Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FAITH (strong, confident belief in God) (02/26/15)
- TITLE: Nine Thousand Miles of Possibilities
By Francy Judge
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In the silence she knew. Emily hadn’t left her house in three weeks. Three weeks of tears since the worst day of her life. “Lord, am I really hearing you? How can I go on a mission trip to help rebuild a village when I barely know how to use a hammer? When I have nothing to offer the people? I’m a nurse, not a builder.”
Three weeks later, she left her empty home and drove to the airport.
The storm flattened homes and ripped palm trees up from their roots. Coastal homes washed out to sea. Most homes were reduced to piles of wood and debris. It left the village like a thief, stealing all its tropical beauty—stealing life.
Riza survived the storm to find her husband stretched out on a rock, his head in a pool of blood. “Amado!” She wailed, lifting his limp body onto her lap. “No, please no.” One day they were gardening and deciding on a baby name, the next day… gone. She curled up next to him with her arms wrapped around her swollen belly, caressing the baby that still kicked. Riza slept for a day until thirst gripped her throat and forced her to get up and find water. But where? She had one jug that survived, but it wasn’t going to last long.
After the twenty hour flight and bumpy landing, Emily traveled in a small truck with her group through the worst area. The damage was worse than she imagined. The countryside rolled with hopelessness. Thoughts of doubt crept into her mind again. “What can I do here? Lord, give me faith.” She swallowed the lump in her throat as she realized thousands of people died here that same week that consumed her mind. She opened the hand-size Bible she was given and read: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” She breathed deeply and repeated the verse again.
Was she the only survivor? Where is everyone? Riza couldn’t see the gravel road or tell which direction she was walking, but had to keep moving. Her belly felt tight as if it was being stretched in the slow rhythm of her steps. The land was quiet, mourning its loss. The waves softly crashed at the shore and helped guide her toward the nearest town. A small plane roared through the sky. “Does anyone see what happened? Will someone send help? Lord, where are you? I know you love me and took Amado before me for a reason. Please comfort my heart.” Riza’s head hurt, dizzy with hunger and thirst. Her long black hair hung like a hot blanket on her shoulders as she walked for days. She found a tree standing and collapsed in its shade. “Help me, Lord.”
Emily wished she could sleep, but the ride was too bumpy and the sights too overwhelming. She wasn’t sure what she was looking at—something orange, a dress, a lady? She shouted to the driver, “Pull over there, by the tree. There’s a woman.”
The driver stopped, and the men hopped out to help lift the woman into the bed of the truck. Riza checked her pulse. “She’s alive, but weak … looks dehydrated and due to have this baby very soon!” Emily poured some water on a hand towel and wiped the lady’s face. She took a water bottle to her lips and raised her back. “Come on, take a sip.”
Riza felt a coolness to her face. Water. She opened her eyes. “Am I dreaming?”
“Hi. My name is Emily. We found you passed out by the tree. How are you feeling?”
“Tired. My name is Riza. I feel pain … is the baby okay?”
“We are taking you to the clinic at the nearest shelter. I can see the baby kicking—that’s a good sign. Are you due soon?”
“Yes, but my husband died in the storm. We never picked out a name.”
Emily felt a stabbing pain within her as she remembered that day. “I just lost my husband too. We were trying to have a child, but it never happened. He died in a car accident the same week as the storm.”
The men rushed her inside the tent clinic on a stretcher. Emily began timing her contractions. She stroked Riza’s forehead. “You’ll be okay. With God, all things are possible.”
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