THE PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR EPISODE 3
The ride to the church was an awfully long one; while his mind rested on the words of the General during breakfast about his daughter. He couldn’t help panic about what lies ahead of him in the church.
“We are having our Bible study this afternoon”
“Bible study?” he exclaimed
“Yes, I know it must come as a surprise. You should expect us to be on the battlefield every day right?”
“Yes, I think so”
“While we still have the time; we shouldn’t forget gathering in the presence of God. Who knows, one of us might die on the battlefield? Whenever we come together, we encourage ourselves with the word of God”
These people are more matured than I am
What else did they need?
Why send a pastor to them?
The general was a pastor already
“Son, are you thinking about something? You seem to be frowning; or are my eyes deceiving me?”
Hosea dusted his black trousers with the back of his hand
“Are you afraid?” the General asked when he didn’t say a word
“You don’t need to be; you are capable” he encouraged
Hosea looked at him, trying to smile in reply “Thank you, sir”
As they drove around the village in silence, Hosea observed the mud houses they passed by; children in their pants dancing around a black store tank. A young man passed by pushing a cart filled with vegetables and fruits, his face uptight. While some children screamed at their parents, some adjusted their almost brown sock fitted in tattered shoes.
“I fear the war would steal the joy of these young minds” the General lamented while he drove with his eyes fixed on the rough road.
“God is in control” Hosea responded
“Yes, nothing prayer cannot do”
He had expected a small church, a structure that would only accommodate at most 50 individuals; but the structure staring right back at him was beyond imagination. The church had a deceiving look, at first judging from its compact shape, he thought its interior would contain only a few wooden chairs and two to three plastic chairs. When he stepped inside, he felt he was in his church at home. Not only was the church-wide within, but the number of pews would also accommodate at most one hundred and fifty members.
“Son, you are welcome to church” the General whispered
While the General stood by the door, Hosea trudged down each pew, amazed at what he was seeing.
“Take your time, the Bible study starts by four in the evening. You have five hours to prepare”
“Yes, did your father never say anything to you?” the General asked as though expecting him to be fully aware
“No, he didn’t”
“Well, son; you are to resume with immediate effect as the pastor. You will be in charge of the Bible study today. Your assistant pastor will be around to guide you if you ever have questions”
Hose felt his blood drain.
The General didn’t notice he was sweating, if he did Hosea was sure the old man would ask questions. Staring at his wristwatch every second, Hosea asked: “Are you late for something?”
“I have a task force meeting to attend; I should soon be on my way”
“Don’t worry son, the assistant pastor would soon be here”
“Who is the assistant pastor?” Hosea asked slightly touching his shoulder.
“You have met him; he is the squad team leader. His name is Vincent”
Oh, the six feet tall man with a handsome face; he must be friendly. Hosea thought within. Somehow, he felt relieved.
“I know him”
The General smiled at him “You will get along with him; you have nothing to worry. He is also my daughter fiancée, you have nothing to worry, He is family” he spoke with all admiration
He is my daughter’s fiancée.
Hosea swallowed down the jealously stirring up within him; smiling through his eyes at the General.
“I should get going. Feel free to look around the church; and also lest I forget, I won’t be back for a week” the General said squeezing him by the shoulder. “Son, you will be fine” he patted him softly then walked out of the church.
Hosea sat on one of the pews; it was closest to the pulpit. He imagined himself standing to teach the villagers, the thought didn’t fit well into his description. No matter what, he knew he wasn’t meant to be a pastor.
A thought suddenly crossed his mind; he smiled.
Just perfect. He whispered
He had slept off right there on the pew; someone tapped him before he opened his eyes.
Hosea looked up, the face before him was familiar
“Sir…” the man dressed in brown shirt spoke
“Yes, how can I help you?” Hosea asked wiping his face with the patterned handkerchief on his legs.
“It is Vincent, the assistant pastor” he introduced trying to sound formal and friendly.
Suddenly, he remembered; no wonder the face was familiar. How long had he been asleep? Won’t Vincent see him as irresponsible? Wasn’t he was supposed to be praying? Whatever his lazy mind dismissed
“You have just forty-five minutes before the Bible study” Vincent broke the camel’s back
“What? How long have I been sleeping?” the words suddenly slipped out as Vincent kept his head bowed trying not to laugh
“I don’t know sir”
“God” Hosea lamented as he picked his brown bag beside him
“Okay, so when does the message begin exactly?” he asked.
“What? Is there no moment of prayer or anything before that?”
“That starts in twenty minutes’ time. You are to come up by four” the soldier politely replied
“Why?” he mumbled to himself
“Sorry sir, what did you say?”
“I have to get some things in place if you need anything. Let me know” Vincent informed.
Hosea picked up the Bible inside the bag, how had he slept off so deeply for three hours? How could he just sleep off?
God… he muttered bowing his head in disappointment
“Oh, I remember” he smiled
What should he call him? Sergeant? Mr.? or his name? Hosea decided to settle with the latter “Vincent, please come”
He saw him frown, perhaps he should just call him Mr. another time or sergeant?
“I am sorry for calling you by your name” Hosea immediately apologized when Vincent stood before him
“It is nothing sir”
He is polite, well-mannered
Maybe that’s why Martha loved him?
Why was he thinking about love now? He scolded himself, putting up a smile at Vincent
“I need a help from you”
“Help? Anything sir?”
“This is going to be interesting” Hosea whispered to himself
“I was talking to myself”
Why was he addressing him with sir? He wasn’t comfortable with the formality. He would correct him when the Bible study was over. But, for now; he prayed desperately Vincent accepts his offer.
He studied him; the way he was dressed was suited for a pastor. He was going to do excellently well in his place. He is sure of that. Vincent waited patiently for him to speak, and with a smiling face. Hosea asked, “Can you replace me?”
“Sir” he exclaimed
Related Read: EPISODE 2
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