“God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him.” - Hudson Taylor
Pounding footsteps shattered the stillness of the jungle night. “Willie!” a voice called.
William Rodriguez groaned and rolled over.
“Willie!” the voice called again. It sounded like his friend Seth.
Willie sat up and held the light button on his watch. “Two-thirty in the morning,” he mumbled.
Feeling for a flashlight he tried to make sense of the noises he was hearing.
“Willie?” the voice sounded closer this time.
“I’m here,” Willie said pulling back his mosquito net. He stepped out of his hammock and walked towards the open door of his hut. “Seth? Is that you?”
“It’s me,” Seth said.
“What’s wrong?” Willie asked fumbling with the buttons on his shirt.
“You need to come with me.” Seth’s voice was a pitch higher than normal.
Willie followed Seth down the familiar path toward the mission clinic. The jungle noises cleared his head and the dew felt good on his bare feet.
What’s going on? Willie thought. He wanted to demand that Seth tell him what was happening but he knew that Seth would talk when he was ready and not before.
When they got to the mission clinic Seth stepped aside and let Willie go first. “I’m sorry, Willie,” he whispered as Willie walked by.
Willie had never heard that tone of sympathy in Seth’s voice before and it sent chills up his spine.
Inside the clinic, next to the communication center, Uncle Jim sat holding a handheld radio.
Uncle Jim’s face was contorted in a look of agony. He looked up when Willie came in. “I’m sorry, Son.”
Willie’s breathing grew shallow and his chest tightened. The look on Uncle Jim’s face could only mean one thing. “They’re dead aren’t they?” he asked.
Uncle Jim handed him the radio. “I don’t know. Mr. Kennedy’s on the radio. He can tell you more than I can.”
Willie grabbed the radio. “Mr. Kennedy? This is William Rodriguez. Where are my parents? Over.”
The radio crackled with static. “…didn’t show… can’t find… airplane’s down… missing… Carabayo territory… Over.”
Willie wracked his brain to figure out what he had missed. He hated these old radios. They couldn’t transmit anything clearly. Skyping people from the United States is clearer than trying to talk to fellow missionaries on these old radios.
“Can you repeat that? Over.”
Mr. Kennedy repeated the message and Willie sank into a nearby chair. He shoved the radio back into Uncle Jim’s hands and propped his elbows on his knees. Resting his chin on his fists he tried to control his emotions.
Seth placed a hand on his shoulder but Willie shrugged it off. He got to his feet and paced the room. “If my parents didn’t die in the plane crash, then the Carabayo natives will finish them off. I have to go help them.”
Willie turned to leave the clinic but Uncle Jim’s commanding voice stopped him. “Willie, you can’t go. Your parents are in God’s hands. Besides, if something happens to you, what will happen to Carmen and E.N.? Your parents wanted you to become their guardian.”
Willie groaned. Why did he have to be twenty-one years old? If he were younger then he wouldn’t have to worry about being guardian to his siblings. Or if Jerry were here… Stop it, Willie, he chided himself. You can’t think about Jerry now.
He glanced at Seth. “It’s your tribe, will you come with me?” Willie felt a glimmer of hope. Seth was always ready for an adventure, especially if it involved fighting.
Seth shook his head. “I think we need to wait.”
“Wait for what?” Willie asked. “Word to come that they’re dead?”
Seth shook his head again. “I’m sorry Willie, but if my tribe has your parents, you won’t see them again.”
Willie slammed one fist into the palm of his other hand. “We can’t sit here and do nothing!”
“We’ll just have to wait,” Uncle Jim said. “Mr. Kennedy will contact us when he knows more.”
On another note, I went black light mini golfing with two of my friends/cousins yesterday and had a blast! If you're ever in Warroad, MN make sure you stop in at Hobby Plus and go mini golfing! (Sorry the picture is so poor, I took it with my phone:)