Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)
TITLE: The Hidden Apostle
By Ruth Neilson
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The simple email caused Calypso to blink several times. She couldn’t believe it...actually...she could. Simon had been enthusiastic to go out and openly preach the day that he had received his branding. She had tended to him when he returned home, fighting every day to keep infections at bay.
Calypso swallowed, and nodded to herself. She didn’t feel called to be among those who took the branding and went out on the street to preach. She was a nurturer and a teacher by nature. Her saving grace with Simon’s branding date was that it was during one of the school breaks. No one knew she spent two weeks of her vacation tending to her big brother—but that was fine.
Simon had been the preacher...she was always in the background. That’s just how their team worked out. She dipped her head, deleted the email, and then returned to her lesson plan. She almost choked before letting out a harsh laugh, and shook her head. Only God would have a sense of humor in this moment.
Calypso’s college classes on Ancient and Forbidden Religions had taken on a serious note once she started a series of lectures on martyrdom. Today’s lecture, Martyrs of Fanatic Christianity, would be the hardest of all because the wound was still fresh.
Her bitter laughter turned joyful; her big brother was in Heaven, safe. Calypso continued to giggle helplessly. Maybe it was time for her to step out and start actively evangelizing. She reached over and took a sip from her water bottle.
There was a tap on her door and she glanced up. “Come in,” she called. The door opened as a young dark haired student entered. Her face was pale, and she was rubbing her arms.
“Dr. Apostolos, do you have a moment?”
“Sure, Allie, I have a few minutes before class;--what’s up?”
Allie sank into a chair and pressed her hands into her face. “There was this man who came up to me a few weeks ago telling me that there was hope in this world...” she started, and then her voice drifted off.
Calypso leaned forward, putting her fingers into neat peaks. “I’m assuming he was arrested then,” she stated, forcing her voice to remain calm. Allie nodded once, miserably, as Calypso pressed on. “So, what’s wrong?”
“I can’t get his words out of my head and I was hoping that he’d be released...but there was a press release of prisoners who died during the night and his picture was one of them.”
Calypso found herself bobbing her head to encourage Allie to continue. “So, what do you need me to do for you?”
Allie sighed. “You know all of this stuff about these different religions.”
Calypso smiled and nodded once again. “I don’t know how I can help you,” she carefully stated. She had a plan for the young girl, but Allie had to suggest it herself.
Allie began to dig through her satchel and grinned triumphantly as she pulled out a print out. “I got the departmental email saying that you needed a research assistant. What would I be researching if I applied?”
Smart girl, Calypso thought as she leaned backward in her chair. “You’d be examining researching and studying ancient religious texts using a specific guide that I have all of my research assistants follow. If you struggle with any part of the text, I would help you with it.”
Calypso watched Allie for a long moment before continuing, “I expect you to work hard, and I hold long hours in the office.”
Allie frowned, “How many hours?”
“About fifteen to twenty hours a week, normally in the evening.” Calypso hesitated and then added, “I’ll be here for if you need any help. The pay isn’t much, but it would be something...”
Allie dipped her head. “I know.” She paused and chewed on her lip for a long moment. “When do I start, Dr. Apostolos?”
Calypso grinned and stood. “We’ll start tonight, Allie. Let’s start with the text that Christians call ‘John.’”
“Preach the gospel at all times -- If necessary, use words."
-- Saint Francis of Assisi
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