Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matthew 4:19).
“We are going fishing”
I go a fishing
Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes (John 21:3-6).
It was early Sunday morning, around 3:20 a.m., and one of the workers arrived to pick me up from the Akron/Canton Airport. We finalized our business and boarded the plane. The plane, bequeathed to the ministry some years ago, was massive and alluring. I had heard of the plane, received photos of it, but neither poet's pen nor artist’s brush could do it justice. It could be seen from the runway.
[Click photo to enlarge.]
Even in the dark
We were escorted by vans to the waiting plane. Even in the dark, for the sun had not made its appearance, the view was simply splendid. The plane was immense both in stature and beauty. As we presented our passports and boarding passes, we pressed toward our assigned seats. My seat was “7C.” That was great! On my ordination papers, it indicated that I was the “7th” to be ordained by the ministry. I was elated, to say the least. I had a good, cheerful neighbor. My neighbor and I shared a small counter in between our reclining seats, with enclosed pockets for our “stuff.” I kept my “pocket” loaded with goodies and a headset. Missionaries traveled with our group from as far away as Ohio, Illinois, Canada, Virginia, Colorado, and England for this great crusade. Soul winners from around the world, reaching the world!
We are going fishing
Enshrouded in his warm sweater, the man of God made his appearance at the front of the aircraft. “We are going fishing,” gently flowed from his voice. He was our dad and we were going to South Africa to fulfill the great mission set before us. After the prayer, God’s humbled servant proceeded to greet each person, briefly chatting and thanking them for helping him reach souls for our Lord. The Lord, through a divine visitation, showed His servant what was ahead. The man of God knew there would be a great, great harvest.
Well, the time came for breakfast and the attendants began approaching each passenger. They were skillful and neatly dressed. Each had the Jesus smile and was covered with grace and humility. Boy, I was in awe. They were arrayed with black monogrammed aprons. Each attendant was tactful and patient. It was obvious that all had been well trained. I ate and ate and ate. We were fed “well.” I had no trouble with my appetite. We flew for approximately six hours, stopped to refuel and then we were back in the air. I did a lot of sleeping.
On Monday morning around 5:20 a.m., we arrived at the Johannesburg Airport. After obtaining our luggage and going through immigration, we loaded very nice chartered buses for our first destination, Maseru, Lesotho.
There’s no telling
It would take nearly six hours to arrive at the Lesotho Sun Hotel. Some flew on ahead but I enjoyed the bus ride and lovely scenery. While riding the bus, I had an opportunity to listen to some good music from home, pray and meditate. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I took hundreds and hundreds of pictures with a digital camera that the church provided for me. It will be important to show the gracious workers at Passions what they sacrificed for.
They had given tremendously so that I could make this great adventure. They were excited about my departure to these two great nations. We had made ourselves ready through prayers and fastings. There’s no telling how many meals were sacrificed for the trip.
Johannesburg was simply picture perfect. We boarded the buses that would take us into Lesotho. The luggage was stuffed into a separate truck, which followed.
Finally, we reached the border of Maseru. Each person was instructed to debark from the bus, walk a block or so and enter Maseru’s customs and immigration station.
The “Chicago bus”
Our church travels to our home church in Ohio many times during the year and people know the “Chicago bus.” As we walked from one border exit to the next border entrance, a couple talked with me about their daughter. The wife began to tell me about how the “Chicago bus” always inspired her. She indicated that whenever we would come and Reverend would say the “Chicago bus” she would bow her head and pray, “Oh, Lord, let someone from Chicago reach my daughter.”
You see her daughter had run away last year to Chicago. She had been living in Ohio with her parents, receiving the greatness of God but then the enemy convinced her to run away.
Both parents told me, one by one, their thought-provoking story. They had been to Chicago, visiting their runaway daughter. She had been on the run but through prayers and fastings, their daughter was brought home by the grace and power of the Almighty God. The mother indicated that the “Chicago bus” would always mean a great deal to her. She further stated that during the time that her child was in Chicago, she would sacrifice going to the mission fields and stay behind to pray for her lost child. Their story impacted me in a great way.
