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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Accent (02/21/13)

TITLE: Speak With His Love
By Camille (C D) Swanson
02/27/13


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Tsega was one week shy of her first year anniversary of being in America. Her ebony face, extraordinarily beautiful. However, it was her soul that eclipsed her outward appearance overwhelmingly. A shining soul that touched others just being in her presence.

Tsega barely spoke in church, and lit up a room with her dazzling smile without saying one word. She was one of six children, born in Ethiopia, and lived in a hut.

She came from a village that for generations believed in witch doctors, and the power of healing from their potions, and incantations. Until one day, a missionary lady changed her life. That was the first day of her life.

She met her husband through the missionary work team, and fell in love. About three months later, they married. His missionary work finished for the time being, and so she returned to America with him, and never looked back.

Her husband explained, Tsega rarely spoke, concerned that others wouldn't understand her broken English through a thick accent. So, she smiled, and nodded, and prayed silently while in church. A chosen few heard her speak, and the reticence to do so, was glaringly apparent, each time someone tried to engage her in conversation. She'd fidget, smile, and point to the doorway, indicating she'd have to go...or, point to the ladies room.

There was always an escape for Tsega. The few words she spoke were hard to grasp, exceedingly difficult to understand. It was uncomfortable for all parties concerned, no one wanted to hurt her feelings by repeating, what did you say? So, it was what it was. We were just glad to have her be a part of our congregation. She was pleasant, kind, and reserved.Her husband did the speaking for them both.

Until one day in church, we had a guest speaker from Ethiopia. The guest was a doctor, and had a testimony to share. It was moving, captivating, and had everyone in tears. So moving, that Tsega stood up, and rushed to the front of the church, embraced the guest speaker, and cried. We were shocked to see this behavior from this shy and reserved woman. However, the audience really gasped when Tsega turned to the audience, grabbed the microphone, and spoke.

"Praise God, for He is good all the time. He saved me, saved my family, and gave me love. He brought me out of the depths of poverty, and sent me a loving husband. We're going to have a baby, through His grace...and I wanted to share that with all of you, here and now. For those of you who haven't given yourself to Christ, do so now. He is all you will need, now, and always. He will give you peace, and His provisions are endless. I love Him. And, I am so grateful for His love, His word, and His ways. I would be dead without Him. So Praise Him. He saved me. Come forward and let Him into your life as your Lord and Savior, and know peace....and know love."

There wasn't a sound from anyone. All eyes were fixed on Tsega. Mouths opened, and tears falling silently from the majority of people. Nothing was said for the longest time, each person struck with awe, until finally...everyone stood in unison with thunderous applause. It was outstanding and moving.

You see, when Tsega spoke, there was no accent whatsoever...


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This article has been read 327 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Alicia Renkema02/28/13
This was so moving and so gentle in the beginning, propelling me forward, making me wonder at what was going happen next with the MC. The way you described her and her insecurities with herself and her accent. The way you also nailed the church and sometimes how we can all unfortunately be, not being willing to step out of our own comfort zone; not making the first step to really love someone as Jesus would. God of course steps in and has someone from her own country show up at her church and He uses that to free her. How I would have loved to have been in that church that day hearing that wonderful testimony, a heart and spirit truly freed. The fact that she had such wonderful news to share of her pregnancy was just a bonus for the reader. I loved your ending, oh my gosh, God is too good when He does a work, He goes all the way. The only tiny suggestion I would say, and maybe I am wrong on this, but I would have titled your piece Spoken with His love, for how she was able to speak with no accent at the end was because she was speaking with His love... Anyway, your piece is so powerful that it doesn't matter. This is a winner in my eyes!
Dannie Hawley 03/01/13
This article touched me deeply on many levels. A huge part of my heart is still in Ethiopia with her beautiful people. The people I served with in the camp were more deep chocolate brown than ebony, so I reckon your MC was farther south than my camp. I love your article!
lynn gipson 03/02/13
Wow! This had me spellbound as well. The ending had me in tears. This is just excellent, my friend. Had me all the way through.You never fail to leave me with a feeling of peace and happiness with you writing.
Blessings.
Cheryl Harrison 03/04/13
Beautiful testimony to God's power. I enjoyed this very much. Thanks for writing.
Linda Goergen03/05/13
An absolutely WONDERFUL story that was so well written, I felt I was right there—so much so that when Tsega gave her testimony, I wanted to jump up and clap and praise the Lord along with the rest of the church in the story! Loved your title—God’s love has no accent and can cross any barriers—If we could all only “speak with His love” what a world of joy we would have! This story rings true, but even if it is fiction, the vision of Tsega that you gave me will be with me for a long time! Terrific job!
Judith Gayle Smith03/06/13
Intoxicating. Absolutely lovely and thrilling. Thank you.
Judith Gayle Smith03/06/13
Intoxicating. Absolutely lovely and thrilling. Thank you.
Pam Ford Davis 03/07/13
Congratulations!

Wing His Words
lynn gipson 03/07/13
congratulation on your HC. this was one fine story....
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/07/13
Congratulations!! Happy Dance!!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/07/13
Oh wow this is so beautiful, Camille, I have goosebumps and tears, you touched my heart. This is such a profound piece.
Dannie Hawley 03/07/13
Congratulations on your H.C.! There was some stiff competition this week, and I'm thrilled to see your article in the top five! Keep writing those terrific articles!
Alicia Renkema03/07/13
I am so glad the judges recognized this truly wonderful piece, one of absolute favorites of the whole contest this time around. Congratulations on your HC! Blessings...
Judith Gayle Smith03/07/13
Thank you for glorifying God with your true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy winning entry! God bless you.

Love and verbal hugs, Judi

KJV Revelation 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/07/13
Congratulations on ranking 12th overall!! So close my friend, but you did awesome. :) And I'm doing another Happy Dance just for you!!
Beth LaBuff 03/07/13
This is the kind of story that so moves the reader and is remembered for a very long time. I loved seeing that award at the top of this beautiful story.
Noel Mitaxa 03/08/13
Congratulations on your HC, for you have beautifully captured the contrast between the difficulty that everyone had in communicating, with the warm, positive flow that climaxes the story. Brilliant work.
Cheryl Harrison 03/08/13
Congratulations on placing 12th overall with this tender story. It touched my heart even more the second time around.
Claudia Thomason 03/08/13
I loved this story. We had a woman at church who couldn't speak well due to a birth defect. How true that people found it easier not to communicate with her. I found that she was worth listening to and well worth the effort to learn to communicate with her. Your description of your character's self-imposed silence drew the reader in. I totally did not expect that great ending. Congratulations on your HC placement.
Bea Edwards 03/08/13
Oh I just adored this lovely poignant story. Your ending was so heartwarming!
Loni Bowden-Horn03/09/13
This was a beautifully written piece of work. I could identify with the woman in the story because I stumble over my words all the time and don't always communicate my true feelings.

If we allow God to communicate for us, the words flow out perfectly with just the right message.

Congratulations on your highly commendable award.
Hiram Claudio03/15/13
Congratulations my dear friend! An honor well deserved.
Myrna Noyes03/20/13
What a beautiful portrait of Tsega you painted in this story--her charm, her insecurity, her love. CONGRATULATIONS on your "Highly Commended" and on place 12th overall! The ending was WONDERFUL!! :)
Patsy Hallum04/15/13
I love what God did through Tsaga.Thanks for sharing such a lovely story!