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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)

TITLE: The Unintentional Silent Witness
By
11/03/07


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For quite some time now the housing industry has been a terrible mess. People are losing their homes to foreclosure and mortgage and real estate companies are shutting their doors left and right. Yet, this new branch office has only been open for ten months, and we're still here. I was promoted to full-time status just last month and my benefits kicked in retroactively because I have been an employee here since the office opened. What more could I ask for?

Yes, there was a corporate-wide meeting held today, but it's okay. The boss just wanted to let us know that although the wholesale division had been shut down, those of us in retail had nothing to worry about. Some of us will have to shift positions, but out jobs are secure thank God! I've got to go in for those gynecological tests Thursday morning, and after that Jacob is being admitted into the children's hospital for the sleep study. I don't know what I do if I didn't have the insurance to cover those things.

Okay! This is weird. I've been on my way back from lunch as we've been talking. When I opened the door I found an envelope on the floor. It's a note from the landlord. Apparently corporate hasn't paid the rent here for the last three months, so now we've got until the end of the week to vacate. Honey, I hate to cut you short, but I've got to catch the other phone. Okay. I will. Bye. Hey, Matt! What's – . You have got to be kidding me. What do you mean the company is shutting it doors for good on Friday? That's impossible...

Suddenly, Kris remembers the note from the landlord, and her mind starts racing. The loan officers are all out on calls. Angie was just hired on last week, and she's been looking for work since she was laid off Neshaminy Creek Mortgage three months ago. What's going to happen with the bills for the gynecologist and sleep center? How was she going to be able to break this news to her family? How would they get all of this stuff out of the office before the landlord changed the locks?

Something told her nothing bad was going to happen. The insurance coverage would not end that abruptly. Her mother was the branch manager. She would be able to get everyone else a job at her friend's bank, but in the meantime they could all file for unemployment And, she and everybody else she knew owned a truck, so nothing would get left behind.

Two months later, just as she suspected everyone had a job at the bank. Everyone - that is, except her. Suzie had been the only salaried employee of the branch, and mortgage companies had put a freeze on hiring any paid employees for a while.

Still, Jacob needed school clothes, and Tony was too stingy to offer her anything more financially than the money the state was already garnishing from him each paycheck for the child support. So, she took took a chance of possibly losing her truck and headed out to the store.

Tonya had been the supervisor there for years, and always teased Suzie when she came in on Friday evenings for the usual sales, and this day was no exception. She knew why Suzie hadn't been in lately, but couldn't resist their usual game – which please Suzie much more than she let on.

As she finished shopping and making her way up to the register, Suzie overheard a conversation between Tonya and one of the other employees. Apparently, things weren't going so well at the store, either. When Suzie heard Tonya say, “Well, I only got twenty-eight hours this week” she couldn't resist making a comment herself. “Well, that's okay, Tonya – I didn't get any hours this week.”

With that said, Tonya stopped what she was doing, ran over to Suzie, gave her a great big hug, and said, “Okay! All right, already. You're right. I'll stop. There are people in the world who are worse off than I am.” Suzie just stood there dumbfounded and speechless. She couldn't believe it had happened again – another silent witnessing, and this time she hadn't even meant to do that. So, she stayed and talked to Tonya just a little bit longer. Tonya gave her life over to Christ, and she and Suzie have been attending church services together ever since...


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Beth LaBuff 11/12/07
Nice story that is a reality for many people today. Your messages in this are good. Nice writing.