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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)

TITLE: With a Side of Faith
By Allison Egley


Africa? The mission agency assigned me to Africa?! But, Lord. I thought we had a deal, remember?

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 hasn't been tested. And I'd rather not test it. But... they could 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 me? 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.

Congratulations. You've been assigned to our operation in Sudan.

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.

You will be working with the Sudan Children's Center.

What? A children's center? I didn't catch that before. Wow. I love working with children.

Please see the enclosed information, including pictures of some of the children.

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?

We know Africa was not one of your top choices...

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?

We feel your strengths match up perfectly with our needs at the center.

You're going to make me feel guilty for saying "no."

We look forward to working with you. Please respond. The children need you.

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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This article has been read 965 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 03/12/09
Hehehehehe! We don't always understand what God is doing, but thankfully He never makes any mistakes at what He does. Very good—I could identify!
Sonya Leigh03/13/09
Lol--lots of fun humor! Well written and oh, so like that God of ours to do that!
Gregory Kane03/13/09
There's a lot of delightful humour here. And not too many wild animals in Khartoum either, so that's a relief at least.
But at another level the story could be seen as trivialising missions in that a great deal of preparation has to go in before a worker can be released for service overseas. The candidate's commitment and resolve must be tested through language study - something that is extremely difficult to undertake once you are in post. (And absolutely essential for a posting to the Sudan.) Furthermore a programme of visitation round churches raises funds and permits others to judge the reality of the call (and to support financially accordingly.) Obedience is great but it is no substitute for proper preparation. Otherwise the candidate in your story is unlikely to last more than a month.
In saying all this, I appreciate that the intent is primarily humorous. But sadly I've met too many people with exactly this half-baked approach to missions.
Sheri Gordon03/13/09
I totally appreciate your humor--that is the exact response I would have had. The part about the MC and the snake in the garden is too funny. Good voice.
Catrina Bradley 03/13/09
I like this conversation with God. I did find the mc's repetition of His questions a bit annoying; you might have worked His question into her answer instead. But everything else was fabulous - right up to the very honest last line.
Mona Purvis03/14/09
What I enjoyed so much in this entry is the "relationship" that is revealed between the mc and God. Simple, close. Like talking to your very best friend...as it should be.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/14/09
Interesting dialogue here with the mc repeating the Lord's answers. I enjoyed the humor. God, most of all, requires an obedient heart; then the rest will follow according to His plan.
Joanne Sher 03/16/09
You had me giggling all the way through the first 2/3 or so of this. The insects with lips especially tickled me. Great message too at the end. Wonderful piece.
Karlene Jacobsen03/16/09
I love having conversations with God. He always wins the argument...as though he thought of the answer before I asked the question. Hmmmm...go figure.

This was excellent!
Pamela Kliewer03/16/09
How many times have I argued w/ the Lord? Thanks for this! I needed to read it, through the humor and all... to be reminded of God's working in my life and my need to trust and obey.
Connie Dixon03/16/09
I love this, the dreaded African assignment....and insects with lips no less. When God calls, we gotta go, there's no doubt about it.

Loved your format and your mc's humor. Hope she takes it with her, she'll need it!
Chely Roach03/16/09
I totally enjoyed the humor of the mc...thanks for the smile! Well done.
Ruth Ann Moore03/17/09
I enjoyed the flow and humour of your story. I also appreciated the truth in it; that sometimes we only read what we want to and neglect the rest of the message. Great story.
Jan Ackerson 03/17/09
Love the prayer/stream of consciousness...very well done, and you make this MC seem very real, and very likeable.
Bryan Ridenour03/17/09
Just a reminder to us all that God knows what He's doing, we must only trust Him. Super humor!
Carol Slider 03/19/09
I really enjoyed this... especially since I think this is exactly the way I would react if I were called to be a missionary in Africa! Congratulations!
Charla Diehl 03/19/09
I thoroughly and completely enjoyed reading this witty take on the topic. Congrats on your EC placement and I look forward to reading more of your work.