Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast episode #192. Today we are reading chapter 24 of the novel Charmaine” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte.
As his wife sealed the second set of letters for him to take to the post office, Brother Martin shared with her his plan to get rid of the Ethiopians and to permanently put Pastor Gillespie out of the pulpit.
“We can send another short but detailed letter to all of the church family excluding the main deacons and anyone else we know supports Pastor Gillespie. We will give them all the reasons why these Ethiopians should not be allowed to continue worshiping with us. And now that you mentioned them possibly being here illegally, we got something on them that they probably won’t see coming,” Brother Martin said to his wife. “I smell victory.”
Sister Martin gave him a kiss and with a laugh said, “I’ll look into this immigration thing right away.”
The Martins spent the rest of the evening putting together an e-book titled The Truth About the Ethiopians, intending to put Pastor Gillespie’s name on it as the author. They planned on getting it printed and distributed to all of the church member as well. The letter, which was dropped off at the post office that evening, read:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. _________
I regret to inform you, but All Peoples Non-Denominational Church will no longer open its doors to Ethiopians from this point forward especially in light of information we have received from the Immigration and Naturalization Service office regarding illegal aliens coming into our country becoming members of this church. We have to protect and look out for our citizens first. I am sure you can understand that. So as not to get into any trouble with the law, we feel it is best for all Ethiopians to stay away from our services, lest we are accused of housing illegal aliens.
Pastor Roland Gillespie
Zelda Martin visited the INS website seeking information on how to report illegal aliens in the country. She called down to the office and spoke with Weldon Carrington.
“Mr. Carrington, this is Mrs. Martin. There is a growing Ethiopian community in our area and the word around here is that the majority of them are here illegally. They work at various places in the city and now they are trying to slowly assimilate into our church.”
“What church is that and where are you located?”
“All Peoples Non-Denominational Church here off Gillespie Road. Most of them live about eight miles from the church.”
“I’m curious, does your pastor know they are here illegally?” Mr. Carrington asked.
“I am sure he’s aware of it even though he has not mentioned it. In fact, he’s pushing very hard for the other members to accept these newcomers. It seems like more and more of them come to our services each week. I don’t know how they could be arriving so fast.. I am afraid, along with some other church members, that they will eventually take over our church and then just turn the whole community upside-down.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Martin. If you can give me your number and your pastor’s name and the church address and number, we’ll definitely look into it. In the meantime you remain quiet about this and let us know if you hear anything else.”
“I really wish to remain anonymous,” Zelda Martin told him.
“We can arrange that,” Mr. Carrington assured her.
“We got things under control, Martin,” Zelda told her husband after she got off the phone. “We’ve got to move fast though. I’ll have that e-book ready in the next two days. I think we need to forge a letter to Pastor Gillespie from the INS office.”
“I think this is a bit early. We don’t want him to begin to get suspicious, especially since he seems to be getting serious about that Ethiopian girl Charmaine.”
Bohlale stopped by Sentayhu’s residence on his way home from work. Sentayhu was gone to the city to pick up supplies for the restaurant and store.
“He won’t be back until late,” Ayana told him.
“Do you need anything?” Bohlale asked
“No. All’s well, but thank you for asking,” Ayana said.
Bohlale turned to leave, but he turned back to Ayana. “Ayana, how are things between you and Pastor Gillespie?”
“All’s well, Bohlale. Why do you ask?”
“I’m just concerned about some things, Ayana. I do not know whether or not your uncle has shared with you my feelings for you as I have expressed them to him. Anyway, he told me he was going to leave it up to you who you will want to court and eventually marry. Be that as it may, Sister Ayana, I just want to remind you to be careful with Pastor Gillespie and to remind you also that in our country women do not marry divorced men; you seem to be headed in that direction.”
“And, Ayana, I just feel it is best to marry one of our own people.”
“Bohlale, I appreciate your concern. My heart is touched, and I especially appreciate your not making this a difficult time for me. Yes, my uncle has told me about your feelings for me and I did tell him I was not ready to marry yet. I did not set out to become close friends with Roland…”
“I mean Pastor Gillespie,” Ayana said with a smile. “Things just happened and I can’t hide from my true feelings. I do like him.”
“Does this mean you don’t have any feelings for me?” Bohlale was disappointed that Ayana had spent so much time with Pastor Gillespie and that they had become so close.
“That’s not a fair question, Bohlale,” Ayana answered. “But I’ll answer you. I do care about you. I count you as a dear friend.”
