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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)

TITLE: Torn Screen
By Pat Guy


Dear Diary,

Today I finally got one back!!! It’s been 5 weeks and someone finally sent one back!!! I can’t believe it!!! I TOLD my mom it would work. In your face Mom! Ha, Ha, Ha!!!

Julie is her name, but how do I let her know I’m praying for her? She says she’s very sad. I hope God helps her. I wonder how old she is?

I wish I could let her know who I am, but Mom says, ‘No way.’ Bummer Diary.

Gotta go. Gotta pray for Julie.


Melinda shut the door to her room and smoothed the note upon her bed. She felt the words under her fingers. ‘I am very sad. Please pray. My name is Julie.’ it read. She got on her knees to pray for her very first prayer request.


Julie picked her way through filthy clothes, empty bottles and stale food that lay everywhere in the living room. The stench of beer was nauseating. If her parents woke up and saw this mess, she would be in big trouble. It didn’t matter if she just got home from school.

So on the way to her room she gathered up what she could. That’s when she saw the crumbled piece of paper. Curious, she opened it to see what it was. She hoped it wasn’t from her teacher. It read, ‘Can I pray for you?’

That’s all … but it felt like it was talking only to HER. Tears almost came to her eyes but she learned long ago not to show them. Was there really someone who wanted to pray for her?

She folded the note and hid it in a secret hiding place in her room.

Then, one Saturday morning, the sun was streaming through tattered blinds covering her window. It woke her, so she got up to adjust them. A movement caught her attention. She noticed a girl walking up the street with papers in her hand.

Julie watched mesmerized. This must be the person who wrote the note – a girl not much older than herself! She watched the girl go from house to house with a car following her. Maybe her mom? Then an idea struck Julie, but she knew she would have to wait.

A whole week went by.

It was Friday night and for the first time in Julie’s eight years she was grateful her parents were passed out drunk. There was an urgency she felt in the pit of her stomach. Will they stay asleep? Will the door squeak? I’m glad the screen is torn. It has to be tonight!

Julie tiptoed through the living room where her parents laid sprawled out on the couch and floor – a piece of paper in the grip of her hand. She carefully turned the handle of the door and began to open it inch by inch – just far enough for her hand to reach the tear in the screen. She pushed her ‘note of hope’ through the hole.

Julie waited.


PS. Dear Diary, does this mean I have to be a Missionary? When I went to the kitchen after I prayed I heard mom and dad say I have a Missionary’s heart. I don’t want to be a Missionary Diary!!! I don’t want to go to Africa! It’s hot and there’s no water!!! Yuck! And I don’t want to go to Russia!!! It’s too cold. I hate the cold!!! Do you think God would DO that? China might be okay. I like Chinese food. It’s one of my favorites. And they have pretty things. Oh, when I was praying, I got a secret idea about how to let that girl know. See you later.


The week slowly passed.

Julie was afraid she wouldn’t wake before her parents. Had the girl already come by? She peeked out her room … listening … and heard snoring behind their door. Relief flooded all through her body!

She swished to the front door trying not to make any noise. A small piece of paper had been dropped inside the torn screen. Julie’s heart raced with anticipation.

She snatched the note and tiptoed back to her room. She smoothed it out upon her bed – she felt the words under her fingers. It read, ‘I am praying for YOU.’

Julie folded the note and hid it in her secret hiding place. She would keep this forever, because now she knew …

Julie knelt by her bed … and cried.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Rhonda Clark10/26/06
Thanks for showing all of us what a Missionary can be. I had some trouble at times following the action. So much potential with this piece, and the word count challenge is so limiting. Good job.
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/26/06
Very creative! I also had a little bit of trouble following a few places, but overall I got the message and much enjoyed it. Good job!
Betty Castleberry10/30/06
I really like the diary concept you used here. I had to re-read a place or two to completely understand, but it was quite an enjoyable read. I'd like to hear more about this young missionary.
Laurie Glass 11/02/06
Touching, meaningful piece. I, too, liked the diary entries. Very nice.