Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast episode #195. Today we are reading chapter 27 of the novel Charmaine” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte.
Charmaine was at a loss for words. She shifted her gaze from Pastor Gillespie’s eyes to the half filled glass of water she was holding. She tapped the glass lightly with her index finger. Her calm spirit attracted Pastor Gillespie even more. He reached his right hand across the table and rested it lightly on hers. Charmaine smiled but kept her focus on the glass. If his touch stirred anything inside her, she did not reveal it. Pastor Gillespie was about to tell her to think about it when her eyes met his.
“I…I don’t know what to say. I feel honored. I…”
“How about saying, yes,” Pastor Gillespie said. He felt her studying him as she kept her eyes focused on his. It was as though she was peering into his soul. He saw innocence and sincerity in her eyes.
“Yes, Roland, I’ll marry you,” she finally said.
“Thank you, Charmaine. Thank you so much for accepting my proposal.”
Charmaine nodded her head slowly. Pastor Gillespie felt honored by her humility.
“I’m not sure what the custom is in your country,” he said, sliding his hand away from hers. “I will ask your uncle’s permission, of course. Forgive me if I have jumped ahead of myself.”
“That’s fine,” Charmaine said with a smile. “We’ll do it the American way first; then we will do it the Ethiopian way. My uncle won’t be mad.”
“We’re all set to go,” Sentayhu said as he and Bohlale walked from the back kitchen into the dining area where Pastor Gillespie and Charmaine were seated. “Pastor Gillespie, I want to thank you for everything you did to make the Ethiopian Celebration Sunday go so well,” Sentayhu said, extending a hand to Pastor Gillespie. Bohlale did likewise. He thought he had seen Pastor Gillespie slide his hand away from Charmaine’s as they entered the room. Looks like they’re getting pretty close to each other, he thought.
“You are more than welcome,” Pastor Gillespie said. “And I thank you for everything. I don’t know about you, but I’m beat. We have everything recorded on DVD and they will be on sale in the church bookstore and on our website soon. Just let Sister Mona know how many copies you want and she will get them delivered to you. Stop by the office as soon as you can Sentayhu, you too, Bohlale. I have some things I would like to discuss with you. Good night, my brothers and my sister.”
“Good night, Pastor Gillespie.”
“A blessed man,” Sentayhu said of Pastor Gillespie as they rode home.
Charmaine was deep in her own thoughts. It would be an honor to be his wife. Everyone seemed to have received my people well today because of his eagerness to include us as part of the church family.
“Charmaine, is all well with you?” her uncle asked her as he pulled into the driveway at his house. “Do you have something you wish to share with me?”
Charmaine smiled. Her uncle seemed to always know when she had something on her mind. She hesitated to share the good news with him—not that she was trying to hide it from him; she just wanted Pastor Gillespie to mention it to her uncle first.
“I was thinking of waiting, but I’ll go ahead and let you know. Pastor Gillespie asked me to marry him,” Charmaine said. “I…said yes.”
Sentayhu pulled the keys out of the ignition and thought a moment before speaking. His silence lasted so long that Charmaine began to wonder if she had accepted Pastor Gillespie’s proposal too quickly. Finally, he said, “Congratulations, my daughter.” He leaned over and gave Charmaine a hug. “I’ll let you go ahead on to bed since it is so late and I know you are tired. We’ll talk more in the morning.”
“One more thing,” Charmaine said. “Don’t think he’s being disrespectful for not asking you first; he is going to ask. I just wanted to let you know.”
Pastor Gillespie stopped by the restaurant on Monday afternoon after working out at the gym.
“Brother Sentayhu, I’m still rejoicing over the blessings of yesterday,” Pastor Gillespie said.
“Oh, yes, Pastor. It was truly a blessed day,” Sentayhu said, wondering when Pastor Gillespie would tell him he had asked his niece to marry him.
“I was going to wait until you stopped by the office, but I felt inclined to come by and share a few things with you,” Pastor Gillespie said.
After the men settled down in one of the booths, Pastor Gillespie said to him, “I don’t know if Charmaine said anything to you, but Brother Sentayhu, I’d like to ask for your permission to marry your niece.”
“Pastor Gillespie, you have my permission and my blessings, but the decision is entirely hers,” Sentayhu said. “I only ask that you treat her well and with respect, which I am sure you will do.”
“Thank you, Brother Sentayhu. Don’t worry, I will treat her well and with the utmost respect. She carries herself in a way that demands it,” Pastor Gillespie assured him. “Another thing I wanted to discuss with you was this: would you and possibly Bohlale be interested in going to seminary. I want to ordain you as pastor to your people so there won’t be any questions asked. You have the makings of a pastor. The church will take care of all expenses. You can commute back and forth so you can still oversee the restaurant.”
Sentayhu chuckled. “You know, Pastor, I’ve been having a desire to go to seminary for pastoral training if we could not find a church to worship in so I could add more depth to the little Bible knowledge that I have. We were going to just have services on the compound, but you came along.”
“I want you to still go and get the training because I want you to be their official pastor. In fact, I believe it would be better if you were their pastor; coming from the same country you would better understand some of their concerns. As of right now, you and your people will be leading the services every fourth Sunday. Perhaps we can add a small Amharic language service for those of you who do not speak English.”
“That sounds great to me,” Sentayhu said. “I will definitely pray about these matters and discuss them with my people.”
“And another thing,” Pastor Gillespie went on. “I’d like to hold an official meeting with your people one day this week to let them know in person that I did not authorize the writing of those disturbing letters you received, and to let them know that I will find out who is behind it and deal with them accordingly. If I hated you Ethiopians, I would not be here talking with you, I would not send my people to do business with you, and I definitely would not have asked Charmaine to marry me. ”
“You have a point there,” Sentayhu said. “Just the Ethiopian Celebration Sunday on yesterday is proof enough that you did not write those letters. When you announce your engagement, that will set their minds at ease even more.”
“Yes, as soon as we decide on a date to announce the engagement, we will let everyone know,” Pastor Gillespie said. “Now, tell me about this immigration matter. One of the letters said that some people in your community are here illegally. I don’t believe that is the case, because the whole letter is fabricated, but if there is any way I can help you in that area, please let me know.”
“I can assure you, Pastor, that there is no truth to that. We are all here legally. In fact, every person who wants to live in this community must show me or one of the other community leaders their immigration papers. If someone comes into the country who does not have his legal papers up front, we help them get their paperwork together,” Sentayhu said. “Each person in our community is an honest, hardworking individual. I can testify to that personally.”
“So whoever wrote that in the letter is lying and is just trying to cause problems with the government?” Pastor Gillespie asked.
“Right,” Sentayhu said. “I hope that these foolish pranks do not get out of hand or discourage you and your people.”
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.