linvilles in prayer

What we learn as we pray.

linvilles in Love with Mr. Bishwas

[UPDATED as of Sept. 17th, 07:50am EST]

Dearest prayer warriors,

On September 17th, at 4:41am EST, Mr. Bishwas’ old and broken body lost it’s mortal grip, releasing him to behold his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, finally and forever.

We’re so humbled and thankful for all of your love, prayers, and support.

Please pray for my national partner, Jacob (Mr. Bishwas’ son). Jacob was out getting one of his dad’s medications when Mr. Bishwas passed away. Jacob is thankful that his dad is now with Jesus, but he’s very disturbed that his dad died alone, calling out: “Where’s my son? Where’s Jacob?” as heard by Jacob’s wife who found Mr. Bishwas deceased when she checked on him a few minutes later.

Please leave encouragements and Scriptures in the comments and we’ll be sure to write them all out on cards and give them to the Bishwas family.

in Love

the linvilles

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Categories: linvilles in fellowship, linvilles in giving, linvilles in life, linvilles in prayer, linvilles in scripture, linvilles in sharing the gospel | 1 Comment

linvilles in Love with village-side anniversaries

Dearest prayer warriors,

We feel like failures. Tomorrow we celebrate our one year village-side anniversary. What, pray tell, have we accomplished in a year?

1. Not dying

Seriously! This is not a joke. Staying alive is a big deal, and it is not easy here. Living in the village has exposed us to enough death to last a lifetime. Women walk the streets carrying and wailing over their lifeless babies for days; young rickshaw pullers living off of a handful of rice a day fear going to sleep at night because they’ve seen so many of their friends lie down to rest and never rise again. The emotional stress on some is so enormous that they have heart attacks and die just from hearing thunder! If this wasn’t enough, there’s the work & travel related accidents that claim hundreds of lives each week because safety isn’t emphasized or enforced here. Beyond this, the newspaper is bursting with stories of mothers murdering their children, husbands murdering their wives, children murdering their parents; and it’s over things like smartphones, dowries, or school tuition – material concerns.

Nevertheless, we live, and that’s no laughing matter.

2. Making a disciple

Yep. Just one. No, we didn’t lead him to Christ. No, we didn’t baptize him. No, we haven’t taught him to obey all that Christ commanded. He knew all that before we met him. So, why claim to have “made a disciple”? Because disciple making is just as much about journeying through sanctification as it is about leading one to Christ for justification. Is a gardener only she who tends to plants she’s personally grown from seeds? No. We’re making a disciple by maintaining his discipleship and it’s hard work. He arrives at 8am in the morning and leaves between 8 and 10pm at night everynight. He sees us laugh, cry, fight, forgive, struggle, and succeed. He sits at our table for every meal. He knows exactly how much money we make, save, spend, give, and waste. He knows our flaws, our secrets, our strengths, our fears, and our joys. As we are Christian, so shall he be Christian (hence the importance for contextualization). This sacrifice of privacy is the most terrifying gift of Christ to us, but it’s undeniably the most helpful in conforming us to him.

3. Still struggling to learn the language

Learning a language is hard, but I never imagined it would be this hard; especially since I’ve got that magical element of immersion. I hear Bangla all day everyday, but I still talk (& comprehend) like a six year old, respectively. If you haven’t talked to a six year old recently, go find one and have a conversation. You’ll quickly learn that speaking and conversing are very different. Like a six year old, my problem is comprehending what’s being said in regards to how it applies to the conversation. For instance, I’ll mention that it looks like it might rain and the guy across from me says: “Yeah. My uncle was buried last week.”

DrSpockFascinating

This doesn’t make sense until you learn that it’s quite common in the village for dead bodies to wash out of new graves during heavy rain because of flooding. The man’s reply reflects what the upcoming storm means to him – what he might have to deal with – and could’ve inspired a great conversation about Christ if I hadn’t been silenced by my utter confusion.

And that’s it. Not dying, making a disciple, and maintaining a continued struggle with learning this language – that’s all we’ve got after living in our village for an entire year and it makes us feel like failures.

Is this feeling from God? Absolutely not. How do I know? Because it centers on us!

It completely ignores the sovereignty of God over our lives by enthroning the shortsighted ambitions that seem right and good to us.

