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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Yellow (11/12/09)

TITLE: Beyond The Pearly Gates
By Maria Kana Santos


Dearest Carla,

Your letter came today while I was out visiting. It’s past midnight. Sleep wouldn’t come, even though my body craves it. O, my heart is full!

Your letters always come so timely. What you said about “Pearly gates and streets of gold” in your last
letter ministered to me.

I still yearn for Densio. I often wished he were here. Forty-nine years of life with him were my happiest. Our son, Ernesto, is doing well pastoring our small church since Densio died a year ago now. O, “It is well with my soul”. One day... I’ll meet with him beyond those pearly gates, and streets of gold.

I’m passed my mourning garment, I think.

So, I wore my light yellow long dress today. I had planned it for my visiting. I cringed a bit looking at myself in the mirror . But what I was going to tell “My children” today inspired me for anything yellow or gold. Funny, my dark skin, shapeless figure made me look so plain in my yellow dress. Never mind. Modesty aside, my silver-haired head under my white head veiling awaits some promised golden crowns. I imagined receiving them one day at the Throne.

My children”. “They ought to know. My yellow dress will show it,” I supposed.

At six o’clock, traffic is always dense in this side of the city. People, children, from all walks of hardworking life crowded every street, alleys, and walk-ways. Busses and jeepneys belched smoke as I stood there waiting at the bus-stop. My yellow dress was starting to cling to me. I’ve gotten used to the sweat and dust, as the usual order of each day I visit.

In the bus, the passengers standing on the aisle let me pass through. A young man in high school uniform, neat and white buttoned-up shirt, offered me his seat on the fifth row. My elderly smile and “Thank you, Son” flowed out to him. He accepted the tract I gave him. He remained standing the whole hour until he alighted our bus! He briefly waved and smiled at me as he got off—a welcome treat on the start of another mission day ahead for me!

My early morning journey wore on just as quickly as my stream of thoughts passed my mind. I had to tell “My children” today.

As usual, a thirty-minute ride to San Mateo took about an hour or two to get there. Live chickens, bamboo brooms, abaca baskets filled with fresh sweet potatoes, eggplants, and tomatoes to sell-- teemed that particular bus I boarded on to.

It’s just an everyday affair that people come and go this way. Earn a living hand-to-mouth; to feed a houseful of the least , ten, is normal. I can’t complain. I have better, bright as sunshine days as my yellow dress appeared to be, than these people ever taste to have. Besides, I had committed my ordinary day to God to help me face the day ahead.

Weekly visits with drug addict street-kids, “My children”, drains. I thank God that they trust me. I guess my light-yellow dress warmed a welcome to them. Last week, it was plain white. A street- young woman surrendered to the pure love of Jesus to cleanse her whole; as white as soft cotton (they’ve neither known nor have seen snow).

Whatever it was today, it’s the love of Jesus far-reaching these homeless children. I long for them to know and possess the hope beyond the pearly gates of Heaven--the streets of gold!

The Spanish pandesal (yellow-buttered buns) raced in to every mouthful. They didn’t last long. I chose a busy walk path to meet with the street-kids at lunchtime. Though it’s nice at the National Park, it's never ideal for street-kids to roam at. Evil people do their exploits with children there.

I read from my Tagalog Bible. Then, I explained to them plainly, “For the Lamb amid the throne shall feed them, shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold,...”

“Mama Lourdes,” fifteen-year-old Toto spoke in a whisper. He shied away his tanned, sober face. But I heard him clearly. “I’m leaving the gang.” Caution gripped him avoiding being scoffed at by his core ‘friends’.

“Wil’ya show me the streets of yellow or gold where your Friend Jesus lives?”

Precious, isn’t it?


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This article has been read 446 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Barbara Lynn Culler11/21/09
What an awesome story! I could tell this was a different country, because I don't know what a "Jeepney" is. Then, at the end, you revealed the location. I loved all the descriptions.

Good job with the writing!
Dee Yoder 11/23/09
Lovely missionary story! I could see the streets and the people you described clearly. And yes, what a beautiful color to represent the streets of gold.
Betty Castleberry11/24/09
I am always in awe of what missionaries do.

The letter format made this believable. Nicely done.
Mona Purvis11/24/09
A story with good heart. Work on your tenses as you switched back and forth some.
The last paragraph or two added so much.
Jan Ackerson 11/24/09
Well done--you captured the broken English of your narrator very well--I could hear her speaking!
Patricia Turner11/24/09
I like the letter format you chose, and the rich detail of another culture also. I kept wondering what she was going to tell "my children" and your ending didn't disappoint at all. Very nice.
Lyn Churchyard11/25/09
I liked the way you did this in letter format. Very easy to read; in fact it was, as Jan said, like listening to your MC speak. Well done, I really enjoyed this.
Catrina Bradley 11/26/09
Very creative and hopeful. A few "rough" sentences here and there, but over all very good! I enjoyed this a lot.