Sunday, October 10, 2010

Capitulo Dos

Capitulo Dos

*Seven Years Later*
The jungle loomed on either side of the boat as it glided through the smooth black waters. Clutching the railing of the second deck, near the bow, was Jonathan. He had received the good news that someone from the trip had dropped out only three weeks earlier. What a rush. So much had to be done before he could arrive in that country—packing, getting shots for unheard of diseases like typhoid and yellow fever, applying for a visa, praying, and then waiting. The worst thing about it was that he didn’t know if he was going to be able to go or not because of the short notice. Mom called the Brazilian Embassy every day to see if they were going to have the visa in time for him to go, but every time they said that it would take 4-6 weeks to receive a visa.
It was Monday and the clock kept on ticking—his plane ticket was for Friday morning during the wee hours of the morning. Jonathan ran down to the mailbox right after the mail arrived day, but there was nothing. Maybe God didn’t have this trip in store for Jonathan. Tuesday came and went, but there was no visa. It would come tomorrow for sure. Again the box had nothing for Jonathan. A knot began to grow in the pit of his stomach. It all came down to Thursday; either the visa would come and he would go or there would be nothing and Brazil would have to wait. No matter what happened Jonathan was sure that the will of God would be made manifest.
The lid to the mailbox creaked open as Jonathan slowly opened the box with his eyes held tightly shut. With his heart hammering he opened them. Courage was failing because the there on top was a JC Penny magazine. Was it even worth sifting through the rest of the mail to see if his passport was stuffed in some obscure corner? With resolve he snatched the mail up in his arms and carried the bundle up to the house. He wanted to find out with the whole family. It is just a quirky character trait . Jonathan loves suspense and this is a way to create suspense. He couldn’t pretend it hadn’t come if he knew it had—so his solution was to pretend it hadn’t come by not actually knowing the truth.
With the bundle of mail placed at the center of the table and an audience it was time to discover the truth. After tossing a couple of catalogs off the stack, Jonathan started to believe he really wouldn’t get to go to Brazil. With a desperate swipe he uncovered a manila envelope. Could it really be that easy? It did contain a lump that looked suspiciously like a passport. With a triumphant cry he ripped it open to uncover his passport with the visa pasted securely inside. Against all odds he was going to Brazil. Some called it a fluke that it had come in such short time, but Jonathan knew the truth.
Spending a month in a foreign country was a new experience. He had been able to pull teeth, clean wounds, fill prescriptions, take hundreds of blood pressures, and tour the country. But it wasn’t a year a service and spiritual revival. It didn’t sate his desire to take a year out of college; instead it reaffirmed his commitment. He was sure that a year of service was going to be perfect—filled with spiritual experiences and reality.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Capitulo Uno

From high in the air the eleven year old boy looked out across the vast ocean; the water was so beautiful, “Who wouldn’t want to live here?” he wondered aloud. Jonathan was active boy with an easy countenance and slender limbs, blond hair, distinctive angular facial features, and alert greenish-blue eyes—green interiors rimmed in azure blue. It had been a long two days for Jonathan and his family (minus one sister) who had flown out of Seattle two days earlier on their way to Micro Indonesia. They had stopped in Hawaii for five hours as they waited for their connecting flight to Guam. He had only been able to see the airport, but he knew he loved Hawaii if the rest of it smelled as wonderful as the airport.
This trip held a lot of firsts for Jonathan—first time in Seattle, first time in Hawaii, first time off the continent; it was even his first time flying that he could truly remember because that flight at age two didn’t count. But most of all, seeing his oldest sister in Chuuck, the capital of the Federation, was what he was looking forward to the most. She had left six months early to be a student missionary teacher. The notion of living on an island for nine months while doing mission work seemed to be the greatest adventure anyone could have, at least that is what he thought.
“Please fasten your seat belts; this is going to be a rough landing,” boomed the captain’s voice.
The plane landed with a jerk and catapulted off the runway. Then, with a resounding thud the plane remade contact. All of the passengers were pitched forward against their seatbelts as the plane screeched to a halt.
“My apologies about the landing, but this is one of the shortest runways you’ll ever see; please enjoy your time on the beautiful island of Truk,” said the captain over the intercom.
It was a beautiful day in mid-March as the frazzled family climbed down the stairs and were handed their luggage off the trolley. Jonathan peered around looking to see where his oldest sister, Shonna, would be waiting with a big smile on her face. As the crowd at the gate jostled a little he saw her, the great adventurer, with a grin fixed on her face.
Dad, mom, Shonna, Laura, Julie, and Jonathan loaded the bags into the back of a truck that the school had supplied. In the wink of an eye they were off with Jonathan, Dad, and a couple people from the school sitting in the bed of the truck. Through bumpy roads they twisted and turned until they arrived at the school’s compound. Jonathan had never seen such a beautiful place with all of the palm trees covering the earth and blue lagoons surrounding the island.
It was a fun filled two week for Jonathan playing with Shonna’s third graders and the older fourth graders. They had spent their days catching hundreds of toads, plotting ways to catch the rooster that ran around the compound and then chasing it through the yucca swamp, swimming in Blue Lagoon with the turtles, following Dad around as he did medical house calls, and snorkeling off of a private island. The days were ones he would never forget, but most of all Jonathan was impressed with his sister working for a year doing mission work. No matter what happened in his future he knew that he was going to be a missionary somewhere someday.