Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fearless Trust In God-Part 11

This story continues with Psalm 27:11
"Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a level path
because of my foes."

     The day started out great.  It was the best sleep anyone had gotten in awhile, and Sheila had not one nightmare.  Everything seemed to be going better for all of them, as far as coping with the situation.  They were still in hiding.  They were still either thought dead, or kidnapped, and they still couldn't contact anyone...not yet.  They had their morning coffee and devotions in Manuel and Sheila's room.  Pastor Manuel opened up Psalm 27, and read verse 11.  "Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a level path because of my foes".  Ben had an uneasy feeling after reading that verse.  He really didn't understand why he had the feeling either.  He started thinking about Hernandez and how he and his men could find anyone, at any time, in any place.  Ben thought to himself, "But what if they thought we were dead"?  That didn't help because he knew the answer, and it wasn't a good answer.  He kept his thoughts to himself, but was on guard for his friends' sake.

     They all thought this verse over.  They all wanted to know God's way.  They prayed for one another and their families.  They prayed for the people of the church the Bartholomews attended.  They got ready for Sunday School and church.  They met the Bartholomews in front of Wilderness Baptist Church.  It was a small church of about 60 people.  They met Pastor Charles Winslow and his wife, Patty.  They had 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls, ages ranging from 27 down to 12.  They shook hands with many people, who were very nice.  They also met a deacon and his family, Rick and Nancy Hickory, with their 3 children, a boy and 2 girls, ages 25 down to 16.  The Sunday School was led by Rick and his wife, for the ages of 13 and up.  Mrs. Kelly Parker had the small children in her Sunday School class.  There were 5 children there.  

     Rick talked about David in the Bible and all the struggles he went through and the temptations that overcame him.  He talked about how he was "a man after God's own heart", despite the fact that he committed adultery, lied and murdered, to get what he wanted.  Ben knew the meaning of that.  He killed, lied, stole, and did things that was unpleasing to God, and yet now, he was a man after God's own heart.  He felt a peace come over him.  Ben was searching for God's direction, and he wondered if they were to get out of this situation alive.  He had betrayed Hernandez and he knew the consequences of that, if he were caught.  Drew sat by Sheila and were holding hands.  Drew loved her, and wondered if Sheila loved him as much.  She did.  He wanted to know God's way also, and was terrified of the possible outcome of the trial they were in.  Pastor Manuel prayed silently for things to go well for them.  For them to go home safely.  Kyle listened and wondered about the tribulations they have faced and were going to face.  After the lesson, a man named Joe prayed.  Then they went into the church service.

     The church service started with prayer and songs.  It lifted everyone's spirits to sing praises to Jesus.  The sermon Pastor Charles spoke on was James 1:2-4.  How we need to have joy in our troubles.  He went on to say that God allows trials in our lives to bring us closer to Him, and that the various trials we do endure will strengthen our walk with Jesus.  He referred to two references in the Bible: Psalm 27:11 and Jeremiah 29:11-13.  He pointed out that we needed to be taught the way to go, and that God has His plan for our lives.  None of them knew how to be joyful through all of this.  Not even Pastor Manuel.  They all struggled that day, but they knew they had to and could endure this trial, but, it was difficult.  After the service they all gathered for fellowship for a few minutes.  They were invited to lunch, but declined.  They didn't want to get too close...not yet.  They needed to decide what to do next.

     All but Ben went out sightseeing just to relax and get their minds off of their situation.  Ben kept to himself and went back to his hotel room.  He got his bible out and sat and prayed.  He was gripped with guilt of all the crimes he had done.  Why now?  He didn't know.  He knew in his heart that all that he had done was forgiven by Jesus and he didn't have to hold onto his past mistakes, but he still felt overwhelmed, considering he was responsible for his new friends' kidnapping.  He still couldn't believe that Jesus could love even him so much.  He cried and read through the Scriptures.  He knew the truth, that Jesus gave up His life for all sinners.  That was comforting to Ben.  He was interrupted and stunned by a familiar phone call.  He panicked and didn't know what to do.  He decided to answer was one of Hernandez' goons.  "Hello?".  The goon answered with a warning.  He spoke in a thick Spanish accent.  He said, "Hey my friend, we know where you are now.  You and the others are as good as dead"...

I'm finally back writing again and hope to finish this story soon.  Stay tuned and find out what will happen to them, now that they have been found out.  The question is who gave them up?  Was it one of the towns people?  We will see...