Thursday, April 18, 2013

Part 6 of Fearless Trust in God

Based on Psalm 27

     Drew and Manuel thought right.  The exchange was too good to be true.  It was 11 p.m. and they were at the old antique building.  Hernandez was waiting...impatiently.  His goons were all armed and ready for anything.  Drew was scared again.  Pastor Manuel was a little uneasy as well, but they both prayed...for a miracle.  Hernandez was rapping his fingers on his right hand, on the table.  His gun was next to his left hand.  Poppi and Fernando were behind Drew and Pastor Manuel pointing their guns at the both of them.  "Who is this?", Hernandez asked, referring to Manuel.  "He's a friend," Drew answered, scared as all get out.  "Didn't I tell you to go alone?", Hernandez asked impatiently.  "Yes sir," Drew answered.  He heard Sheila in the back and she screamed.  It startled both Drew and the pastor.  Hernandez began to laugh.  All his men began to laugh also.  Then he looked angrily in Drew's eyes and asked him.  "How much do you love your precious Sheila?"  Drew swallowed hard and responded with, "With all my heart."  Hernandez just stared at him with a puzzled look.  Drew had no idea what would happen next.  "Then why would you put her and yourself, and your 'friend', in such grave danger?", Hernandez questioned.  "I...I...don't...know," he said with his head down.  "Sit down, friend.  Go on...sit!", Hernandez demanded.

     Drew sat and couldn't make sense of Hernandez' actions.  Neither could Pastor Manuel.  "You sit too," Hernandez told the pastor.  Pastor Manuel cautiously sat to the right of Drew.  They looked at each other, then both looked at Hernandez.  Hernandez just smiled.  They sat in silence for about five minutes.  Drew became more and more anxious as the clock on the wall ticked incessantly.  Hernandez laughed again, and asked, "Are you scared?"  Drew answered, "Yes".  "You should be very scared indeed," Hernandez told them.  "Now tell me who you are and what do you have to do with this young man?", Hernandez asked Pastor Manuel.  "I am Manuel Lopez, nephew of the late Samuel Lopez," Pastor Lopez responded.  Hernandez had that puzzled angry look again.  Hernandez asked sharply, "And am I suppose to know him?"   The pastor answered him, "You may have heard of him.  He was a drug dealer.  I took over after he was killed."  He looked at the pastor and said, "Never heard of him."  Pastor Manuel was not only surprised but relieved.  That meant none of these goons knew the truth...that he was now a pastor.  "Where's the money my friend?," Hernandez asked Pastor Manuel.  He handed over the case.  Hernandez counted the money.  It was all there.  Hernandez smiled.  "OK."  His goons grabbed both of them and handcuffed them and took them to where Sheila was.  "Now I will decide what to do with the three of you.  I'm not sure I want this much blood on my hands all at once," Hernandez said.

     They threw Drew and the pastor into Sheila's room.  She was handcuffed to a small bed.  There were no windows and barely enough light to see.  The room smelled dirty, like a mixture of mold and sweat.  The stench was almost unbearable.  The only saving grace was Drew seeing Sheila.  They hugged and tears flowed from Sheila's eyes.  All she could say over and over was "I'm sorry."  Drew didn't understand.  All three were cuffed to the same bed.  Drew held Sheila as she sobbed.  Drew knew.  He knew they wouldn't be killed.  But both the pastor and Sheila thought differently.  Drew counted on Psalm 27 to get him through, and remembered Psalm 27:6.  "And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord."  Drew wondered how God would save them, but he knew God would.  Drew told Sheila about his "change" and the pastor also shared his testimony with her also.  Sheila then confessed to Drew what she was into.  Sheila had gotten into some trouble with some drug dealers.  She was buying and selling coke.  She never let a soul know.  When she started going with Drew, she wanted out, but couldn't escape.  Drew cried for a moment, then smiled and forgave her.  He told her it would be alright.  She didn't understand Christianity, but wanted to know more.  That elated Drew and Pastor Manuel.  

     They were given a little bit of food and just one glass of water, then the lights went out.  Drew and the pastor were to sleep on the hard, cold, concrete floor.  None of them could sleep that night.  The food they ate was just crumbs of what Hernandez and his men ate that night, and the water was dirty.  There were mice and roaches in the small room and they only let Sheila shower twice a week.  Her hair was tangled and in disarray, her clothes torn and dirty.  Drew about came unglued at seeing her this way, but held his composure for her sake.  Drew gave Sheila his Bible to read.  She started on the Psalms.  She cried as she read.  When she finally got to chapter 27, she broke down completely.  The guard at the door heard her read all of Psalm 27 aloud.  He was interested in what she read.  The guard remembered hearing that passage before, but couldn't remember where.  It was about 3:30 a.m. and the guard came into the room.  This startled the three of them.  The guard held his gun at them and grabbed Drew's Bible out of Sheila's hand.  He put his right index finger up to his mouth, telling them to be quiet.  He read Psalm 27 with tears in his eyes.  There was puzzlement mixed with hope in their three sets of eyes.  "My name is Ben.  My mother is a Christian.  I never understood her belief, until now," the guard announced.  Drew shared the Gospel with Ben and Sheila, still letting Ben believe that Pastor Manuel was a drug dealer.  Ben was 23.  He went to college but couldn't find a job in his field.  He studied education and there were so many cuts in the last several years that he couldn't find a job, so he got hooked up with this "family".  His father was a gang member in the area and got him hooked up.  His mother was divorced from his father and then became a Christian soon after.  She prayed for Ben ever since.

