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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)

TITLE: Seed and Harvest
By Karlene Jacobsen


I will never forget my first year in the Lilongwe. Some of the villages were so open to the gospel while others seemed to never have heard of Jesus. As our time is short tonight, I will share only one story of the miraculous conversion of an entire village.

I had been in Lilongwe, Malawi just a month or so. My wife was doing her best to acclimate to the living conditions I had subjected her to—no furniture and hired guards for what property we had. My son was feeling quite lonely as he left all his friends in USA to come to Africa with us; he was feeling cut off from the world.

I took a walk one day to seek God. Had we made haste in our decision to leave home for the mission field? That is when I saw the little girl.

She could not have been more than nine or ten years old but her build was slight, almost frail looking. Her eyes big black pools shone through her dark chocolate skin. Unafraid of me, she walked up, grabbed my wrist and insisted, “Come.” I followed, certain if I had not gone, she would have taken my wrist and left me behind.

I grew breathless trying to keep up with her. She pranced through the brush from our village to hers. “Where are you taking me?” I asked, but received no response other than a tug on my wrist. It amazed me that she could keep such a pace dragging this old fellow behind her.

When at last we entered her village, she shouted, “He’s here, he’s here!” She called the entire community to come at once to see the white man from the other village. I doubled over, panting for air with my neck craned upward so I could see the great crowd gather around us. “I brought him, just as I told you.”

Then she turned to me. “Tell them the story!”

Confused and out of breath, I stared at her. “Story?” I could not remember telling any stories, and I definitely did not remember this girl.

“The story you told the other village. Tell them …!” she insisted. I must have appeared as though I would fall over when one of the villagers grabbed my arm and guided me to a log lying on the ground to sit. The villagers followed, sitting in a circle around me. The girl, whose name was Faizah, I learned, took a seat to my right.

“What do you know about the story I told them?” I probed, hoping to understand what story they wanted to hear.

“You know, the one about the man named Jesus,” the deep base voice of Jawara, a dark man, as tall and thick as an oak tree spoke behind me. When I looked up and saw his thick arms with ropes for veins popping through his skin my heart crawled into my throat. However, his eyes were pools of liquid chocolate, setting me at ease.

He told everyone to listen to me speak and then sat down on my left. I began to chuckle; I was surrounded by giants and little people. Their earnest looks prevented me from making light of the moment.

“Well, let me see. The story I have been telling is true; has anyone heard of Jesus?” I began. Some had, others were not sure. So I told them about Jesus. Their eyes were so hungry I could not stop until I told them all the story of the Bible. I must have talked for several hours, but no one moved; not even a flinch when flies began their practice landings on bald heads. By the time I finished, there was a sea of tears. I had never in my life experienced such a reaction to the story of Jesus.

Later, Jawara told me of a missionary that visited them many years ago who was rejected. He was mocked and treated with much hatred. One day the missionary was murdered. The villagers believed they were finally free of him, until their children became ill and died, their food ran out. They prayed to their gods, called in the witch doctors, performed the rituals; but none helped.

Jawara finished the story, I told him I believed that man to be a seed planted, and they were the harvest. From that day, the village has experienced God’s blessing.

That day God answered all of our cries.

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This article has been read 823 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Ann Moore03/12/09
I loved the repentent hearts of the people and their tenderness towards the message of the gospel. I also enjoyed the confidence of the little girl and the mystery of her mission. Thank you for an enjoyable read.
Sharon Kane03/14/09
A good read. You created the little girl's character so well. I loved the line about her taking his wrist and leaving him behind!!
It is quite an awesome experience telling Bible stories to people who don't already know the ending, and when the result is the salvation of a village - well, hallelujah!
I was going to say you made it all sound too easy, but the martyrdom of the previous missionary brought the balance on that front. Thanks for writing.
Bryan Ridenour03/16/09
Great story reminding us that there are so many hungry people all over the world that really want to hear the story of Jesus.
Chely Roach03/16/09
This was quite touching...nicely done.
Catrina Bradley 03/16/09
I've got goosebumps and a huge smile on my face! A perfect title for this amazing story.
Norma-Anne Hough03/17/09
Lovely story well told. I loved your mc.
Connie Dixon03/17/09
Wow! This is an amazing story, I hope it's true! Your descriptions were really good and drew me in. Great writing.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/17/09
I loved your story of a village repenting due to seeds sowed previously. Your descriptions made the story come alive.
Jan Ackerson 03/17/09
Every word drew me in...great hook, and you really kept me wanting to read on.
Christina Banks 03/18/09
Wonderfully told story!
Joanne Sher 03/18/09
Don't know where to "poke" - this truly is wonderful. If you are ACHING for some red ink, I'd probably say the first two paragraphs weren't quite as compelling as the rest. They perhaps dragged just a bit.

But that is ALL I can find. VERY nice.
Diana Dart 03/18/09
Very engaging story, just loved the descriptions of the people and their reactions. They felt very alive to me.
Pamela Kliewer03/18/09
Wonderful, wonderful story! Only one 'red ink' I tripped over this: Her eyes big black pools shone through her dark chocolate skin. Maybe you need a comma?

Your story drew me in. Well done!
Mona Purvis03/18/09
Don't you love it when adults care enough to follow a child blindly? That's what spoke to me in this story. The willingness to 'just go'. Great story, intriguing in fact.

Henry Clemmons03/18/09
A story with a good, happy ending! Well done. I feel better now.
Gary J. Borgstede03/18/09
A story well told in the writing! I liked how the MC reflected upon the real sacrifices made to answer the mission call, including the honest admission of self-doubts which added authenticity to the MC. Plus, the story is a powerful representation of God's faithfulness to use and multiply all seeds planted in His Name. Excellent job!
Catrina Bradley 03/18/09
I'm back to humbly offer you some red ink. :)

There are places where you "tell" instead of "show" - for example "her build was slight, almost frail looking" and "I grew breathless trying to keep up with her". Show us her build with vivid descriptions; show his breathlessness with action words. Here: "I doubled over, panting for air" you DO show us. See the difference?

"When I looked up and saw his thick arms with ropes for veins popping through his skin my heart crawled into my throat." Introductory clauses need to be set off with a comma. The comma in this sentence would go after "skin."

"However, his eyes were pools of liquid chocolate, setting me at ease." Great description of his eyes, but no explanation of why they set him at ease. I stumbled here.

"So I told them about Jesus." Telling again. :) Then you follow it by showing. This line isn't really necessary. You don't need to tell AND show. Let the reader glean from the actions that the MC is telling them about Jesus.

I hope this helps!

Joanney Uthe03/18/09
Great illustration of how the life of a martyr can have a more lasting effect than first realized. Great title.