Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast episode #193. Today we are reading chapter 25 of the novel Charmaine” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte.
The Ethiopian community was disturbed after receiving a second letter urging them to find another place of worship. What really disturbed them the most was that it was signed by Pastor Gillespie, again. And on top of that, they were being accused of being in the country illegally. A small group had gathered at Sentayhu’s house.
“Let’s just face it, Sentayhu, we are not accepted. We need to stop trying to fit in. We need to stop trying to be one of them,” one older Ethiopian man said to Sentayhu.
“We’re not trying to fit in and we are definitely not trying to be one of them,” Sentayhu assured the group. “We ought to be free to worship with them because there is one God and He is no respecter of persons. We are all His children.”
“Where did Pastor Gillespie get this false information that we are here illegally. My papers are right here,” a middle-aged woman said waving her alien registration card and other paperwork.
“Don’t bother to pick me and my family up for church. We will just worship here in our house. Anyone is welcome to join us,” another man said.
“Yes, we should worship right here like we used to!” a woman said, and several others voiced their agreement.
Sentayhu managed to quiet the group down. He told them to go home and pray about the matter and then gather at his house the next day.
“We have to do something,” Bohlale said as they watched the people slowly leave Sentayhu’s home.
“Yes. We’ll take both letters to the pastor in the morning,” Sentayhu said.
Sentayhu, Bohlale and Charmaine were at the church early the next morning. Pastor Gillespie greeted them with open arms.
“What brings you here this early morning?” he asked.
Sentayhu placed the letters on the pastor’s desk, smoothing the creases out with the palm of his hand. “Pastor Gillespie, do you know anything about these? We’re a little confused. Verbally you’re telling us one thing but in these letters you are telling us another thing.”
Pastor Gillespie read both letters. “Where did you get these? I did not write these and my signature is on both of them. What in the world is going on here?” he asked, looking from Sentayhu to Bohlale to Charmaine.
“The people in our community received these letters. The first letter I shared with Brother Martin. He took it and said he would discuss it with you,” Sentayhu said.
“Sister Mona, can you come in here please?” Pastor Gillespie said to his secretary. Handing her the letters he asked her, “Do you know anything about these?”
“No, Pastor,” Sister Mona said after scanning the contents of both letters. “I know I did not type them up and you have never given me a letter like that to type up, and I definitely did not sign them.”
“Sister Mona types up all my letters and she has my permission to sign my name if I am not available to do so at the time,” Pastor Gillespie explained. “You said Brother Martin knows about these letters?”
“Yes, Pastor. He said he would discuss it with you,” Sentayhu said, “and that you did not mention anything to him about a change in this new outreach ministry.”
“Well, he certainly has not said anything to me about it.” Turning to Sister Mona he told her to tell Brother Martin to come into his office ASAP. “Use my phone right here, and stay for this meeting. Make yourselves comfortable. I believe we may be here for a while. Now, brothers, I do not have any Guinness Draught here on the church property,” he said with a chuckle, “but if you would like to have some tea or coffee, I am sure Sister Mona can fix you right up.”
Brother Martin entered the office and was surprised to see Sentayhu, Bohlale, and Charmaine seated along with Sister Mona.
“Have a seat, Brother Martin. Do you know anything about these?” Pastor Gillespie said handing him the letters.
“No, Pastor,” he said after scanning the already familiar letters.
“Well, Brother Sentayhu tells me that he showed you the first one about a week ago and you took it from him leading him to believe you were going to discuss it with me. You may want to read the letter again,” Pastor Gillespie said to him.
Brother Martin pretended to read the letters again and as if in deep thought he said, “I vaguely remember Sentayhu handing me a similar letter. I scanned its contents intending on showing it to you, but I was so busy, it slipped my mind.”
“Something as disturbing as this should not slip your mind, in fact, it should bother you knowing what the Lord is leading me to do for these dear people. This requires immediate attention,” Pastor Gillespie said firmly. “As far as the church family is concerned, you are in charge of this outreach until next week. Has anyone indicated to you at all that they are disgruntled about these dear people worshiping with us? This is sinister, wicked, and devilish.”
“No one, Pastor Gillespie,” Brother Martin said. He could sense the anger rising up in Pastor Gillespie. “My wife did share with me that she overheard someone saying something about immigration cutting down on illegal immigrants in this area. She expressed concern for the Ethiopians, but I figured it was none of our business.”
Sentayhu and Bohlale exchanged glances.
“What about Sam and Emmitt? I know they were disgruntled about my wife and I getting a divorce. Do you think they or the other men who left the church have anything to do with this?”