Be careful with your life
You never know how others will be marked by your life. Be careful, not careless with your life. You hold precious, precious souls in your hands. While on the crusade, I often glanced at the young lady and thought on the grace of God. I witnessed the amazing grace of God in such an unbelievable way. The love that the Lord demonstrated during these two great crusades was beyond words. He had recovered the couple’s daughter in such a remarkable way, restoring her so completely. That’s grace.
||At the Lesotho Sun Hotel, we unpacked, rested and prepared for the next day’s journey to the “field of souls.” My room was very nice. I prayed over my room and cleaned it thoroughly with disinfectant. The next day would be filled with passing out flyers and inviting souls to come to the great crusades, which would start in a few days.
I go a fishing
Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing (John 21:3).
Peter was impulsive and unlearned. Soul winning is skilled business. Tact and contact must be used with precision, something Peter lacked. He didn’t recognize his influence. The other disciples were willing to follow Peter but Peter wasn’t yet in a position to lead them anywhere. He had to be trained; he had to be made into a fit vessel.
Peter never understood Jesus’ mission. He was up and down but the time would could when Peter would become a “fisher of men.” Jesus has the same hope for each true child of His today. When you accept salvation, you accept the responsibility for lost humanity. Peter knew only of his way and he was unskilled in the ways of life.
A serious business
Soul winning is serious and marvelous work. It must be done under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and divine love. Each true child of God has many, many souls attached to his/her life. We must lead careful lives in order to become the precious vessel needed in this final hour. Each person can be used. The Lord needs each true and holy vessel. We can’t afford to be careless in this final hour.
We live in such a dangerous hour and time is of the utmost importance. This is an hour that we must go deep. We can’t wait for those who will not surrender their lives for the Master’s use. It’s now or never. This is your greatest hour because it’s God greatest hour for the world! The day is far spent and the Master needs us. Peter had much to learn. He needed to learn how to put souls first.
A personal touch
And he that winneth souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30b). And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever (Daniel 12:3).
Jesus had such a personal touch when it came to soul winning. He was the perfect soul winner, leaving us a wonderful example to follow. He worked with individuals, groups or nations. He was masterful.
Our greatest responsibility
Soul winning is our greatest responsibility. We are responsible for the lost throughout the entire earth. If you want to know what a soul is worth, it’s worth the life of Jesus. Did you know that your life is not your own but that you were bought and purchased with the precious blood of Jesus?
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
Purchased to win the lost
You were bought to help win souls. You are needed in this final hour to shine the light of the Gospel to each and every lost soul. We can’t shrink away because of what the cost may be. Do you know the value of one soul?
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine (Ezekiel 18:4).
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul (Matthew 16:26).
Leave the ninety and nine and go
For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray (Matthew 18:11-13).
In personal soul winning, freedom daily from all sin must be taught. People must be started with a good “faith” foundation and it’s not enough to say the sinner’s prayer with people, we must lay the foundation. People must be introduced to Jesus, no substitute will suffice. Like Jesus, we must realize that soul winning is hard work and must be willing to stick with it.
Unlike Peter, who was caught naked when Jesus appeared, a successful soul winner must always be alert; dedication, not ego, must be prominent. A sober conscience of hell will be one of the garments of a true soul winner. Our time is limited and we can’t afford to be nothing less than a Jesus soul winner, having a sober mind not light or frivolous.
A person has to be ready for salvation; there should be no debate. There will be either an argument or an experience. A close fellowship with God will help you determine if a person truly wants God. You must be able to recognize the devil and carry the blood in our minds. You must give people a chance and let them know that God, not man, has called them.
