Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ASKEW (06/07/18)
- TITLE: Oh, No!
By Trudy Newell
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As I unlocked the front door, I knew something was awry. The hairs on the back of my neck popped up. Why was the back door ajar? Where did the thick rope curled up like a snake at the foot of the stairs come from? There was a strange odor too.
As my housemate and friend followed, I didn’t notice anything out of order downstairs. I climbed the stairs to our bedrooms to find a huge disaster.
Earlier that morning Sally and I left the conference two hours away and stopped by our house on the way to church to pick up my typewriter as I was taking minutes at the conference.
I stared at the mammoth holes in the roof of our two bedrooms My bedroom looked like a small bonfire with burnt clothes in a heap, and everything else was strewn about. Sally was missing a pair of shoes, but it appeared the thieves were interrupted in their search for valuables. Not that we had any.
Everything I owned of significance was gone. I stood there in shock, remembering how a few short months ago I had lost everything I owned when I left Iran. Not only was my room in chaos, my life felt upside down as well. The new electric typewriter that had been given to me was gone. So much for typing up minutes tomorrow. Worse than that, I had brought with me six new bras – gone. The newer shoes I had were gone, as well as the guitar.
In the past year, I had lived on three continents and lost everything I had twice. I had changed my ministry focus and been in the spotlight far too often for me. Furlough is not a vacation. My time in the States was filled with pressure and decision-making. I didn’t have the luxury of taking a break before heading to Kenya, or I’d lose my support. Then I remembered how God had always been faithful and how much he loved me. It didn’t take away the pain, but it put it in perspective.
Surveying the damage, I said to Sally, “Well, they didn’t touch my books. Obviously, they aren’t readers.” I was truly grateful as I observed the orderly arrangement of books in the one place they hadn’t touched, my desk.
We went back to the vehicle to let our friends know what had happened. We learned the hard way not to go off overnight without having your house watched.
“We’ll contact the police right after church,” Paul told us. “Not sure if they can do anything.”
We went back to the conference after completing the necessary paperwork at the local police station. Two days later we returned home and put our lives back together.
We were grateful that since we had just moved in, we hadn’t bought a refrigerator yet. We were also grateful to see God’s provision, as the folks at the conference took up an offering to help us.
In the middle of the chaos and confusion, we had a lot of fun. Sally and I sat on my bed and jiggled with laughter as we tried to find something I could wear to a fancy event, and I had nothing appropriate. Together we managed to assemble an outfit that would be acceptable. Talk about eating humble pie.
I needed to do something about my bras. There was no e-mail in 1979, so I quickly mailed a letter and my parents sent me a few bras by air-express.
Three weeks later I opened an air-express package filled with those bras. My excitement quickly turned to anger as the customs officer I talked to demanded I pay six times what the bras were worth.
My eyes pooled and my voice got funny as I told the man.
“I’ve come as a guest to your country and at your invitation. I’ve been here little over a month and I’ve had everything I owned stolen. Then you want me to pay this amount of money to get my bras. There’s no way that’s going to happen. Keep the bras and wear them!”
I started to turn around and stomp out of the office when he beckoned me with his finger.
“Just a moment, mama. I think I can work this out.”
I left the post office with a smile on my face and my package of bras. I didn’t have to pay any custom fees. God is still on the throne.
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