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This excerpt is from The Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives.
Copyright 1998 Don Milton All Rights Reserved.
All Copyright Laws Apply - Thou Shalt Not Steal

Chapters: [Prologue] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]  [19]  [20]  [21]  [22]  [23]  [24]  [25]  [26]

Una's Story - The Prince of Sumba Chapter 25

   "Well, I'm just a farm girl. The first time I came to the city was to look for work. It was horrible. There were no jobs that a decent girl could take, and when there were, the boss was always interested in something more than my work. I couldn't pay my rent and soon found myself on the street with no place to stay. I was very frightened. I fell asleep behind a park bench but woke up to a horrible odor. A man in dirty clothes was sitting on the bench, sobbing, but it wasn't an unhappy sob. Then I heard him shouting.
   'Praise God alleluia! Praise Him. Thank you Jesus.'
   He was going to wake up everyone in the neighborhood with his shouting, so I quickly came out from behind the bench to shush him.
   'Shh shh, you're going to wake up the police at the checkpoint. Stop!' I said.
   He then looked at me with the most sober eyes I had ever seen. What I mean is; he had righteousness from top to bottom. He seemed to shine with righteousness,21 except that his clothes were filthy. His first words after I shushed him were.
   'I've just had a conversation with God. Do I look like I'm on drugs? I took three doses of LSD just an hour ago.'
   I didn't know what LSD was except that he'd told me it was a drug and that he'd taken three doses within an hour.
   'No, you don't, not at all.' I said. 'You look like a Born-Again minister.'
   And he did. There was nothing street like about him, except for his dirty clothes. Even so, I suspected he might be an undercover cop out to arrest vagrants like me, then he started spouting again.
   'I prayed that God would release me from the power of drugs and purge my body from all unrighteousness!'
   'Why did you do that?' I asked him. I know, kind of a silly question, but it just popped out of my mouth.
   'Because of Jesus' words; He that is not with me is against me.22 Those words just kept going round and round in my mind till I realized God wanted me, and He wanted me right now. Praise God alleluia.'
   'Shh Shh, please don't do that.' I cautioned him, 'The police will come.'
   'Okay'. He said. 'Can you show me a place to stay?'
   'What kind of place?' I asked.
   'Any place, as long as they have a shower and laundry services.' He said.
   I looked at him and wondered if he could pay for such a place. He pulled out a credit card.
   'I have emergency funds.' He said.
   'Follow me.' I responded.
   He seemed so crazy and yet so sane. We walked to a local motel where they advertised laundry services on the door and he checked in. The clerk handed him two room keys and some vouchers for food at the motel's all night restaurant.
   He handed me the keys to one of the rooms and a restaurant food voucher, then said, 'You look like you could use a room for the night and a good meal. Sleep well and eat. Thanks for finding this place for me.'
   He left so quickly for his own room that I didn't have a chance to decline his offer as our custom requires.
   'Is this room paid for in advance?' I asked the clerk.
   'Yes,' he replied, 'don't worry Miss. He's paid for it as well as the voucher he gave you. I believe that man is a prophet.'
   'You crazy?' I said.
   Oops, I thought to myself. This clerk could put me out on the street again, but he wasn't angry with me. He just smiled and said,
   'The Lord can make bread from stones, how much more a prophet from a lost soul?'
   Crazy Born-Agains, I thought. The clerk had the radio tuned to one of the Born-Again stations. The song's chorus kept repeating, The precious blood of the Lamb.23
   My room was across from the lobby desk and had two locks so I felt safe. After locking the door I went right away to the bathroom. I'd never seen such conveniences. There was a sink and a bathtub with hot and cold running water. I nearly burned myself until I figured out how to adjust the two faucets together. The bathroom had a retractable wire that stretched across it for drying clothes. I had no idea there were such luxuries! While enjoying my bath I pulled one of the knobs and the faucet on top started spraying out water. At first I was so scared because I thought that I'd broken something, then I realized this must be how tourists bathe. I felt like a silly farm girl; I didn't even know what a shower was, but now that I did, I couldn't get enough of its soothing spray. It felt so cleansing. I saw a button on the wall outside the bathtub and pressed it, thinking I could get soap from it. Instead, the music that had been playing in the lobby came on. It was a radio! I leaned back in the tub only to get poked by the corner of a tiny package. I picked it up off the ledge of the tub to place it on the chair outside the shower curtain. I didn't want to be accused of stealing. Then I smelled it. It was a bar of soap that came gift wrapped. It had the name of the motel on it. I opened it and felt even more spoiled as I washed myself with this elegant little bar of soap. The words flowed from the radio.

Alas! and did my Savior bleed and did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?