A real soul winner
Cast the net on the right side (John 21:6). You have to learn what it means to be a soul winner. When you are a soul winner, you will be willing to spend and be spent. You will have to suffer persecution and learn how to accept persecution or you won’t receive what the Lord plans for you to receive. The enemy will rob you if you don’t have the fruit of self-control. No matter what God wants, if you yield to him you can do it. You can be a real soul winner—a fisher of men.
|To make a connection
During the first day of crusading in Lesotho, I seemed to make a connection with the people right away. That connection blessed me greatly. Often, when I thought of traveling to the mission fields, I would think of God getting the most out of my life while in South Africa or wherever I may have an opportunity to travel. Each and every time, I have come home feeling like the one who was ministered to.
The Lord allowed me to look right into their eyes. The contact was so definite. We went out three times most days at 2-hour intervals. Traveling to the mission fields for me has always been so refreshing. Often, as I glanced into the face of a man, woman, boy or girl, I would think to myself, “They are just like me. We are no different.” I felt like I was being fed by the desire of the people to receive Christ. When the day was done, I would rush to the hotel and email daily notes to the folks back at home, “spreading the good news.”
Give me to drink
Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink (John 4:5-7).
Jesus was wearied with His journey but was revived because of the Samaritan woman. She was in need and that gave Jesus strength. The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). What joy, what strength Jesus received as He ministered to this woman. I felt the same way as we traveled throughout Lesotho. I had an expectant spirit. I became excited because of how the Lord would manifest Himself at every yielded opportunity. The Lord is depending on each one of His children not to fail in this final hour. We can’t afford to look at those who are failing. So what if others fail! For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? (Romans 3:3)
The hour is far spent and it will soon be dark. We are in a war for souls and we must use what we have to win. Serving souls fed me heavenly food, soul food. I needed this trip.
AIDS and the AIDS virus
While traveling to one of the villages, we came across a home for AIDS patients. It was an outpatient facility. The patients had already come and gone and we would have to try back at another time. I was told by one of the locals that 51% of Lesotho’s population was infected with AIDS or the AIDS virus. I witnessed more people with AIDS getting a miracle than on any of my other crusades and this was my third crusade. It was truly the greatest of all.
The Minister’s Meeting
Thursday we had the Minister’s Meeting for the pastors and ministers of Lesotho. The message God gave was about living sin-free lives. It was a hard message yet it was a message full of love. If you expect to be used in this final hour, you will have to be free from all sin. The room was packed to capacity. We distributed a great deal of literature, including two powerful books. I taped most of the meeting.
The Lord poured out a great anointing and then it happened. I got my miracle! Some of the greatest miracles I have ever received have been on foreign soil. The power is intensified because the power of the enemy is greater. There in the Minister’s Meeting, the Lord said it and I got it on tape, “You are now healed. Take your miracle.” That is just what I did. The gifts of God were in operation and God was moving for that nation like never before.
The people were so receptive, which made it easy for God to move. The people were willing; they wanted deliverance for their nation, their children and they wanted “a new day” for their churches. All who yielded got what they needed and so much more. An anointing was poured out to be made whole all over. “I’ll take that, too,” was my heart’s cry. “Me, too. Me, too. Me, too.” Jesus’ ministry was mainly comprised of healing for the soul, mind and body.
Jesus is our sickness bearer and our sin bearer. He came that we might be free, so why not be free today, child of God! I couldn’t wait to write home and tell the dear folks, “I got it!” I had the confidence before I left that God would do it and do it He did.
If we ask any thing
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (I John 5:14-15).
On one of our trips in Lesotho, we visited a place where they repair shoes. When the people heard that we were there, they came from everywhere for prayer. I had my prayer cloth, and with great joy I prayed for each who wanted prayer, and then it was on to the next stop. God really moved for those people.
Nothing like it
The first night of the crusade was fantastic. I hadn’t witnessed anything like it before. The thought came to my mind, “What will it be like on tomorrow?” The services were way up there. How could they get any greater. On previous trips, the first night of the crusade had never been this exciting. The atmosphere was set and I knew that God would move.