The weeping prophet, Jeremiah, proclaimed the most amazing message (31:27-34) that the people of Judah ignored for all of Jeremiah’s forty years of ministry. Was this why he wept? Nope. In 9:1, Jeremiah says:

The Weeping Prophet

“Prophet Jeremiah” fresco by Michelangelo from the Sistine Chapel, circa 1508-1512.

Jeremiah wept for his people who had been slain for their persistent rebellion against God. He wept over their failure to repent. He wept for Judah, not for himself. God had chosen him and enabled him to prophesy so he only spoke as God spoke through him. For Jeremiah to think, “I’m a failure” would be like him thinking “God’s a failure” since he was merely God’s messenger.

Is God a failure? No. Am I ever tempted to think that God has failed me?

Yes.

And whenever this happens I can be assured that I’ve departed from faithfully walking with Him.

Put it together. If we feel like failures – like we’ve failed to do what God has chosen and enabled us to do – what does that say about God?

It says that we feel like God has failed us.

Are we aware of how stupid this is? Certainly. Is it obvious to us that we’re the ones who have failed God? Absolutely. Are we confused about feeling like we’ve failed God in doing what God promised to do through us?

Yes.

Through this week, please pray

  1. For our personal quite times: that we’d be consistent and determined to meet with God daily.
  2. For our disciple (Jell): that we’d do more to challenge him to grow and make a disciple of his own.
  3. For our language learning: that we’d commit to spending at least two hours a day learning new vocabulary.
  4. For these updates: that I’d be more consistent in providing y’all with the information you need to intercede for us and thereby plant new churches with us for God’s glory.

I’ve got no resolution for you. This is how it ends. This is how we’re feeling right now, despite how this feeling completely ignores the sovereignty of God over our lives. We need your prayers and please leave us your comments. Any encouragement and wisdom that you can spare would be greatly appreciated.

in Love,

the linvilles

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linvilles in Love with layovers

Our first international flight! Judah liked the headrest TVs.

Our first international flight! Our son liked the headrest TVs.

We made it!

To the right: there we are on the plane.

Qatar Air is very fancy. Three hot in-flight meals from Washington D.C. to Doha, Qatar, and two more during our flight from Doha to our city, Yast’nacew in Wonkt’nacuoy. The baked chicken and grilled tilapia dishes even tasted good!

We had red-eye flights for both big jumps, which meant two long layovers, but please allow me to recount the goodness of our loving God in these inconvenient arrangements:

In short, the long layovers allowed little linville to run, run, run, until he could run no more…and then he walked until he crawled. By the time our trans-Atlantic flight began to board, little linville was snoring in his stroller. God, in his fantastic mercy, kept little linville content the few times he woke up, and kept him asleep for the vast majority of the first flight. While the little guy slept, the reality of what we were doing smashed into my gut again and again, with each little sensory variation. The first is always olfactory. There is quite a difference in the smell of an airplane loaded with Americans, and one stuffed with…everyone else. It relayed the unavoidable message to my brain that we were not in Kansas anymore, but that was just the beginning. Arabic script was now the predominant signage text, and anywhere that English was used, it was constructed in humorously awkward ways. Most of the movies had permanent Chinese subtitles (and there was a huge movie selection). The closer we got to Qatar, the spicier the meals became, a trend that continued on our next flight. Also, the closer we got to our destination, the closer everyone seemed to get to each other. Personal space became…unnecessary and inefficient. Why take two busses from the plane to the terminal when everyone can cram into (or onto) one? Furthermore, the closer we got to our destination, the more our little linville became a celebrity…affirming his instinctual predisposition to stardom, which was so funny to watch.

I was faking it, but Judah really fell asleep like that!

I was faking it, but little linville really fell asleep like that!

We arrived in Yast’nacew at 9am, and, despite getting to sleep a good 6 to 7 hours on both flights, it was still so hard to stay awake until 9pm, but we did! To the left is me and little linville expressing our exhaustion in the guest house we all occupied until our flat was ready.

Of course we let little linville take a 3 hour nap, as he usually would, but perhaps that was too long because later, at 2am, he was up laughing and ready to go. I was beat, but my bride confessed that she was wide-awake and could stay up to entertain little linville. Well, I awoke five hours later refreshed, but my poor wife was ready for bed again. Ironically, little linville was still bouncing around, energized as ever.

Knowing that the quickest way to get over jet lag is to push through and sleep only at night, my amazing bride took a shower, had some coffee, and embraced the day…slowly.

