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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)

TITLE: You go home now, Mish-on-nary


Perspiration beaded on the weathered-beaten face. Muttering incoherently in delirium his head flung from side to side. His breathing was uneven and raspy. A thread-bare blanket covered his lower body that lay powerless on a low-slung stretcher. The air was musty within the confines of the tiny hut. The sound of heavy rain continued endlessly.

Twelve-year-old Amina, a petite girl for her age, sat cross-legged by his side on the dirt floor. She wore a simple floral dress. Taking a cloth from a bowl, she squeezed it. She had prepared the concoction from rain water and the sap of an aromatic plant her father had gathered from the jungle. Amina placed the cool cloth on the burning brow. Her father, the village chief Kwaku, crouched on the floor at the end of the sick man’s bed. His eyes closed in silent prayer. Kwaku had just returned from burying the white-man’s woman. She had died during the night of the same sickness.

“The missionary is speaking of strange things in his fever, Father,” she spoke in her native tongue.

The chief rose to his full six feet of bony structure. He breathed in deeply, revealing more of his protruding ribs. He wore his traditional loin cloth and held his staff-like spear in his hand.

“Of harvesting and reaping he speak,” he replied in his broken English.

Prompted by her father, Amina responded in English, “but we have had no crops for a whole season.”

Reverently, he reached down and touched the Bible that lay on a crude table.

“Amina, when White-Man come to village I think he strange. He wanta open school for children, teach good English. His woman wanta teach our women new ways of cooking and cov-ring their bodies. This book, he carry all time. He speak of harvest all time. I ask him ‘what is this harvest.’ He say, ‘I teach you.’ White-man say he a mish-on-nary; he bring Jesus to village. I say, ‘I see no one, only your woman.’”

“Who is Jesus, Father?”

“Jesus in this book. He die on tree. He take our badness. He forgive us. Jesus love Mish-on-nary. Jesus love Oseijema chief. Jesus love Amina and all Oseijema village. Mish-on-nary man help me know bout harvest and reaping of diff-rent kind.”

Kwaku opened the Bible and searched for a page marked with a stain. Although he could not read the words, Kwaku knew what they said.

“Jesus see lots of people but no one chiefing them. He say harvest is plenty full but no workers. Bible also say everyone has done badness. We make God very sad. God send Jesus to take badness away. We need to make sorry and ask Jesus help us.”

“Father, teach me what the missionary told you about Jesus. I can help you read his Bible. We can both tell the villagers of His love!”

Together they prayed. Amina asked Jesus to forgive her and teach them how to tell their people of His love.

The rain eased. Kwaku and Amina’s attention was drawn to the stillness on the bed. The missionary’s breathing slowed, his faced relaxed. Amina removed the cloth. The two new missionaries knelt by the white-man that had brought hope to their dying village. Quietly the man slipped into glory.

“You go home now, Mish-on-nary. You go home to Jesus. We take care of things now at Oseijema Village.”

Authors notes:

This story is fictional. The names have been chosen for the significance of the story only.

Kwaku is the name of an African god of wisdom.
Amina was the name given to Queen of Zaria from 1518-1589
Oseijema is the name of an African region where Bible institutes are located today.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 1231 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Trina Courtenay10/26/06
I loved your opening, right on topic and the simple language brought me right into the room with your characters. Awesome Job!

Oh and your title made it the first one I read this week - way to grab ones attention.
Tabiatha Tallent10/26/06
This drew me in and kept me interested. Excellent storytelling!
Valora Otis10/26/06
I know a lifetime of joy because of a missionary. I felt this story deeply. This story has made my day! Beautiful!
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/27/06
It's always ideal when the natives can carry on the missionary work, but how sad that the missionary died. Great job!
A. E. Cuthbert10/27/06
Wow that was really amazing! Thats all I can really say! Keep writing!
Donna Powers 10/27/06
A wonderful story and I really loved reading it! Your have an excellent gift for storytelling. Wonderful job!
Val Clark10/28/06
Yes, it is a great moment for the missionary when they are no longer needed. I like the way he found this out before he died. Also a neat way to lead the reader through the salvation story.
Ann FitzHenry10/29/06
Wow! Great story. I loved your descriptions. You really made me feel the moment. Excellent work!
Betty Castleberry10/29/06
Enjoyed this. I liked the dialogue, and the ending was powerful. Nicely done.
Aylin Smith 10/29/06
I loved the title and the story just flowed. Great job.
Ruth Neilson10/29/06
powerful. Such simple language can paint an awe inspiring picture in a person's mind. Great job of showing, not telling.
william price10/31/06
This is a nice story that comunicates a good message. Well done, Chrissy. I believe I was able too visualize the pictures/scenes you were creating for us. Good job. You just keep getting better. God bless.
Sara Harricharan 10/31/06
This was very interesting to read, I loved the charcters's names.
Everest Alexander 10/31/06
Chrissy, I AM STUNNED!

This is top notch writing! Everything came together in this piece. I have nothing but praise for you. A fantastic job! Glad I was able to read it. You blessed me. I've got to stop myself now otherwise I'll write a Litany of PRAISE for this article! WOW! I won't be surprised to see you advance again soon.
Edy T Johnson 11/01/06
I think I just read a winner.

This is just a beautiful telling of the Gospel-good news in its purest simplicity.
dub W11/01/06
Very well done, reminds me of a friend from the Peace Corp with similar story. Very well composed.
Trina Courtenay11/02/06
Way to go Chrissy! Highly Commended - Awesome job!
Suzanne R11/02/06
Congratulations, Chrissy!

You transported your readers to another place very effectively - well done! My one piece of constructive criticism concerns the broken English ... I figured they would be speaking in their own language, so any translation needn't be broken. That's just one view though.

Again - congratulations on a well crafted piece of writing.
Thomas Kittrell11/02/06
Congratulations, Chrissy, on writing such a wonderful article. It was very touching, and I sincerely hope that somewhere it will not be fiction, but a true account, or similar. Keep on writing for God's glory.