I was excited through and through. You could tell from the shouts when the man of God had made his appearance. The people were thrilled to see him and the trio. They were like movie stars to the people of Lesotho. Their faith was sky high.
The thrill of it all was contagious. If you wanted God, He was there and waiting to deliver each one. The atmosphere, the compassion of the Lord was enormous. As the trio sang in the Lesotho language, the crowd jumped to its feet unable to believe their eyes. Why, these Americans were singing in their native tongue and with such precision. They would dance and sing unto God. It was obvious that it was from the heart. They had grateful hearts.
Miracles, miracles, miracles
There were mass miracles for everything: AIDS, leg, back, nervous system, eyes, stomach, taste, smell, internal conditions, different types of cancer, and on and on it went. There appeared to be special miracles for grandchildren. What a mighty God we serve. First hand, I was witnessing the mercy and grace of God. What tenderness was displayed. Surely, the Rapture is just out there. With the number of miracles that took place, especially for AIDS, with such masses, certainly we are on Rapture ground. Are you ready? If the sky should split right this very minute, would you go?
Follow the light
The message that night was about the light. It was great. We hit the streets again and again. Crusade night after crusade night the miracles continued in great numbers. The messages, which came forth, held the key for deliverance and the people, most of them, wanted to be set free.
The AIDS village
On one of my visits, I went to a village where there were many, many children but few parents because many of the parents had died of AIDS. Many of them appeared to be raising themselves. Grandparents were raising some of the children. A village of orphaned children – because of AIDS. It has been twenty-five years since AIDS made its appearance and still there is no cure – but the precious blood of Jesus! That’s the cure.
The crusades continued in Lesotho and so did the miracles. Again and again there were mass miracles for AIDS. What love. Cancer of the stomach, diabetes, many with death diseases working in them were given a second chance at life. Have you ever craved, desired, longed for a second chance at life – a new life?
Breast cancer, stomach cancer, eye diseases and alcohol, God was moving. The Lord was healing those who could not make it to the crusades. A loved-one may have been “holding onto God” for this one or that one and God knew it, heard and answered prayer. It was beyond words. God was in that place. I was so grateful to be there.
Beat the devil off people
“The Lord told me I would have to beat the devil off people.” The man of God hit that platform night after night, fighting against the powers of darkness for Lesotho. The Lord let him know that in this final hour he would have to “beat the devil off people,” and that is exactly what has been taking place.
One night the devil really battled the people. It was near the end of the Lesotho crusade and the people were struggling with doubt and fear. People were not using their faith. The devil used one man who shouted, “fake,” and some people in the crowd starting laughing but the man of God acted as if he hadn’t heard a word and he and God kept right on moving. That’s the way it will be in this last and final hour.
You can’t let anything stop you
You can’t let anything stop you, child of God. You have a mission that must be fulfilled. You were brought to the kingdom for such an hour as this. This is your great hour and you can’t afford to let man nor devil stop you. Speak the word in all confidence and watch the Lord move for you. Face your disappointments and move on. If you dwell in disappointment valley, you will be robbed, robbed, robbed.
The devil will drain the life right from you if you let him. Spend your time with good company and thinking on the right things. Be careful with your life, those you associate with and what you allow to go into your spirit and mind. Guard your mind in this final hour. Remember, the soul is the reservoir for the mind. Feed your soul, child of God, on the word of God and grow, grow, grow.
Join me next time for more of my adventures in South Africa. Next time, I will be sharing something special from my visit to Bloemfontein, Free State.
The people of Lesotho were given so much. What about you today? The same is being made available to you. Won’t you reach out and get what the Lord has for you? The table is spread. What a loving God we have. He is full of mercy and compassion.
Why not repeat this simple prayer, asking for Jesus to cleanse your heart with His precious blood.
