can still be lived out today - if we but have faith. You did a good job, especially knowing you were limited to only 750 words.
Dannie Hawley 04/25/12
I loved this Americanized version of this favorite Bible story! Really brings it home. Thanks and a nice job of writing.