“In light of the letters we received, don’t you think he may be using you?” Bohlale asked.
“No, Bohlale. I don’t sense any deceit in Roland. I believe someone else is behind all this. I just don’t know for sure who it is.”
So now they are on a first name basis, Bohlale thought as he said good night. “It’s hard for me to believe Pastor Gillespie wrote those letters, but then you can’t judge a book by its cover,” he said to her.
When her uncle arrived home later that night, Ayana shared with him the conversation between her and Bohlale.
“I know he loves you, Ayana, and he has expressed that to me more than once, but I have never pushed you to get close to him. I just feel that this is an area in which you need to decide for yourself. Plus, you told me you wanted to enjoy your singlehood as long as you can.”
“Yes, Uncle. He also mentioned something about our Ethiopian culture not smiling upon women marrying divorced men.”
Santayhu smiled. “If you ask me, I detect jealousy in Bohlale and I give him credit for handling it well. But he’s correct, we don’t condone divorce, but there are just some things God allows because of our sinful nature. If I understand correctly, Pastor Gillespie’s wife left him because she refused to obey his wishes. In our culture, a wife’s disobedience is not smiled upon either. Pastor Gillespie’s wife has not shown any signs of wanting to return to make amends, so as far as I am concerned, he is free to continue on with his life.”
Ayana nodded. “So you don’t believe I am being unfaithful to my people?”
“No, Ayana,” her uncle said. “Give Bohlale time, though; he’ll come around.”
Mother Louise stopped by the church office as she normally did once a week just to encourage Pastor Gillespie and whoever else she happened to meet while she was there. “Pastor, our new visitors have been such a blessing. I’ll be stopping by the Queen of Sheba Restaurant again on tomorrow for lunch,” she said.
“They have been a blessing, haven’t they? They are just simple folks eager to learn the Word,” Pastor Gillespie agreed. “They just soak it up. I wish some of the church members were more like that.”
“They sure are, and that Charmaine she is just as sweet as can be,” Mother Louise said.
Pastor Gillespie laughed. “She sure is, Mother Louise. I am glad you mentioned her. I’ve been wanting to get your advice on two things: Sister Mona almost has things set up for the Ethiopian Celebration Sunday event that she suggested. From what she’s told me, the plan is to just turn the whole service over to them. I’ve been talking with Sentayhu, and I really feel like we need to go all out to make his people feel at home here.”
“That would be a great thing to do, Pastor,” Mother Louise said. “That would also give me a reason to buy another African dress.”
“Sentayhu has the makings of a pastor even though he does not think so. I just see it in him,” Pastor Gillespie said. “If you want to help, you can talk more with Sister Mona and Ayana. I already have Sister Mona working on it. Ayana has some great ideas that would help us minister to them more effectively. I have not heard too much from Brother Martin as of yet. But get ready for an exciting Sunday.”
Mother Louise laughed. “I’ll be ready, Pastor. Now, what was the second thing you wanted to talk with me about.”
“It’s about Charmaine,” Pastor Gillespie said. “You know it’s going on a year now since my wife walked out. I have not heard from her. Zelda Martin did tell me recently that she spoke with her and she is not talking of reconciling. I think I have waited long enough. I am ready to get married again.”
“Did you want me to try to talk your wife into coming back?” Mother Louise asked.
“Oh, no. This is where Charmaine comes in. You know I have been talking with her, and she is everything I could want in a wife. Mother Louise I am thinking of asking her to be my wife. What do you think?”
Mother Louise smiled although she was a bit anxious. “Now, Pastor, I’ll support you if that’s what you feel the Lord is leading you to do. We all love Charmaine and to be honest with you, she would make a lovely wife and first lady, but don’t you think you should wait a bit longer? I mean there is so much going on at the church you may want to slow down—you know, learn more about their culture, even take a trip over to Ethiopia. It’s one thing dating someone; it’s another thing being married to them.”
“Are you trying to deny me my blessing?” Pastor Gillespie said with a laugh.
“Oh, no, Pastor. I just don’t want to see you make a decision too fast.”
Mother Louise stopped to speak with Sister Mona about the upcoming Ethiopian Celebration Sunday. At Mother Louise’s request, Sister Mona walked her out to her car.
“What else is on your mind, Mother Louise?”
“Sister, we have to move fast. Pastor is talking about asking Charmaine to marry him. Can you come to lunch with me tomorrow at the Queen of Sheba Restaurant? I am going to ask Sister Gillespie to come with us.”
“I’ll be there,” Sister Mona said.
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.