Brother Martin shook his head no. He hardly breathed as he wondered how this meeting would turn out.
“While we are at it, I have not received anything from you on the project you said you were working on. Where are you?”
Brother Martin started to sweat. “Aah…our project is not quite done. It is taking me longer than I expected. My wife is putting parts of it together so we can take it to the printer…”
“Well, don’t you think I need to see it first before you get thousands of copies printed? Have your wife to send it to my email immediately even if it is not completed. Use my phone and call her right now so you won’t forget,” Pastor Gillespie insisted.
Sister Mona and Charmaine glanced at each other, as Brother Martin reached for the phone.
“Zelda, could you email what we have ready for the project for the Ethiopian outreach ministry to pastor’s email right now…He wants to see where we are on it…Yes…He knows it is not done.”
“Tell her it has to meet my approval before it goes to the printer,” Pastor Gillespie said.
“Did you hear that, Zelda, it has to meet his approval before final printing. I’ll be home to help you with it.” Brother Martin’s heart almost skipped a beat as he hung up the phone.
“How do you like working with Brother Martin?” Pastor Gillespie asked Sentayhu.
Sentayhu smiled. “Pastor, it has not been going well at all.” Ignoring Brother Martin who loudly cleared his throat, Sentayhu continued. “Each time I have tried to talk with him he says he is in a hurry or he has something to take care of. Whenever I greet him or introduce him to one of my fellow Ethiopian brothers or sisters, he conveniently shifts his Bible back and forth in his hands, or he’ll put his hands in his pockets.
“Anything else you wish to share? How about you Bohlale?” Pastor Gillespie prodded.
“Since Sentayhu has placed me as his assistant, I felt the liberty to write down some ideas we’ve had which we gave to Brother Martin. To date he has not implemented any of those ideas.”
Charmaine nodded her head.
“Were you aware of this, Charmaine?”
“Yes, Pastor Gillespie. My uncle and Bohlale would often discuss this new ministry and things your church could do to better minister to us. They have written down those ideas and as far as I know they planned on sharing them with Brother Martin. Some of those ideas I have shared with you.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this was happening?” Pastor Gillespie said to Sentayhu before looking at Brother Martin who was stiff with fear. “Well, is this true and why aren’t we implementing their ideas?”
“I… I… We just have not had time to implement them. But I will, Pastor…” Brother Martin stammered.
“I don’t think it would take much to have one Ethiopian brother or sister to share their salvation testimony with the church, now would it? We do this all the time,” Pastor Gillespie said.
The meeting was interrupted when Mother Louise knocked on the door. “I hope I did not come at a bad time,” she said.
“Oh no, Mother, you could not have come at a better time,” Pastor Gillespie greeted her. “Come on in and join us.”
Charmaine gave up her seat to Mother Louise after giving her a hug. Charmaine’s eyes met Pastor Gillespie’s as she took a seat on the chair Bohlale pulled out from a side table.
After briefly filling Mother Louise in, Pastor Gillespie continued. “Brother Martin, as of today you are relieved of your duties in the Ethiopian Outreach Ministry. Sentayhu and Bohale are now fully in charge and I do not want you involved in the ministry at all from this point forward.”
Brother Martin shifted uneasily in his chair. Although he did not want this ministry in the first place, now that it was being taken away from him, he did not like it. He felt as though he was losing some power or influence. This would not go too well with his plans, but then again maybe it would.
“I am going to give you a week off to get some rest. I do not want to see you here on the church property at all except for Sunday services. If there is nothing else, you are free to go.”
After Brother Martin left, Pastor Gillespie asked them all, “Who do you think wrote these letters?” Everyone said they believed Brother Martin had something to do with it. Even though Pastor Gillespie did not want to believe that Brother Martin would do something so sinister, he had to take the concerns of Mother Louise, Sister Mona, Sentayhu, and Bohlale seriously.
Pastor Gillespie and Sister Mona took the opportunity to share with everyone their plans for the following Sunday. “I hope this is not too short a notice, Sentayhu, for you and your people to cook us up a feast spiritually as well as physically.”
Everyone looked forward to Ethiopian Celebration Sunday.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of Whyte House Family stories. You may purchase a copy of this novel and any other Christian fiction books read on this podcast from Amazon.com.
Now, dear listener, please know that God—the divine Author of all things—wants to write a great story with your life as well. But first you must give Him the pen by trusting Him with the life He gave you and surrendering your heart to Jesus Christ as Savior. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
May God bless you until next time.