Short Story Long

Here’s the rest of the story I alluded to in my recent post “Persona.”

For the first five of our nine days in Liberia, I tagged along with the team, attending church and visiting the local supporters and sister charities BESTWA is connected with. We met many people–children, medical personnel, teachers, the elderly, cooks, government officials, hospital patients, pastors–and got a feel for their culture and the challenges they face.

Daniel relaxing after a productive week

The one thing I didn’t get was any quiet time with our Liberian Field Director, Daniel, to listen to and record his stories. I’d recorded only a few conversations in the car, complete with road noise and music. And the occasional roar as we downshifted to charge up a particularly steep hill.

Anyway, by the fifth day I was beginning to panic. How am I gonna write a biography if there’s no time to interview the subject?

But soon the Lord brought me around to Romans 8:28. Oh, wait… He is working everything out for good. That helped me relax and submit to His sovereignty through our leadership. After all, information can be sent electronically. The main reason I needed to be in the country was to absorb the feel, the sounds and smells, the manners and personalities of ordinary citizens, the cadence of speech.

And that, I was doing. Nooooo problem.

Then suddenly, on the sixth day, we had no place to rush off to after breakfast and the team meeting. Daniel and I sat in the dining / conference room, fan humming softly in the background, and he told me about his childhood. His struggle to become educated. More struggles to survive and care for his family during the long civil war.

Daniel had overcome challenges that left my little frustrations in the shade.

Working with this courageous, unassuming man of God is a huge honor for me.

And now I have a framework to start assembling Daniel’s life story, and will have more opportunities to talk with him as the project goes along.

God was right. He knows what my project needs better than I do. He took every apparent obstacle and turned it into a blessing that benefits the work.

I hope you find my story encouraging. Whatever you’re doing, God knows what he’s doing and he has your best interest at heart.

Thanks for reading,

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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11 Responses to Short Story Long

  1. Jeannine Johnson says:

    Jan, what you stated is so true, God’s timing can just bring so much joy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a lovely testament to a wonderful man and your beliefs. I am so happy that your trip was such a success!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, my friend! I continue to learn that reality is more important and more wonderful than my beliefs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know you are a religious person so that last statement surprised me. I’d love to hear more, if not here, by email. I’m a big Jan fan so I am really interested in what you’ve learned. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        • Haha, that WAS confusing, wasn’t it? I didn’t mean to be.
          I’m thinking of “belief” in the sense of a notion, opinion, or assumption. All I meant is that I’m learning to keep my beliefs subordinate to truth. Like you, I don’t want to believe anything just because someone said so when I was a kid. When I discover that a long-held belief is inaccurate, I follow the evidence rather than ignore it for the sake of Clinging To My Belief, Dangit.

          In the case of spiritual matters, I’ve found the Bible trustworthy as the word of God, and it’s God that I worship, not my limited understanding of him. For instance, I’ve had to shake off some “scriptural” teachings that turned out to be waaaay out of context.

          Thanks for asking… otherwise I wouldn’t know I’d muddied the waters! 😀 And thanks for the “fanhood!” I appreciate your friendship, as well as your delightful blog.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. DONNA PRICE says:

    Thanks for that!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Hittin’ the Brakes | Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

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