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

TITLE: An Andes High
By Patty Wysong
11/07/07


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My nose was dripping again from the cold, so I pulled out my bandanna and blew it, then wished I hadn't. I suddenly had an unobstructed whiff of the Quichuas that were packed into the tent to see the Jesus film. Bathing in the icy streams of the Andes Mountains was not something these people did very often, and I didn't blame them—this high in the mountains it was cold, even on sunny days. That whiff was enough to wake me up from the stupor I had fallen into and it was good a thing since the movie was almost over. I wanted to get the reels rewound so I could crawl into my sleeping bag as soon as possible after the meeting ended.

Rubbing my gritty eyes, I saw all the people crowded together, sitting on the ground, watching the movie. The Quichua women, with their heavy wool skirts insulating them against the cold, had children tucked in around them, forming a family cluster, with their father nearby, stoic in his sweater or jacket and traditional wool hat. No one was dozing, no one was even yawning or squirming. All eyes were focused on the canvas wall that served as the projector screen, intently watching.

This was the third night of showing a film at the end of busy days of getting a fresh water supply to the village--if you could call this a village. There was a school building, a thatch outhouse, and one sod home, no more. Other homes were tucked within the folds of the mountains, visible only if you knew what to look for and where to look, yet every night the tent was packed with people wanting to see the Jesus movie. While they sang a few songs in their nasal Quechua language I rewound the reels then settled back to pray while Angelo, a young national pastor, preached in Quechua.

Later, as I was putting away the ancient reel-to-reel projector, a man ran in. “Senor Pedro. Please, will you show the film again tonight?” His face was flushed and I wondered if he'd been out back drinking, but he didn't smell of the local brew.

I was exhausted. The Jesus film was a great tool for reaching these mountain people, many of whom had never seen a movie in their lives, but if I showed the movie again, it'd be hours before I could go to bed. There was a rustling at the doorway that drew my attention. A group of people stood there, all with flushed faces.

Looking back at him I finally recognized the man standing before me--he had been saved the first night we showed the movie.

“Please, my family needs Jesus, too.”

Even though I was exhausted I couldn't miss this opportunity. I called them into the tent then turned and threaded the film strip into the projector while they collapsed on the ground, chattering excitedly. When the movie began they quieted, all except for one or two who translated as much as they could into Quechua. Other people drifted back in to watch and soon the tent was full again.

I stepped outside for a few minutes and took a deep breath of the frigid air. It was cold enough to sting my nose, but wonderfully fresh. I looked up and was once again amazed. Lord, it's beautiful up here. The stars are so close I think I could reach out and touch them, and they're so bright. I slowly turned in a circle, looking at the towering mountain peeks that surrounded me, awed by their velvetty black silhouettes against their starry background. Thank You for getting them here in time and for getting my attention. Please touch their hearts, Lord.

When the movie ended Angelo preached again.

Afterwards the man came to me. “Gracias, Senor Pedro. Mi familia,” he had to swallow and try again. “I knew they needed Jesus, so I ran home and brought them back. Now my family knows Jesus, too.”

Angelo joined us then, smiling. “This man lives a full day's journey from here, on the other side of the mountain. To make it there and back so quickly he must have run the whole way, gathered his family and then come running back, carrying the little ones. He was afraid they'd be too late, but praise God, they weren't.”

And to think I was almost too tired to be bothered...




****
Based on a true story.


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This article has been read 692 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 11/12/07
What a wonderful story! You did a good job in describing the details. I could see it. I like this.
Jan Ross11/12/07
Beautiful testimony of God's ability to penetrate the hearts of mankind even under very difficult circumstances. Very well done! Great reading; I'd love to read more of the adventures in this village. :)
william price11/12/07
I really enjoyed this. Anointed! God bless.
Esther Gellert11/13/07
This is an awesome story. What an excellent reminder to be open to God's leading, even when we are tired or busy, etc. I'd love to hear more stories from the years you spent in the Andes ;-)
Yvonne Blake 11/13/07
I could tell it was a true story by the descriptions. Isn't our memory wonderful, bringing back to mind the sights and smells to make our writing real?
Betty Castleberry11/13/07
I love that this is true. You described the people and the situation very well. One teeny thing...I think you meant mountain "peak" instead of "peek."
I would like to read more about these people. Great message.
LauraLee Shaw11/13/07
You wrote each line so descriptively that I could actually picture the characters and scenery in my head. From creative title to happy ending, this was excellent!
Jan Ackerson 11/13/07
You hooked me from the first sentence, and never let me go. Very, very good!
Kristen Hester11/13/07
Excellent. I like the MC's honest emotions. He was tired, ready to give into his flesh. Thanks God he didn't. The images...cold air, smelly tent...they were so real. Thank you.
Kristen Hester11/13/07
Excellent. I like the MC's honest emotions. He was tired, ready to give into his flesh. Thanks God he didn't. The images...cold air, smelly tent...they were so real. Thank you.
Dee Yoder 11/14/07
Wow! The descriptions, the people, the characterizations; everything is lined up and well presented in this excellent entry! I could almost smell that fresh air and see those glorious stars. Well done.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 11/14/07
Okay, now I reallllllly want to go to the Andes....

There are 6 billion people on this planet and most of them are similar to what you've described - poor, living simple lives and ready to meet Jesus - the Hope of the Nations.

Excellant job!
Laury Hubrich 11/14/07
Wow! I hate to think of the opportunities I've missed because I was "too tired." Thank you for sharing this true story.
Laury
Joanne Sher 11/15/07
Just excellent - I was totally captivated, and went back to this one more than once. Shoulda known it was yours, but I didn't until I was told. Congrats, girly!
Yvonne Blake 11/15/07
CONGRATULATIONS, PATTY !
Well done !
Catrina Bradley 11/28/07
Wonderful! I love this Peej. Congrats - well done, my friend. :) Cat