Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast episode #194. Today we are reading chapter 26 of the novel Charmaine” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte.
Pastor Gillespie touched base with Sentayhu on Saturday before the Ethiopian Celebration Sunday.
“Are you ready to turn us upside down, my brother?” Pastor Gillespie said to Sentayhu. “Don’t hold back on your preaching now. The people like to see a minister who lays it all on the line.”
Sentayhu laughed. “Pastor, I don’t know how to thank you. We’ve had so many to stop by not only to eat but to shop from our store. Look,” he said pointing to the store, “people are still shopping for African attire for tomorrow’s event.”
“Praise the Lord! Just let us know if you need us to do anything else?”
“We’ve got it under control, Pastor. You have done so much for us already. I could not even think of asking you to do anything else for us. My only concern is if we will have enough room to seat even half of the people who will come to our restaurant after the services. We will be setting up a tent on the left side of this building. We’ve done that before.”
Pastor Gillespie laughed. “It will all work out. Don’t hesitate to call me, Sister Mona or Deacon Walsh if you need anything.” Looking around, he asked, “Is Charmaine working today? I was wondering if she could help me choose something special to wear for tomorrow. I want to dress like an Ethiopian king or prince—something rich-looking.”
Sentayhu chuckled. “Pastor, you’re too much. I sent Charmaine home so she could get some rest. She has been working hard to help us prepare for tomorrow. But you are not going to believe this: we ordered you a special Ethiopian outfit. The package is in my office.”
Sentayhu went to get the outfit. He returned with Appiah, an older lady originally from Ghana but who had been living in America for twenty-two years. “Appiah will help you with the accessories and even the sandals if you are interested in wearing them.”
The Ethiopian Celebration Sunday was a blast. The members of All Peoples Church and visitors came clothed in their African attire. Even the white members, the Hispanic members and the Indian members and all other races were dressed in African attire. The mayor and his wife, who were white and who were members of the church, came dressed in native Ethiopian attire as well, and gave an official welcome to the Ethiopian immigrants. Many African nations were represented in one form or another. Green, red, gold, and royal blue were the dominant colors. Under Charmaine’s supervision, a room was set aside for those ladies who needed help with their head wraps. A few ladies had opened up their homes on Saturday to help style those ladies and girls who were interested in a native African hair style. It was an exciting time.
Traditional Ethiopian music reverberated throughout the church building. Both overflow rooms were filled. Promptly at 11:00, Pastor Gillespie, Sentayhu, and Bohlale took their positions at the podium. “Get ready! Get ready! Get ready!” Pastor Gillespie said. He looked as dignified as an Ethiopian king in his Habesha dress—a white dashiki shirt down to his upper thighs embroidered with gold. He wore white slacks underneath. “I thank you all for coming and for supporting us in our endeavor to reach out to all people as the Lord would have us to. Our Ethiopian brothers and sisters, under the leadership of Pastor Sentayhu and his assistant, Brother Bohlale, are in charge of the services so I will get out of their way as soon as possible. After the preaching of the Word by Pastor Sentayhu we will have a baptismal service for those believing Ethiopians who have not yet gotten baptized. When that is over, everyone should have worked up an appetite, but don’t worry, they have a feast prepared for you at the Queen of Sheba Restaurant. So get ready for a blessing!”
Pastor Gillespie took his seat as three Ethiopian men and two Ethiopian women took the stage to lead the praise and worship time. Afterwards, Charmaine walked to the podium to read the Scripture for that Sunday. Fittingly, she read the story of the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon from First Kings 10:1-13. Pastor Gillespie had to keep reminding himself to focus on the Scripture that was being read. Words could not describe how beautiful Charmaine looked in her blue Habesha dress with a matching headdress, gold shoulder wrap and silver bracelets and necklace. The name, Charmaine, “beautiful blossom,” was certainly a fitting name.
Sentayhu delivered a spirit-filled message after the Scripture reading.
“Our message for today will be from Acts 8:26-38—The Conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch.”
A very fitting message, Brother Sentayhu, Pastor Gillespie thought.
After he had explained the passage to the congregation, Sentayhu said, “Just as the angel of God told Philip to go and explain the Gospel to this searching Ethiopian, God is telling you who have the Gospel truth to go and explain it to those who are searching in this day and time. The angel did not tell Philip to wait for the Ethiopian to come to him, but instead to GO and search for him. In verse 30, we see that Philip found the Ethiopian and asked him, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Do you understand the Word of God? The Ethiopian Eunuch said, ‘How can I understand if no one will explain it to me?’ Rather than turn away from him, Philip saw the need and Philip responded to the need and explained the Gospel to him. He was reading from Isaiah about our redeemer, Jesus Christ, how He was slaughtered as an innocent lamb for our sins. Philip preached unto him ‘Jesus saves’”
“Yes, my brother. That’s the Gospel!” someone in the audience shouted as others applauded.
“And as he preached Jesus, the Eunuch began to understand that there is salvation through none other than Jesus Christ. He understood that all he had to do was simply believe. The Eunuch said, ‘Here is water why can’t I be baptized?’ Philip told him ‘if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’”
“Yes, He is the Son of God,” Pastor Gillespie shouted. “Amen, my brother. Preach the Word!”
“Only believe, my brothers and sisters; only believe. Me and my Ethiopian brothers and sisters only want a place to worship; we only want a place where, like this Ethiopian Eunuch, we can hear the Word of God explained to us so those who are unsaved among us can have the opportunity to get saved and so that all of us can grow in the faith even as you. Don’t deny us this God-sent, God blessed opportunity. We believe just as you believe because there is only one way to Jesus and that is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our sins.”
During the invitation, many raised their hands for salvation as they prayed asking Jesus Christ to save them.
Over one hundred Ethiopians were baptized.
The day was topped off with superb meals served by the Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant. Pastor Gillespie hung around the restaurant chatting with church members after he finished his meal. As most of the customers left, he and Charmaine sat down at a table while Sentayhu and Bohlale did a final check to make sure everything was cleaned up and ready for Monday’s customers.
“How did you think everything went, Charmaine?” Pastor Gillespie asked.
“Wonderful. A truly spirit-filled day. We could not have asked for a better experience.” Charmaine smiled contentedly.
“By the way, Charmaine,” Pastor Gillespie said, “you looked beautiful up there today. I have always had a high regard for women who have a heart for serving God, and I could see that in you today.”
“Oh, thank you, Roland,” Charmaine said. “God has blessed me so much, and I have much to be thankful for. I was very glad to have the opportunity to serve Him publicly today.”
“Well, you serve Him everyday with your sweet spirit and the way you serve others right here in this restaurant,” Pastor Gillespie said. “And, I know this may be too fast for you, but I want to ask you to consider something.”
Charmaine’s heart rate suddenly accelerated.
Pastor Gillespie closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He had thought and prayed about what he was going to say many times.
Finally he asked, “Will you marry me?”
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.