Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)
TITLE: Touching Africa
By Christina Banks
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Jenny looked at the large map tacked to the wall. The dark brown boarder with the small Jeep in the corner stood out in painful contrast against the pale pink flowered wallpaper. Jenny looked sadly at the old poster of Cinderella where it lay discarded on the white ruffled bedspread. For the last four years, the princess had kept a cheerful vigil over Jenny’s old flip-top desk. Jenny felt she was betraying an old friend.
“I don’t know, Grandma,” Jenny said quietly, “it’s not very pretty.”
“What do you mean it’s not pretty? Look at the amazing world that the Lord made. Look at the oceans and the continents. Those continents are full of countries, cities, towns, houses, and people. People just like you and me. People that God loved enough to send Jesus to die for their sins. Try to see beyond the dark outlines of the countries to the people who live in them. Use that over active imagination of yours to picture the young girls, just like you, who live in those far off places. Those little girls need to learn about Jesus. Some of them have never heard about Him. They need you to pray for them.”
Jenny looked at the map again. Bold black lines and bright colors stared back at her. Try as she might, she could not imagine the faces.
“Will you pray for them? Will you pray for the children of the world?” Grandma asked, placing a hand on Jenny’s shoulder.
“I will, Grandma.” Jenny promised, wanting to please the older woman. Grandma patted Jenny’s head, and left her alone.
Crawling up on the top of her desk, Jenny stood to get a closer look at the large map. She could just reach the top of it if she stood on her tip toes. Spreading her arms out wide, her fingers grazed the edge of the large poster. The sheer size of the planet was overwhelming.
Not knowing where to start praying, Jenny closed her eyes and pointed to a random space in front of her. The glossy surface felt cool, as she opened her eyes. Her finger had found a place right in the heart of Africa.
“Central African Republic,” Jenny read the tiny letters aloud.
Sliding down from the top of the desk, Jenny grabbed the C volume of the old encyclopaedia set that sat on her bookshelf. Sitting cross legged on the floor, Jenny flipped through the pages till she found the one she was searching for. It was not the topographical map, or the statistical charts that drew her attention, but a small picture in the lower left hand corner of the page. A little African girl in tattered clothing clutched a dirty old doll. Jenny stared at the dark eyes that pleaded with her from the page. A tear slid silently down the girl’s soft cheek as she was faced with the reality of the need.
“I will pray for them,” Jenny vowed. “I’ll pray every day. I’ll pray that someone will tell them before they die without Jesus. Someone has to go and tell them!”
The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Matthew 9:37-38 KJV
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