Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: HOPE (joyful, confident expectation in salvation) (03/05/15)
- TITLE: Sliver of Hope
By Bonnie Bowden
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My father’s voice reverberated through my mind, “Jump, Sonja! Jump!” My father, mother, and baby sister and brother had remained imprisoned in the cattle cars; there had been no escape for them. At 13 years old, I was all alone—so alone.
I waited and waited until I was sure the train was gone for good. Unearthly moans and cries continued to fill the air as I ran through the dead of night. A copse of trees covered me from prying eyes as I looked for help. I ripped the yellow star off my sleeve and threw it to the ground; defiantly I vowed to never put one on again.
Up ahead, I spotted an old farm house. Shivering, I knocked on the door. In a few minutes an older woman, still in her robe, answered. “Who is it? What do you want with me?” she asked. “I have just escaped from the train; please help me.” “I don’t want any of your kind around here,” she replied, as she slammed the door in my face.
Since daylight was breaking, I ran and knocked on the next door I saw. A wizened, old man with a shotgun answered the door. “Who are you? Where have you come from,” he questioned. “I am a young girl without home or family. My house was just in a fire, and I lost family and possessions,” I lied. “Come in fast child, before anyone sees you,” he exclaimed.
“Klara, come quickly and bring some of Maria’s old clothes.” Soon, a short, stocky woman came bringing a clean shirt, skirt, scarf, and a pair of shoes. “Go to the bathroom and change,” she ordered. I slipped the clothes on and looked in the mirror. I was surprised by the image of the Ukrainian in the mirror.
When I came out, I saw that the couple had prepared me a cup of hot milk and a warm slice of bread. I was so famished; I ate without stopping. Then, I ran over and hugged the man and woman before breaking down into tears. “Don’t worry; we know you lied,” the man replied. “My wife and I serve a God of love, not hate. We believe that if we help you that our sons will come home from the war alive.”
Still, we need to get you out of here. The soldiers are constantly patrolling the area, and it is not safe. Quietly, he led me out to the barn and hid me under a pile of hay in the wagon. “I know of a safe house where you will be able to stay.” Through the straw, I could see a sliver of light. I knew that whatever happened that God would lead me out of Egypt and home to the Promised Land.
***Fictional account based on several survivor’s stories from http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/survivor/women.html
Especially the life of Dina Pronichev
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