Okay, so while I was typing most of this out, I was holding my little brother Dovid and trying to type one handed. I apologize for any grammar mistakes! We can just pretend that they were accidents, right? They were most likely because of my one handed typing! XD
I hope you enjoy chapter four of the story! If you haven’t read the rest of it, you can read it here. 🙂
Sabelet and her family again sat around their fire. They had finished a warm meal and now they sat contemplating what was ahead of them.
“I believe that there is another village about a day’s walk from here.” Ecrea said wearily. “We will be able to get there by tomorrow night.”
“But will they accept us?” Hanewal asked wearily. “I’m tired of being turned away and hated for our faith. Will God let us die because we love him?”
Silence filled the air. It was broken only when Tuskanah coughed violently.
“Are you okay, Tuskanah?” Hanewal looked with concern at her young daughter. “You hardly ate anything and you look sick.”
Tuskanah tried to smile. “I’m fine.” She coughed again. “I’m just very tired.”
“We all are.” Sabelet sighed.
“Let’s get some rest now, children.” Ecrea said.
The next evening, the weary family walked into another small village.
“Halt!” A stern voice said. “Who are you and where are you going.” A man, with several weapons, stood in front of them with a grim face.
Ecrea bowed, as was custom, and said, “We are travelers in search of a place to live. Will you accept us and allow us to live with you?”
The man looked at them suspiciously. “Why are you traveling so late in the season?”
For a moment Ecrea thought of making up some excuse. He realized, however, that it would be wrong. Straightening his shoulders he said, “Sir, we were sent away from our village because we worship Jesus Christ.”
“I have never heard of that God.” The man said. “But we do not take kindly to people who do not worship like we do. I will take you to our leader, but I do not expect that he will be pleased with you.”
“Thank you, sir.”
The family was taken to a well-built, small house. The man who escorted them opened the door and spoke a few words to the people inside. Then he turned to Ecrea.
“You and your family may go in now.”
Leaving their things with the man, Ecrea, Hanewal, Sabelet and Tuskanah entered the house. On a large pile of animal skins, sat a middle-aged man. The scars on his face and arms told clearly that he had been in many fights. He glanced at the family with destine.
“Anneawane tells me that you wish to live here with us.”
“Yes sir.” Ecrea bowed. “We desire to spend the winter here. We have brought supplies of our own. All we ask for is a place to live.”
The man’s lips curled into a cruel smile. “Anneawane also tells me that you worship strange gods.”
“We worship the one true God.” Sabelet said bravely. “Your gods are false! They have not helped you at all!”
The man spat towards Sabelet, who stood facing him with unflinching eyes. “Who are you, girl, to speak to me in such a manner?” He demanded angrily. “You are a mere child – a girl nonetheless – and you dare to tell me that my gods are false?”
“Yes I do.” Sabelet said. Tuskanah whimper and held her mother’s hand tightly.
The man turned to Ecrea, “Your daughter is very disrespectful and will be punished for it.”
“Please sir –” Ecrea began.
The man laughed. “Don’t begin begging. Your daughter will only receive ten strokes with a whip.” He clapped his hands loudly and a young man appeared. “Take this girl out and whip her ten times.”
The young man nodded and pulled Sabelet after him. Once Sabelet was gone, the leader looked Ecrea in the eye and said, “I will let you stay in this village if you deny your faith and worship our gods.” He laughed. “I will tell you, you and your family won’t have much of a chance without shelter. You would be wise to heed my advice and forsake your God.”
Ecrea paused for a moment. Then determination filled his face and he said, “No. We cannot forsake of God.”
The man raised his eyebrow. “Even if it means death.”
“Yes.” Ecrea said soberly. “Even if it means death.”
The man flung his hand towards them. “You may think yourself very brave. But bravery and stubbornness will not help you now. Get out of my sight before I have you all whipped!”
Slowly and with sorrow, Ecrea, Hanewal and Tuskanah left the house. They were met at the door by Sabelet. The back of her shirt was covered in blood from her whipping. Hanewal kissed her tenderly. The family left the village, their hearts heavy and discouraged. They set up a camp a little ways from the village.
Ecrea lit a fire and cooked some food on it. He handed these to his wife and children.
“I’m not hungry.” Tuskanah said weakly.
Hanewal put her hand on her daughter’s forehead. “You have a fever! Go lie down and get some rest.”
Tuskanah nodded and quickly obeyed her mother. Sabelet said, “I think I’ll go lay down, too. My back is hurting.”
When the girls were gone, Hanewal burst into tears. “Ecrea, we can’t go on like this! We have to find somewhere to stay!”
Tears filled Ecrea’s eyes. “I know, Hanewal. We have to trust God. He knows where we are right now.”
“What if we die on this journey?” Hanewal sobbed. “What if our children die?”
Tears slipped down Ecrea’s cheeks as he said, “Then we will all be in a place of no more sorrow and no more weeping.”