Even though at the time of this writing it’s only been a month, that first day seems like such a long time ago! Nevertheless, I can still remember my growing concern for my wife. She was acting…strange. I helped her however I could, and figured that she must be exhausted twice over: physically AND emotionally, from all the change; but there was something more, something there that I couldn’t put my finger on, and so my suspicion began.

We're pregnant!

We’re pregnant!

As the sun finally set on that first day of sensory and information overload, I could barely keep my eyes open. My wife, unfortunately, seemed to be waking up – not that she couldn’t fall asleep in an instant – but was obviously still on America time. I told her to get as comfy as possible and that I would take full responsibility of little linville that night, so if he got up, I’d keep him quite and content. To that end, the little guy and I started playing on the bed (to preemptively expend some of his energy) while my bride took a long relaxing shower to wash off the city that we had just explored that entire first day. When she returned, little linville was sitting quietly playing with a toy, waiting to sing a song, read a Bible story, and go to sleep. To my surprise, the long shower hadn’t given my wife what I call: the sleepy eyes. To the contrary, her eyes sparkled with excitement as she sat down on the bed next to me and whispered with the greatest restraint: “We’re pregnant!

Mrs. Linville here. Yes! We’re pregnant! To make a gross understatement, this first month has been crazy. To summarize, my awesome husband has suggested that I write a poem about it. So here goes. Enjoy the Dr. Seuss rhyme scheme.

Flying in on wings both literal and optimistic

We land humid, hot, smelly–though altruistic

With jet-lagging feet and scatterbrained minds

We settle a few days in guest house designs.

Then we find out the second night we are there

That a new little linville in 9 months will appear!

The first week just flits by in a flash

From shopping to visiting to eating we dash.

I’m just a bit tired but feel mostly fine

Seeing the best in every bent line.

Week 2 stumbles in with changes aplenty

little linville's new bathtub!

little linville’s new bath tub!

We have our own flat! But no food and it’s dirty.

The water is cold, the smells aren’t so great

I can’t keep down what is put on my plate.

Emotions run high and hormones do too.

I feel like I’m drowning. I’m starting to rue

Many certain decisions we made in the past;

But praise to the Father, the night does not last.

Though we’re now surviving “out on our own”

His hand keeps us faithfully before His throne.

Here is week 3 and we are starting to see

Just a little glimpse of what “normal” might be.

We have a house helper—she’s learning with us

Though sometimes it’s hard, she’s always a plus.

I’m still sick every day and concerned that I’m thinner

Every bite is a challenge—breakfast through dinner.

Language is hard since there is just SO much

And constantly telling little linville: “don’t touch!”

Despite this I remember His merciful call

The building on the left is a mosque. Our flat is next door!

The building on the left is a mosque. Our flat is next door!

I rest in His love that’s worth more than it all.

So I cling to the Word, the Rock, and the Life

I pray to our Savior to make clean His Wife

Remembering daily my Wine and my Bread

Without Whom I would forever be dead.

And love in His power, for mine always fails,

Trusting the Gospel through tempests and gales.

So pray for us, friends, pray fervent and hard

Our flesh and the demons are out to bombard

Us every moment—so your prayers do we seek

For our Spirit is willing, but our flesh is so weak.

— I love my wife’s poetry, and you can take that last line as a summary for what we’ve felt has been God’s lesson for us thus far, namely: do NOT rely on your flesh, your own strength, to do anything in Christ’s name. Thank you so much for following us here! I will be updating more often now that we’ve finished the big move and have a consistently language schedule. God bless you!

Categories: linvilles in life, linvilles in prayer | 2 Comments

linvilles in Love with SPECKA

Image

Our temporary home.

It was a beautiful day as we drove onto the campus that was to be our temporary home for the next eight weeks. Our job training began January 21st and ended on the same day in March, a week ago. For these two months we were provided with three meals a day and a cozy little apartment within a house that held three other apartments, and thus, we called these houses “quads.” Our fellow quad mates were incredibly interesting families, all of whom were going to South Asia, and one couple had already worked there as singles and were returning with a 13 month old and a baby on the way!

Everyone we met during training had the most amazing stories and it was exciting to be able to share in this peculiar adventure of relocating elsewhere in the world with others. The knowledge that we were not alone in this transition made the scarier implications a little less frightening.

Thus our training started every weekday at 07:00. Most days we got off work at 15:00 since that’s when the provided childcare ended, and some days one of us would have to stay until 17:00, and a few days one of us would have to work until 20:00, but never later than this.

