Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)
TITLE: With a Side of Faith
By Allison Egley
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Oh. Right. "Do not test the Lord thy God." Sorry.
But still. Africa? I mean, aren't they're still cannibals in Africa? I'm supposed to serving them, not them serving me.
Maybe I can get the agency to change its mind. I'll just tell them I can't serve in Africa. I'll tell them I'm allergic. To... cannibals. NO! Even better! I'll tell them that cannibals are allergic to ME! What? Oh. That's right. I suppose it <i>hasn't</i> been tested. And I'd rather not test it. But... they <i>could</i> be allergic to me, right? Right? Yeah, okay. I know. Lame excuse.
Certainly they need people in other parts of the world. I'm sure France could use another missionary or two. Maybe even Paris! Right, Lord?
You say France does need people, but that Africa needs <i>me</i>? Are you sure? I'm sure there are people who want to go to Africa.
No, Lord. I don't need Africa. There are many things I need. Africa is not one of them, thank you very much.
You say You know me better than I know myself? Sure I believe that, Lord. But... me? I've heard they have insects big enough to have lips! Lips! Is that so they can bite me with even more efficiency?
And snakes... I don't DO snakes, Lord. Let's just say that had it been me in the Garden instead of Eve, this whole "fall" thing wouldn't have happened because I would NOT have stuck around long enough to hear anything a snake had to say to me.
You want me to read the letter again, Lord? But I've read it a thousand times already. They want to send me to Africa. That's all that matters. I can't do Africa. We've been through this before, Lord. Fine. I'll read it again.
<i>Congratulations. You've been assigned to our operation in Sudan.</i>
Might as well have said "Congratulations. You may now kiss life as you know it goodbye!" Keep reading? But Lord, I already know the important stuff. They want to send me to Africa. Fine. I'll keep reading. You sure can be pushy, Lord.
<i>You will be working with the Sudan Children's Center.</i>
What? A children's center? I didn't catch that before. Wow. I love working with children.
<i>Please see the enclosed information, including pictures of some of the children.</i>
They're so cute. This one looks like the child I sponsor. I wish I could take them all home with me.
I can bring home to them? I guess I never thought about it that way. I was too hung up on "Africa."
They want to send me to Africa? I can't do Africa, Lord. I can't. I know the kids are cute. But still. It's... Okay. You get the point.
You're sure there wasn't some mistake? Maybe the agency got my application mixed up with someone who put Africa on the top of her list. I'll bet that's what happened! If I call and explain...
What, Lord? Read the rest?
<i>We know Africa was not one of your top choices...</i>
Wow. You really know how to deflate someone's last hope, sometimes. Keep reading? You're determined to get me to read the whole letter, aren't you?
<i>We feel your strengths match up perfectly with our needs at the center.</i>
You're going to make me feel guilty for saying "no."
<i>We look forward to working with you. Please respond. The children need you.</i>
Look at the pictures again? They are cute. This little girl can't be more than three. Turn the card over? How sad. Her parents abandoned her when she was just a few weeks old, and she lives at the center full time. That thin blanket and mat are all she owns?
Okay, Lord. I'll go. I'll go for Ayira and the rest of the kids. But you're still going to have to work on my heart, Lord. I'm not ready to board that plane yet.
Do I trust You? Of course I do. You know that, Lord. I'll make one more deal with You, Lord. But I think You'll like this one. You get me to the airport, and You get the plane to me, and I'll step onto it. Okay? I may not be ready, but I'll go. After all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I'll take mine with a side of faith.
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