   I felt like a worm; hiding behind a bench only to be pulled out by someone dirtier than me. What a worthless life I was living. What was I worth anyway. No employer would have me because I just wanted an honest day's work. Everyone I met was strange. Now the music was even stranger. It was speaking to me. I'd heard Christian music before but it had never spoken to me like this song was doing. I listened intently.

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
 and the burden of my heart rolled away.
It was there by faith I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day!

   I was remembering what had gotten me on the street and was now admitting to myself that not all my employers had been bad. In fact, the only flaw of my last employer was to tell me that while at my desk, I must place my crucifix within my blouse for he considered it idolatry. Idolatry, I thought. My precious Lord. I grasped my crucifix and looked at it. Just then the words on the radio continued.

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine,
and bathed in its own blood;
While all exposed to wrath divine,
The Glorious Sufferer stood.

   This thing I held was not Jesus, it was a thing given to me by the priest of my local parish for perfect attendance at the rosary. I remembered how I had defended that priest when he was charged with molesting the young boys at my parish. I thought those boys must have been such devils; lying about the priest like that. The next verse began.

At the cross, at the cross
where I first saw the light,
and the burden of my heart rolled away.
It was there by faith I received my sight,
and now I am happy all the day!

   Where was the light? Where was my faith? What was I seeing? Was I blind? I saw the priest go back into rooms with those boys. I heard the sounds. Of course I lied. I was protecting the holiness of the priesthood. Too bad they believed the other witnesses and not me or the priest would still have his holy robes and the church would be protected from those Born-Agains! I remembered the man whose shouts had summoned me from beneath the bench. That was holiness. What a strange thing. He prayed to be clean and he was made clean. The song continued.

Was it for crimes that I had done,
he groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown,
and love beyond degree!

   Like the shower spraying above me, my eyes burst with tears. I sobbed. The crime! I had tried to protect the guilty while condemning those poor molested boys as liars.
   'Praise God they had not listened to me or the other women in the church who had tried to protect that ungodly priest. Praise God!' That came from my mouth? I realized I was talking out loud or was I praying. The song continued.

Well might the sun in darkness hide
and shut his glories in
when Christ, the Mighty Maker died
for man the creature's sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face
while His dear cross appears
dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
and melt my eyes to tears.

   'Thank You Jesus!' I began shouting, 'Thank You Jesus!' Who am I now? I thought to myself. Then just as suddenly I shouted.

'Praise God!'

   Who am I? I'm born again! There was no shame, no second thoughts. I was simply changed, in an instant. Sure, you'll find out that I have worldly things about me that I don't seem to be able to shake but the Lord keeps me clean and keeps me away from any temptations that I might not be able to resist. The song finished as I dried off.

But drops of grief can ne'er repay the debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away 'Tis all that I can do.

   I'd never felt I belonged to anyone but now I had a Master; the Lord Jesus. A burden had truly been lifted from me. Such a change to occur by listening to a song!"
   Una broke down in tears that afternoon as she told her story to all of us at John's table. We couldn't help but sing praises to God that He'd brought about her salvation. It was a party that afternoon, a party of praise for God as we sang and rejoiced. By the time we'd finished our impromptu praise session, Una had gotten back her composure and was prepared to finish her testimony.
   "After all my shouting," she said, "I had to peek out the door of my room to see if anyone had noticed. The clerk looked up with the same calm smile he had before but it seemed he was now related to me in some way. It was just then that I noticed there had been a ladies' prayer group in the office behind the lobby desk. I don't know why I didn't notice them before. One of them jumped up when she saw me and rushed over to my door. She handed me an envelope and said,
   'The man who brought you here left us this note to give you.'
   'The man who brought me here?' I said.
   Well, considering what had just happened, I realized, he had brought me there. I opened the envelope. The lady stood waiting for me to announce what was written in it.
   'It just has a verse written here,' I said, 'Isaiah 4:1'
   The woman went back to get her Bible and read the verse out loud for me.
   'And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.'24
   After reading the verse to me, she walked back to her group scratching her head. I went back into my room and fell asleep.
   In the morning I visited my employer who'd asked me not to wear the crucifix and told him all that had happened. He welcomed me back to work and that night I attended my first worship service at his church. I made a lot of good friends there. I worked in his office till I started at The House of Esther. He was very upset that I'd work at The House of Esther but having heard my testimony, even before The House of Esther had been built, he just couldn't object. My church mates didn't understand either but they've come to accept that the Lord's hand was at work in building The House of Esther. About a dozen of the other girls from my church worked there as well. But that's enough of my story. I'll sit back down and let my husband, Daniel, tell you the rest of our story."

The rest of Prince of Sumba may be read by purchasing the novel.
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 Click Here to Go to Chapter 26 - The Betrothal

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Note: This excerpt is from The Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives.
Copyright 1998 - 2009 Don Milton All Rights Reserved.
All Copyright Laws Apply - Thou Shalt Not Steal

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