Our workday consisted of several sessions: the morning session, lunch, 1st evening session, 2nd evening session (and child pick-up), diner, and the occasional night session. During these sessions we learned the intricacies and various exceptions of our company’s policies, their overall expectations of us, and what our expectations should be of them. We were given personality tests (MBTI) and led through team building exercises. We met the company leaders and heard many inspirational stories of both success and failure.

Some sessions were held in a large auditorium with the whole group while other sessions had us split up by destination, age, marital status, number of children etc. and were conducted in smaller amphitheaters.

While it was exciting to learn the finer details of our company, we were much more thankful for the opportunities we had to draw closer to Christ and to each other. Never before had we spent so much time together, even while dating. Hitherto, there was always somewhere one of us had to go, be it work or school. It was such a blessing to get up together to pray, read Scripture, and talk over coffee, only to leave for work together to work together!

It was also very nice for little linville to go to classes designed just for him. His teachers were amazing and there was only one time that he cried after being dropped off and he had good reason to cry after falling and bonking his head on a bench in his mad dash to get to class. Little linville loved having other little people to play along with and he seemed to flourish in the classroom environment. Like Mr. linville, he seems to thrive on social interaction. His teachers went beyond arts and crafts and taught him about flying in airplanes, riding in rickshaws, and introduced him to the animals of South Asia as well.  Little linville learned how to walk in line and how to sleep on his own little cot and how to sit in his own little chair. His teachers often had funny stories to share with us about little linville, for he had a habit of sneaking into the bathroom to play in the water or sneaking out of class to play with the older kids. Nevertheless, despite all his fun, he never failed to run into our arms at the end of the day yelling “mama!” or “papa!” with a big grin on his face. We were so thankful that he loved school so much.

There is no way to share everything that we learned from our training. The practicality of it all was so reassuring, especially for a family that has never traveled internationally. To summarize, let it suffice to say that we have been taught how to survive the trip, how to expect the unexpected, how to avoid most diseases, how to stay relationally and mentally healthy, and how to adopt a foreign country, language, and culture so as to make it our country, our language, and our culture, and therefore, our new home.

For us, as Christians, we also learned something that will greatly help us in the days to come. A loving brother taught us a new way to see the Scriptures using the acrostic: S.P.E.C.K.A. It breaks down like this, as you read the Scriptures you ask yourself: “do I see any sins, any promises, any examples, any commands, or any knowledge, in this passage that I can apply to my life?” In the end, it’s nothing more than a simple way to avoid skimming over Scripture. You will always be more observant when are looking for something than when you are not. There are many more helpful Bible study tools out there, like the inductive method, but this is a simple straightforward tool that we have enjoyed using as a family.

Image

Mr. linville’s grandaddy a month before he went home.

We are so thankful for everyone’s prayers for us during this time of learning and growing. So much has happened in just the past month that it’s hard to think straight. Even now, as I right this, we are driving back from Florida where we were blessed to be able to attend the funeral of Mr. linville’s grandfather who passed away on Sunday. Thank you so much for your prayers! We desperately desperately desperately need your prayers.

For those who have been praying for us to receive our visas, thank you so much. I spoke with the Embassy today, but to no avail. It breaks our hearts to admit this, but it does not seem likely that we will get our passports back in time to depart on Sunday, as scheduled. Nevertheless, we rest in God’s timing and esteem His plan much better than ours, praying, as Christ taught us “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10); and we are empowered by Christ’s words in Matt. 18:19&20 “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Gratefully yours,

in Love

the linvilles

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linvilles in Love with m&ms, Act 2

For Christians, it is important for us to preach the Gospel to ourselves every day. Why not make it a prayer?

…Dear Lord…

“Salvation is transformation, not behavior modification.” – Mr. Linville

What follows is an on going story. Please read these previous posts before continuing if you haven’t already:

The Intro

Act 1

Act 2

Scene 1:

The cat was out of the bag. We had seen Mekhi and Melanie at their worst, and that didn’t bother us at all. We are just as bad, if not worse, so now we might all get to play on the same team. The team that knows we are lost without Christ.

Indeed, we ironically started seeing more of M&M after the night of the fight. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it wasn’t. Regardless, we were glad they knew that we couldn’t judge them; that they could be themselves around us. Eventually, we had them over for dinner, and got to know them a little better formally.

Unfortunately, life sometimes sweeps us away and we get distracted from what’s really important, and this is what happened to me. I stopped checking in on my neighbors. When I finally did after three months, I was embarrassed that I had failed to be there for them. Things were still getting worse, just less drastically so.

