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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)

TITLE: The FaithRiders Reunion
By Tim Pickl


Crimson sunbeams gloriously reflected off a blanket of clouds over White Rock. Like an island, White Rock was a vast, mostly flat, exposed area seated above the shifting, dusty red sands of the planet.

“Wake up, Mommy! Wake up—it’s time to watch the sunrise.”

“Okay, Arianna—I’ll be there in a minute.”

“Hurry, Mommy—the storm’s comin!”

“Ohhh, this is the best sunrise I’ve ever seen here.”

Soon, high winds at the surface caused a great dust storm, enveloping the FaithRiders Mars Settlement (MS) at White Rock. Simultaneously--while Arianna and her mother Kristy enjoyed the sunrise--the storm was closely monitored by the Delta Orbiter Station (DOS).

“Look, Mommy—I took a good sunrise picture this time.”

“Oh, punkin, this is wonderful. It reminds me of home.”

“But…we are home, aren’t we Mommy?”

“Oh no, honey, I meant home where I grew up, back on Earth.”

“You mean there?” Arianna pointed at a virtual map of the Solar System on the wall.

“Yes—right there. Some day, we’ll go back together… I just need to have patience.”


“‘Patience is a virtue’, my Grandma always said. I never really understood what that meant ‘til I got older.”

Kristy and Arianna busily packed the last of their personal items for the long journey ahead.

“Well…we’ll need lots of patience for this trip. My friends tell me it’s gonna take about six months. The longest trip I ever took, Mom, was one weekend exploring caves with my friends.”

“Oh--I remember that trip--I prayed the whole time. All the FaithRiders MS/DOS youth love going up there—I guess I can understand why.”

Arianna picked up her Flexible Personal Scroll Device (FlexPSD), unrolled it, and began to read.

Attention: All FaithRiders Settlements & Stations (EarthsMoon/Mars/Europa)

Reminder! The FaithRiders Reunion will be held on September 22 at the
Interplanetary Convention Centre in Jerusalem, Earth. The Reunion is not mandatory, but we urge as many of you as possible to come. Commander Scott has a special day planned, and has an important message he wants to personally deliver.

“I wonder why Commander Scott didn’t just Flex-text everyone? We get SpamTexts all the time.”

To-be-honest, I don’t know, Arianna. So many things have changed since I left Earth—it must be really important because he asked both of us to return home.”


“‘Home is where the heart is’ was another thing she’d always say. I always liked that one.” Kristy wistfully looked through a portal window of the EXODUS Long-Range Shuttle (LRS) toward Earth.

“‘Home is where the heart is’—hmmm…I really like that one too, Mom. Great-Grandma must’ve been a wise lady.” Arianna picked up her FlexPSD and eagerly asked, “What’re we studying today?”

“Since patience seems to be the theme of our trip, I thought we’d study it. Turn to 2 Peter 1:5 (New Living Translation). Let me read it aloud.”

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

“So, our faith-journey is a progression--?”

“That’s right. It’s a step-by-step walk, as God leads us. The Christian life is kinda like patiently climbing some steep stairs--”

“Or climbing up the southern slope of White Rock!”

“Ha-ha! Let me read on—skip to verses 10 and 11.”

So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.

“What I’m hearing, then, Mom, is we need to work hard.”


“We’ve worked so hard, and we’ve come such a long way together. In many ways, we’ve surpassed the vision my Great-Grandfather had to establish FaithRiders communities all over the Earth, by expanding to Settlements and Stations throughout the Solar System. But, my friends, after praying and seeking counsel for FaithRiders, it’s time for a change.” Commander Scott dramatically stopped speaking, then added,
“For health reasons, I’m retiring as the leader of this Mission.”

The Martian sunrise picture Arianna took as a little girl appeared on the virtual-screen behind the podium. “Please support my granddaughter Arianna as the new Commander of FaithRiders.”

Arianna smiled at the picture and hugged her Mom. With tears, Arianna stepped to the podium and humbly said, “I’m… shocked. But, I’m ready to work.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/29/08
Very clever!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/29/08
Ahhh a creative scifi with a young woman to be leader--an interesting twist.
Catrina Bradley 09/02/08
Such clever parallels - MS & DOS, etc., and they even looked out of a Window! And of course I'm thrilled to see that Commander Scott has taken FaithRiders universe wide in the future! :)
James Dixon09/03/08
A littel bit too clever for me. I had to work out the meaning. Are there lots of techie references?

I loved the opening sentence it was a great hook.
Marlene Austin09/03/08
Wow - you really DO see a vision for FaithWriters, er-r-r Faith Riders, don't you? lol Great story. :)
Lynda Lee Schab 09/03/08
Oh...this makes me long for the next FaithWriters conference / reunion even more. Can't wait to hear Commander Scott speak again. LOL. In the meantime, maybe we can all just flex-text each other. Love it.
Joshua Janoski09/04/08
Being a techy, I picked up on a lot of the tech references scattered throughout the story. I also picked up on the FaithWriter references. Very clever stuff! It made the story a very fun read.
LauraLee Shaw09/04/08
Wow, Tim, this is amazing. Very well-written and extremely clever as usual. Awesome!