Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Cup and Saucer (08/28/14)
- TITLE: Pen Pals
By Gary Ritter
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Itís good to have a friend to write to. I need to be able to express all that Iím experiencing. My mother was killed today. Muslim leaders in the village knew she had converted to Christianity. They warned her to renounce Jesus. She said she could never forsake her Savior. They cut off her head. I am devastated. Pray for me.
To Malik, c/o Sudan
Iím sorry to hear about your mom. Thatís got to be awful. My mom today announced to my dad that sheís a lesbian and plans to live with her lover. Sheís found a church that welcomes all diverse people because God loves everyone. My dad is beside himself with anger. My friend just got a batch of extra potent grass. I think Iíll go get stoned.
My father and I went to church this morning. Our brothers and sisters in Christ mourned with us for my mother. Theyíve been so loving. We were almost finished with the service when a mob of angry villagers attacked us. They yelled ďAllahu Akbar!Ē Ė ďGod is greatĒ Ė set fire to our church and stoned us as we tried to escape. One rock hit me in the ear and all I hear is silence. They hate us because we worship the One true God.
Bummer about your ear. I was listening last night to my favorite heavy metal band. Their music is all the rage at school. The head banging sounds are really intense. Iím not hearing so well today. My dad has been raging around the house cussing, and mumbling about teaching Mom a lesson. Iím scared for both of them. I think Iíll put on my headphones and listen to more music.
The hate and rage against us Christians has been growing. They persecute us because we tell them God is love and Jesus is God. There was a man a couple weeks ago who declared that he loved another man. We tried to show him the nature of his sin: itís no different from lying or stealing. We told him God would forgive him if he repented and placed his faith in Jesus. The village elders learned of his homosexual desires. They burned him and his lover at the stake, saying that Allah hates those who sin, and they are to avenge Allah for the peopleís transgressions.
Heavy, man. Good thing weíre tolerant here in this country. Lots of freedom to do what we want. Mom got a restraining order on Dad. He canít go near her or heíll go to jail. I went with Mom to church yesterday. Iíve never seen such a demonstration of love before. Men hugging men, women hugging women. Everybody so friendly: a lot of people getting the phone numbers of others so they could get together. There was even this older man who wanted my number. Way cool.
There were only a few of us Christians in the village to begin with. Since they burnt down our church, all our remaining families were threatened. All of the others have fled. I donít know where theyíve gone, but they took just a few possessions with them: cup and saucer, bedding, a change of clothes. My father and I are the only ones left. I walk to school and feel eyes of hate burn into my skull. People taunt me and laugh at me. We probably wonít stay much longer. How can we?
All this time I thought I only liked girls. Come to find out, I like a pretty exceptional guy as well. Maybe Iím bi. The church has regular Bible studies for couples and those with special friends. Iíve attended some of these and learned that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were probably a ďthing.Ē Also, when Paul wrote about immoral behavior he wasnít referring to people who love each other in a committed relationship. The Bible is such a wise book.
This is my last letter for now. We are fleeing our home this morning. Word got to us that a mob would attack us at dawn. Weíve been up since 3:00 preparing to leave. I donít know where weíre heading Ė north maybe. Iíve found that standing for Christ and His truth is hard, and that those who follow Him will suffer as He said. I pray you find Jesus as He really is.
In Christ, Malik.
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