Scene 2:

It was July 22nd, twenty one days ago, when I finally caught up with them. I was walking toward the apartment when I noticed Mekhi and another tenant, Darnell, talking together outside the entrance. As I approached, I was tempted to just say “hi,” and continue on my way, but the Lord wouldn’t let me.
I greeted them and stuck around awkwardly, listening and learning. What I learned made my heart sink. M&M’s car had been repossessed with all of their belongings inside due to a recent trip they had just returned from. Mekhi was venting about how it was going to cost him cash he didn’t have to get his own luggage back.

We are just as poor, if not more so, but God was pricking my heart to act. Unsure of how much we could afford to help him out with, I offered to talk to Mrs. linville about it. He seemed hesitant, but after a moment his shoulders drooped and he commented that any help would be appreciated.

Scene 3:

Talking to Mrs. linville about this was…interesting. We began the discussion pessimistically; after all, we are trying to raise support for missions! Every spare dime already has a destination! When we started talking we agreed to give Mekhi half of what he needed, but as we talked more and more, the amount quickly went lower and lower, until suddenly we couldn’t help him at all. God began pricking my heart again; this was wrong. I suggested that we take some time to pray alone and reconvene.

What a difference the Lord makes! When we came back together our hearts had completely changed! Where there was apprehension before, there was conviction after; in the place of stinginess, there was generosity! Fearfulness was replaced with cheerfulness, and frustration with joy! God was giving us the grace to give! But it didn’t end there. After we were settled on giving, the Lord laid another task upon our hearts: we needed to share the gospel.

…To be continued in Act 3
Categories: linvilles in giving, linvilles in prayer, linvilles in sharing the gospel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

linvilles in Love with m&ms, Act 1

What follows is an on going story. Please read this previous post before continuing if you haven’t already:

The Intro

Act 1

Scene 1:

Some people can break one law and have to pay it for the rest of their lives. Some people can break hundreds of laws everyday and just walk away. Mekhi was the latter. Despite getting caught up in a bad way with a rough crowd, Mekhi was able to keep his record relatively clean; clean enough to get a good job as a correctional officer here in Raleigh, NC.  Now he had a good roof over his family’s head and he was bringing home the bacon with a respectable career. Mekhi was even pleased to meet some neighbors who lived around him and, even though they seemed a little weird, he could tell that they were harmless.

Yes, their new home was definitely nothing like Atlanta, but with everything falling into place, being here just felt right; and then it happened.

Scene 2:

Mrs. linville and I were in a dead sleep when we heard it: a blood curdling cry. I opened my eyes to see red and blue lights flashing against the blinds, but no sirens. Another unrestrained scream. It had to be around 1 or 2am. Another long mournful cry. It was coming from the stairwell right beside us. More crying. I heard the static of a police officer’s radio through the wall. Someone was talking to the woman crying. We didn’t know who it was, but we prayed for her. The sobbing erupted into another vocal chord ripping scream that became a cry which ended in a chocked out moan and within the moan we heard words. Horrible words.

“No, no, noooo, no, no, no…”
“Not my baby, NO! Not my baby!”

Another blood curdling cry.

Scene 3:

We couldn’t get any details until 2 days later when I happened to be out in the hall as Mekhi emerged from his Apartment in a daze. He shared with me what happened in broken sentences and random pauses wherein he seemed to see something invisible far away that would steal his attention. Hope was gone. The police investigation concluded that she passed away from S.I.D.S. (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Mid-Sentence he turned and shuffled out the door, still talking.

After sharing this with Mrs. linville and praying, we began to feel from the Lord a powerful compassion to serve them in whatever capacity we could. We made sure to be at Hope’s funeral to reflect His love.

Scene 4:

We learned later that the ordeal had rocked M&M so violently that it cost them their mental stability for several weeks. Having nothing to turn to they sometimes resorted to drowning their sorrows in booze, a pursuit which almost killed Melanie when, crazed, drunk and distraught, she leapt from their car while Mekhi was driving. Although bruised and bleeding, she survived! Mekhi also suffered from a bad emotional roller coaster that alcohol only made worse, leading him and Melanie into several fights that ended violently, something we were totally unaware of until one fight spilled right into our apartment. That was a rough night. The doorbell rang at around 11pm. Our hearts broke when we saw Melanie, trembling and bleeding out of her left eye with Kayla huddled by her side. Mekhi was close behind, bleeding from his arm and yelling. The tension was almost tangible, but God is always greater. We got them separated and spoke with Melanie. After hearing her side of the story I went and spoke with Mekhi. We labored in prayer for them to know His love.

