Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)
TITLE: Marks of a Labour of Love
By Chrissi Dunn
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"Cal? Please don’t give up. My work is not yet finished, for I have others amongst these mountain tribes. I will give you rest later."
Shielding his eyes from the blazing sun, Cal looked up into the hills. Sure enough, he could see smoke ascending, a sure sign of life on the hilltop. Shaking off some dust, he made his way again towards the rocky path. He chose his steps purposefully, avoiding any jagged edges, or sharp gravel.
As Cal neared the settlement ahead, his heart thumped beneath his rib cage. He offered a silent prayer to the One who inspired him . He began to make his way into the village square, a rough patch of burnt grass, surrounded by thatched roof mud huts. Some women passed, balancing pots on their head, as they made their way to the stream. They stared fearfully as they observed the light skinned stranger, dressed in ragged garments. Some ran back into their homes, chattering to their relatives. Cal cleared his throat, and began to speak the same message in his clearest khanwar dialect.
“ My name is Cal Whitsun, and God has sent me to your people, in order to teach you about Him, and the finished work of His Son, Jesus………”
A familiar sight now greeted Cal, as the tribesmen now stood in their doorways, glaring angrily. One large man, with pieces of animal bone through his nose and lip, signalled furiously to the other men, who began to approach him. Cal knew what would happen next. Praying fervently, yet still speaking, he watched women and children search for the largest stones around. Four men grabbed hold of him, shouting in a now unknown tongue to each other. The habitual sting of pelting stones reached his head, back and legs. As the tribesmen threw him outside the settlement, Cal felt a last blow to his head, as images of irate faces faded away into blackness.
“I have done your will, Lord” He cried, with a strange sense of satisfaction, as he finally gave way to total unconsciousness.
Cal’s head throbbed as he opened his eyes, to reveal a spinning mountainous terrain. For a moment, he was unsure of where he had wakened. As he began to focus more clearly, he was startled, beginning to recognise the pierced nose and lip of the man whom he presumed to be tribe leader. As he looked from left to right, he realized that more of the tribe surrounded him.
"Lord, this is it," He thought. "I don’t know how they intend to kill me, but I am glad to have brought honour to your name."
As Cal closed his eyes, in resignation, he heard a calm khanwar voice. He looked up to find the tribe leader, gazing curiously at his feet. A woman with a pot of water, sat down at his command, and to Cal’s amazement, began washing his feet.
“We see that you have suffered a great deal to bring this message to us,” the leader began. “The cuts and marks on your feet testify that you really have an important message from God.”
As the tribesmen carried him back to the village on the hillside, Cal was engulfed by a feeling of thankfulness towards God’s great compassion and mercy.
Early the next morning, over two hundred families gathered around him, as he taught them the history of God’s forgiveness, from Israel’s rebellions in the wilderness, to the gift of Christ, our Saviour. God gave Cal the strength to baptise the leaders, and the tribe agreed to change their hearts.
'But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.' 1 Peter 4:13
* Based on a true story.
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