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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Flat (01/03/13)

TITLE: He Longs for the Crooked Road
By Donna Haug


“My world is ... flat.”

I know. I know. This theory has been proven wrong without a doubt, but try convincing my hubby of that fact.

For years he'd been longing for a way to get back to Africa. He had grown up as a missionary kid surrounded by purposeful, determined people who worked unending hours to ensure young African leaders got a solid foundation for their effervescent faith. He watched his dad doing everything from teaching and preaching to shooting and butchering buffalo, gazelle and warthog to replenish the Bible College freezers. He watched him design the Bible College and residence buildings on paper, supervise their construction and even worked with him to plan, build and raise a steeple on the new church. He flew in a Cessna to go to boarding school in a neighbouring country. He drove through the Serengeti National Park in order to get back home, laughing as they chased the hyenas and wandering off the road to drive beside the loping giraffe. When they stopped for lunch, they kept watch for lions and guarded their cold fried chicken from the mischievous monkeys.

At long last, it seemed his dream had finally come true. Twenty years after his dad's brain hemorrhage forced them to leave African soil, nearly tearing my teenaged future-husband's heart out of his chest in the process, it seemed that God had opened the doors for him to return “home”. With his own little family in tow, he spent the next seven years living out his fantasy job. Each day was unpredictable. He thrived on the challenges, facing every difficulty like an adventure. He poured himself into teaching and preaching at every available opportunity. People loved the white man with the African heart. When his truck broke down at the side of the road, he would figure out a way to fix it and get us back on the road again. When a house needed to be built, he planned it, supervised the construction and trained new workers in the process. Minor inconveniences like power failures, potholed, muddy roads, nights spent in his roof-top tent in the bush so that he could do pastor's seminars in almost unreachable places – all got his motor revving.

Much to his dismay, family responsibilities dragged him back to his birth country, not to be confused with “home”. He took up several successive construction jobs until God opened the door for him to become a business manager of a large building, a job requiring much creativity, hard work and people skills. He's the man for the job – but he has not settled. He wants his life to count for more than ensuring a building runs smoothly. He longs for the challenge of he unknown. He wants to be out there where the rubber meets the potholes and the people truly need help. He longs to make a difference.

Yes, my love, I know your world seems flat right now. I also know that when God releases us from our current responsibilities, it will not be long before your flat-land will once again become crooked. Your days will once again become unpredictable and challenging. You'll be preaching in a second language and through an interpreter to yet another one, teaching students who know so little and will suddenly “get it”, and fixing your truck at the side of the road. I promise you, love, that just as you have walked with your family in the last few “peaceful” years, I will one day bounce along beside you on your next adventure – whenever that happens to be. I promise!

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This article has been read 460 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dannie Hawley 01/10/13
This could well be a true story, though you haven't so indicated. There is a lot of adventure to be had in Africa, which has more than its share of potholes (of all kinds.) You've tackled quite a chunk in these few words. Reading the article has reminded me of my first years in Africa. After twenty-nine years, the potholes have lost their mystique but sharing the Gospel is still just as exciting as ever it was the first year! Thanks for the reminder, as well as sharing this with those who've never been there.
Lori Dixon01/10/13
You are a wonderful story teller for sure! I've never been to Africa, but I do so get your husband's distaste for 'the flat life'.
I am totally new to this, but I think if the first line clearly defined who was speaking, it may have transitioned the rest of the story as I flipped in my head if it was you who that your life was flat or your husband. Once I got into the story, however, it didn't faze me as it was so gripping.
Nicely written!
Eddie Snipes01/11/13
Great story and very inspirational. I can really picture his heart for the Lord and people.
Lollie Hofer01/11/13
This does ring true...I hope it is a true story because I like your tribute and encouragement to your husband at the end. His passion for Africa came through clearly. There were a couple minor typos but I don't think it distracts from the passion. Good job!
Virgil Youngblood 01/12/13
This is an interesting, informative and enjoyable read. My only suggestion is to break up some of the lengthy sentences and paragraphs. This would make easier reading. The title is outstanding.
C D Swanson 01/12/13
Touching and moving piece. I really enjoyed this. Thank you so much.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/16/13
This is a beautiful piece. You took the flat earth term into a totally and unique POV. I can feel the MC's love for her husband. You described his duties in his home and made me long to visit Africa too. Nicely done.
Danielle King 01/17/13
Congratulations Donna.