     Ben asked questions and so did Sheila.  They were still uncertain, but they did realize Drew was the real deal.  The pastor went along posing as a drug dealer and asked questions too.  Neither Drew or Pastor Manuel knew if this guy Ben was legit or not in being interested in Jesus.  He might turn on them all at any time.  Drew was a believer now for only a few days but shared the Gospel like he believed for years.  Pastor Manuel was impressed.  Ben heard Sheila's story how she tried to get out of the drug scene and was wanting a way out too.  Here was his chance, but would he be killed?  The other guards got suspicious and checked on Ben.  A guard by the name of Julio came in and asked if Ben was OK.  Ben answered, "There was some trouble here but I took care of it.  They won't act up again.  I'll be out in a moment, go on!", Ben ordered.  Julio and Ben were best friends since joining the "family".  Julio was 22, a high school dropout.  Julio was cautious around Ben, not trusting his motives at all.  Julio waited at the door.  "We'll talk later," Ben told them.  He came out of the dank room acting all tough.  Julio raised his eyebrow at Ben.  Ben shooed him away.  "I've got this.  No problem," Ben assured Julio.  Julio was suspicious, but couldn't pin down what to be suspicious about.  Julio and another guy by the name of Ricardo, kept an eye on Ben all night.  Ben was uncomfortable with the two guys watching him.  He had no idea what to do next.

     Sheila was crying uncontrollably and Drew didn't know how to help.  She was trembling and it wasn't just from the cold.  Drew tried so hard to calm her down.  Ben heard her wail, as did the other two guys.  Ben went in to "take care of them".  Julio and Ricardo didn't think much of it.  They just thought that Ben was going in there because the girl was throwing a fit.  But they watched Ben as he went in.  Ben went in to see if he could help.  He was thinking of a plan for all of them to escape.  He wanted out of the business.  He wanted Sheila, Drew and Manuel safe, and...he wanted to know more about this Jesus.  He played the game well.  "Quit your crying or I'll...", Ben pretended to threaten.  He went in like he was going to kill someone.  "What I really want to know is more about your Jesus", he whispered to them.  Sheila stopped crying.  All three of them smiled at Ben.  Sheila was still unsure, but was happy that maybe Ben was on their side.  Drew told him more about Jesus and they opened the Bible and read.  Ben was amazed, as was Sheila.  Ben and Sheila asked several questions about God, Jesus, the Bible, and salvation.  They were both a little skeptical, but saw something in Drew.  Sheila now knew about Pastor Manuel, but Ben didn't.  Sheila and Ben both, felt a tug at their hearts and they both began to weep.  Julio and Ricardo were out of hearing range, thank goodness.  10 minutes later, Ben and Sheila both gave their lives to Jesus and Ben had a plan to get them out.

     Ben quietly looked out the door.  No one was around.  His gun was in his belt and ready to be used.  He motioned for them to be quiet and left the room.  He ran down the hall yelling at Julio and Ricardo to help him.  "What happened?", Julio asked startled.  At the same time, Ricardo asked the same thing.  "Hey you two!  Where have you been?  I've got a big problem with the three prisoners!  Come!  Quick!", Ben spouted off.  They scrambled in the direction of the room.  They came to the door.  "Quick!  Julio!  Go in first!", Ben shouted.  Ricardo was motioned to go in after Julio.  On the shout of Ben telling the other two to go in, Drew and Pastor Manuel were suppose to stage a fight, and they went at it.  "Hey you two!  Knock it off!", Julio yelled.  Ricardo and Julio were trying to pull the two men apart when Drew, Manuel, and Ben, attacked the two men.  By the time they realized what was happening, Ben and the pastor gagged them, and Drew handcuffed them to the bed.  They still had to get past the others, but there was a door which no one guarded, so they went out that door and got away.  They all got into one of the vehicles and Ben drove them away.  They sang and gave praise to Jesus, but they also knew that those who were in the building would soon figure out the plan, and come after them.

Stay tuned next time for Part 7





No comments:

Post a Comment