In the end, Melanie threatened to leave Mekhi. He said the right things to convince her to stay; but try as they might to make things right, an even greater challenge awaited.

…To be continued in Act 2

Categories: linvilles in fellowship, linvilles in giving, linvilles in life, linvilles in prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

linvilles in Love with m&ms, the intro

Weight update: oh yeah!

I’ve reached my goal weight!

I thank all those who prayed and supported me!

Tip#1: think first, then eat. Tip#2: embrace the unique pain of muscle soreness. It’s never enjoyable, but it’s a friend.

The past 18 days have been very exciting. We stand in awe of the miraculous power of Christ and his faithfulness in sending to us the Holy Spirit to teach us all things and bring to our remembrance all that Christ has said to us (John 14:26). Time has revealed the purpose for this, and it is because He desires to be loved and worshiped by our neighbors across the hall.

So now without further ado…

The Intro

This beautiful family, the M&Ms, have given me permission to share the following, but to respect their desire for anonymity, their names have been changed:

Mekhi, Melanie, and Kayla found themselves in an entirely new environment as 2011 came to a close. The bright lights of the city of Atlanta had been replaced with the moon’s soft glow; all the buildings they once knew were now swaying trees on every side; and instead of the blaring sound of traffic below they now heard a new-born baby’s cries.

Mekhi needed to get out of Atlanta. He needed a better, safer life for his family, but leaving would be hard. Deep roots held him there: knowledge of the streets, his reputation, easy money–but not fast money. Despite the pressure, Mekhi knew the difference. Unlike many, he could wait for it. Unlike most, he used his brain. But Mekhi enjoyed more than just good common sense. Working numbers was second nature to him and as a teen he was awarded a position in the Future Leaders of America Foundation (the parent foundation of the Washington Scholars Fellowship Program). As a teen, when Mekhi called New York City home, all he wanted to do was ball. Dominating the basketball court was his past time, something that took most by surprise since Mekhi looked more like a lightweight boxer, and to be sure the man could box, but basketball was his first love. In New York he had everything. Life was easy. The future was easy: play ball, get scouted to play for some school, get better and go pro; but that future disappeared overnight. In one day it was all ripped away, but that’s another story. Atlanta was his home now and for him those streets were made of gold.  He could stay and maybe continue to prosper, but then there was death, which was always too close for comfort, and getting closer.

Melanie had to grow up fast. Home was not the easiest place to live, but it was better than being homeless, although sometimes she wondered. If only loyalty and kindness could be cashed in, she’d be rich. Unfortunately, strong character didn’t pay the bills and she had Kayla to care for, so she worked a job like the rest of us, well, maybe not like Mekhi with his streets of gold. It’s likely that Melanie wasn’t fooled by the strut or the swagger when he came waltzing into the gas station while she worked behind the counter. That time she didn’t even notice him, but he noticed her. Eventually, she took a good look and yeah, she liked what she saw. Mekhi wasn’t about to turn down the attention of a woman as beautiful as Melanie, so it probably wasn’t long before they were seeing each other exclusively.

Little Kayla was too young to remember meeting Mekhi, but to his credit he didn’t let the fact that Melanie already had a baby keep him from pursuing her. Mekhi didn’t realize it right away but deep down he was a family man at heart. When he had to make the choice of whether to stay in Atlanta or leave, he left. Melanie and Kayla could survive Atlanta with him, so it was something else that pushed him over the edge, something that meant so much to him that he was willing to give up everything else for it. What was it? It was his baby, Mekhi’s first child: Hope.

It all happened so fast. Life is like that. At first, life just goes on as usual, nothing changes for months, even years, and then everything changes all at once. That’s the way Mekhi’s move to Atlanta was, and the move to Wake Forest, NC was no different. He wanted to be out of the city before Hope arrived and, sure enough, the day he signed the lease for the apartment across the hall from us was the day Hope was born. Mekhi was a family man. His family was safe. He had dodged the bullet, escaped the trap, and put some distance between himself and death, or so he thought.

…To be continued in Act 1

Categories: linvilles in life, linvilles in prayer, linvilles in scripture, linvilles in sharing the gospel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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