Oh, God! I have sinned against you. I am so sorry! I have come home, and I’m going to serve you, Lord, the rest of my life. I do believe that you are able to deliver me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness and fear. I believe that the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ, can make me clean, whole and free. I want the impossible to be made possible in my life. Come on into my heart and help me. Help me, Lord. I trust and believe that through the blood, I can make it. Oh, Lord, I want your help. Save my soul. Love me, Jesus. I must have your love. Love me, Jesus. I will answer your call to salvation today. Come on into my heart, Jesus! Come in!
If you meant that prayer, He has come.
Praise Him, He is Yours!
A Fictional Short Story by Reverend Beverly Thomas
Momma, I Forgot My Book Bag
Part 3: Abducted
See Part 1 of this story in the February 2006 Newsletter.
See Part 2 in the April 2006 Newsletter.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 16:25).
What is this place?
“Where am I? I am cold. What? Why are my hands tied behind my back? Oh, I can’t move. There’s blood. My body is sore. I feel like a truck hit me. Oh, my God, my mouth is taped shut! What is this place? It’s dark and I don’t know this place. How did I even get here? I was out on a date with Malcolm. He’s not responsible for this, is he? I wonder did they take him too. My God, what if he’s dead!”
Denise suddenly heard footsteps, which seemed to be approaching the dark, frigid door, which held her captive. The room was covered in darkness and it was hard to determine where she was. Was she in someone’s basement or was this an abandoned house? She couldn’t tell.
With each movement, she experienced severe pain in the lower part of her body, in between her thighs; something had been done to her. Maybe she had been in an accident. She was wailing from the residue of what seemed to be some drug stimulant. She was confused and disoriented. Had she been drugged? But she had just been with Malcolm. One of her reasons for leaving home was to be with Malcolm. She wanted him to be her first.
I don’t deal with jailbait!
“Hello, this is Malcolm, who is this?” “This is Denise. You don’t recognize my voice?” “Oh, you legal now? You know I don’t deal with jailbait.” “Well, why do you think I am calling? I am on my own now and wanted to get together with you.” “You sure you know what you doin', girl? I ain’t got time to play no games with kids. You ready for this?” “Yea, I am ready. I’ve been ready.” Remember, Denise had gone out of her way to get Malcolm to notice her. She promised him she would be back when she was legal. Well, now she was legal.
It had been nearly nine months since Denise said she would “make her mark on the world.”
William and Sheila had begun to experience some sense of normalcy in their lives. So many questions were still left unanswered but they had determined to let Denise make her own decisions, her own choices in life. William chose not to contact Denise but to give her the time she had longed for; he wanted her to experience the freedom she deserted home for. William was neither angry with Denise nor was he resentful. He simply could not understand the way she left. He would not have stopped her from leaving when she turned 18 but the way it was done. Well, it was a done deal now.
Reflecting back on Denise’s departure, both William and Sheila committed themselves to more family time. Children have to be diligent about getting their parents to hear them and parents must be diligent about listening to their children.
In the dark
As Denise sat in the still, thick darkness, she began to reflect on the events of the last few days with William. It seemed so wonderful. She had begun to rejoice about all the decisions she had made. She finally began to feel free. Day after day, she and Malcolm spent a lot of time together. They would go places that Denise’s parents never allowed her to go; Denise was her own person and did just what she wanted to do. The tension and struggle within was over. She had won. She knew it!
Hell, fire and brimstone
All she had to do was get out of that house. She would sit in the services and feel strong conviction as those hell, fire and brimstone messages flashed before her eyes. It seemed as if the preacher had been following her around, like a detective, monitoring her every move.
At times, she thought she would break free from the clutches of the enemy and run, run for the altar, but that feeling only lasted momentarily. Soon Denise would come to herself and realize it must be a trick to get young people to leave the world and grow old before their time, but she was up on that. She couldn’t be fooled.
Once, to keep those influences from getting in her mind, she would pretend to be praying but actually she was asleep. While the praises were going before the throne of God, as sincere hearts sought the old time power, Denise was asleep. Her heart had become hardened to the word of God. When a heart becomes hardened, a person will commit sin and then go to church, convincing people that they are all right with God.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).
The battle raging within
Denise felt such a battle raging within; two forces battled, struggled, contended and fought to possess her. She summed it up as the need to leave home and be on her own. Denise would mix and mingle with that which was ungodly and then go home and pray with the family. She had been sneaking off and indulging in the wrong things. While she hadn’t lost her virginity, she was playing with sin, seeing how close she could get without going all the way. It was such a rage within as she tried to do both but it would never work. She would have to choose.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). She had to break free.
Once she left home, it seemed as if her mind became clearer. The struggle had ended. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (I Peter 2:11).
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (James 4:1-3).
Like King David, Denise thought she was free. David had a man killed to get what he wanted. His mind became more and more tormented with each devilish step he took. There would be no satisfaction until he had committed murder. He went after something that God said, “Thou Shalt Not!”
And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem (2 Samuel 11:1).
And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite (verses 2,3)?
You are the man
And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds (2 Samuel 12:1,2):
And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man (verses 5-7).
The Lord had granted David much in his lifetime but David wanted that which God said, “Thou Shalt Not.” When a mind is not subjected to the will of God, it will long and crave for the things of this old world, things that will ultimately destroy a person.
God cannot be tempted
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren (James 1:13-16).
When sin is done with you?
The enemy used the same tactics on Denise that he used on King David, lust and temptation. Lust of the eyes, temptation and ego were his weapons.
Many are drawn into the wrong things by the wrong desires. The devil will entice young people to engage in unholy dating; handling each other’s bodies, pretending that if you don’t go all the way you will still be all right with God. You won’t be completely satisfied until you go all the way and then what? When sin is done with you, then what?
History tells us that David “Bleached his bones in prayer.” Down through the years, he was considered, “A man after God’s own heart.” The Bible does not tell us if David got the heart of God, only that he sought God for it. The Lord restored David but he paid a great, great price. His entire family suffered for his actions.
Denise would have to learn this lesson the hard way. Would she even survive its cruel, cruel teachings?
Meet me outside
“Hey, Denise, meet me outside in 15 minutes. I want to take you somewhere.” “Malcolm, where are you taking me? Oh, it doesn’t matter, you’ve been such a gentleman so far.” Denise rushed to get dressed and met Malcolm as planned.
Malcolm pulled up in a dark blue and grey conversion van, not his car. Denise never gave it another thought. “Got a new car?” “No, just borrowed it for tonight.” “What do we need a van for?” “You’ll see. You’ll see, baby girl.”
Malcolm’s cell phone rang, “Hey, what’s up?” The voice on the other end said, “You got the goods?” “Yea, I got it.” “Everything’s still on?” “Yea, you know me, dog. Just have everything all set.” “See you at the place, dog.” “I’ll be there and I’ll be waiting.” Malcolm rushed to say, “Hey, hey, remember to tell the man that this is it. Don’t forget to tell him, dog.” The person on the other end said, “Yea, yea, take that up with him, on your time, but as for me, bring me my stuff!” Malcolm was a drug dealer who now wanted out. Did he think it would be so easy? Do you think that you can play around with the devil and just get out of the game without paying? Think again.
You sought me out
Denise calmly said, “What’s that all about?” Malcolm figured he would tell Denise more about himself. She really didn’t know him. Denise had only known of him what she had imagined. In her imagination, Malcolm was the one; he was her knight in shining armor that would whisk her away from life’s problems. He had shown her what he wanted her to see. Malcolm would soon have to face his own problems.
“Well, baby girl, I am involved in some dangerous stuff. I have to do what I have to do. I want you to remember that. I kind of feel bad but you know you sought me out. Denise, looking confused said, “What in the world are you talking about?” “You sought me out, remember, but you didn’t know anything about me,” stated Malcolm.
“Your parents never told you about the streets and what could happen to you? People ain’t what they pretend. People will use you and use you until they use you up. That’s what my parents tried to tell me. Most days when you were coming home from school, I would be in the same spot, day after day but you never noticed it. Didn’t you think that was strange? I always had money and my boys were always hanging around.
My parents tried
“My parents, they tried to steer me right, even took me to church on Sundays but I was bad there too and soon no one wanted me around so I created my own environment. Well, that’s enough of that.” Denise’s faced was flushed with speculation as she said, “So what’s up with the heart-felt confessions?” They both silently smirked at one another as the van kept on to its secret destination.
I warned you
Denise kept silent most of the ride. She was seriously thinking about what she heard between the mystery caller and Malcolm. Whatever Malcolm had been involved in, he now wanted out. What was it? What was the mysterious dealing that he attempted to “confess” about? Finally, they were at their destination.
Malcolm said to Denise, “Now, it’s very important that you do just what I tell you to do, ok?” “Ok.” “I need to get out and take care of some business with my boy and then I’ll be right back and we will be on our way to a good time.”
For the first time since leaving home, Denise began to feel a real sense of fear. She wished that someone she knew would drive by. She could excuse herself from such a dangerous situation. As Malcolm exited the van, Denise felt the urge to grab him and tell him to drive off but there was nothing she could do. She sat still-faced as Malcolm walked around the back of the van and then out of sight. She could hear voices conversing back and forth.
“Hey, what’s up, dog?” “Everything is good,” commented Malcolm. The person stated, “So, you getting cold feet now? I thought things been going good for you since you been with us. Ain’t we been taking care of you?” “Well,” said Malcolm, “all good things come to an end and I am looking forward to moving on. I think I might have a good girl. She's from a good family. I’ve been watching her. She’s still wet behind the ears but she’s trainable.” They both laughed. “Well,” stated the visitor, “let’s do our business and part our ways.” Denise remained nervous as she sat in the waiting van.
Where’s the rest
“Oh, oh, hold up! This ain’t right. Now, Malcolm, you know what we discussed. This doesn’t look good. Where’s the rest?” Malcolm, attempting to reason said, “Dog, we been doing business for sometime now and you know I am good for it. I will make up the difference.” “Make up the difference! We don’t do business like this Malcolm. I am going to have to tell the man about this. Are you sure you don’t have the rest?” “Yes, I am sure.” They parted ways and Malcolm rushed back to the van and he and Denise suddenly drove off.
Denise and Malcolm never discussed what took place behind the van that day. Denise knew without asking that something wasn’t right. She suspected it was about drugs but she didn’t know to what extent. Soon, however, Denise would find out. She was nervous all the time.
What I need right now
Somehow the recent experience with Malcolm jarred Denise in such a way as to cause her to long for home; she wanted to be home with her dad and Sheila. Home had always been safe. God was there. The family dinners and nights out together, suddenly Denise found herself longing for home. She thought to herself, “What I need right now is in my book bag. My precious Bible and gospel music, oh how I miss those jewels. I wonder whatever became of my book bag. Only if I had those jewels with me now. Those precious messages on the blood. I need them now. I never thought I would long for them but Oh, God, I need them now. I was wrong. I was wrong.”
Before I could get my breath
“Is that her?” “Grab her, quick, while no one is looking. We will keep her until Malcolm gives us what we want, or else.” As Denise left “Z’s” house one afternoon, she was abducted, taken from her home. Before she could get fixed, the men had her and snatched her in a waiting van and covered her mouth with a clothed absorbed with some kind of chemical. She was beginning to go under. “Help! Help me.” Her voice was muzzled as she went unconscious. No one saw her. No one heard her. She was gone, whisked away, abducted.
Join us next time for Part 4 of
“Momma, I Forgot My Book Bag.”
Please write and tell us how this short story has blessed you.
Be sure to come back for the September issue of the newsletter for Part 4 of this great story!
Don't miss it!
Yours with a Passion for Souls,
Pastor, A Passion for Christ Ministries
and tell us how this newsletter has blessed you.
We want to hear from you.