TWENTY EIGHT

EBENEZER grew after his father’s nature. His look, his feelings, his voice, and his life in general, all represented his lost father in every way. He developed his faith from his nursery classes, through his primary education.

Will he become a counselor, who counsels until he cancels?

Will he become a cunning Jacob, like his father Joseph?

“See how far I have come oh God! See how far you have brought me. You have saved me from trouble. You have made me stronger through challenges. You have made me courageous through trial and error, hardships and troubles.” Kiden spoke her heart to God.

Kiden’s faith has built up once again after some time of confusion. She was able to pay the school fees for her son, Ebenezer. Was it by chance? Was it God’s provision?

“How many marks did you scored today for mathematics, Ebenezer, my only son?”

“I got 54 marks, mother!”

“And how many marks for Social Studies?”

“I got 44.” “And English?”

“For English, I got 60.”

“What about Science?”

“Science, I got 75 marks out of 100.”

Okay, great achievements, my only son. You’re my only begotten son in this world, just like Jesus. Jesus was the only begotten son to his Father.

“How many marks did you get for CRE?”

“I got 100/100 marks for CRE, mother!”

“What? Have you cheated? How come you get that highest mark in class, my son?”

“It’s because I did my best in class. I got the marks because I did well. In fact this is my favorite subject of all times. I love Christian Religious Education.”

“Really? Why?”

“I just love it the way it is.”

“But, can you explain why you love the subject, Ebenezer?”

“Yes. I love it because there’s nothing important to study in this world apart from the Creator of heaven and earth. Life is meaningless without God, the beginner of everything. For this reason, any study of God and his will for the world is above all else. You get me, mother?”

“Yes, my son, I think I heard you. Do you want to become a pastor in the future?”

“I don’t know if I will be a pastor. Many people, even my classmates already call me that name. But, do people study theology in order to become pastors? Do they study the Word of God to become ministers? Can I still study CRE and do something else instead of being a religious leader? I do have many questions for those who ask me the same questions, but it seems many of them don’t have answers. What did you study in school, mother?”

“Well, what you study is what you become in the future. At least this is what comes to mind when you tell people about what you are studying. You can also become anything you want to become in life. I can’t dictate what you will become because only God and you know what you will be. I have not completed my schooling, but I was thinking of being a medical doctor.”

“Mother, you can still become what you dreamt to be, if you only want to. You can still become the best medical doctor in South Sudan. You see, education has nothing to do with age. Reading and writing are things to be done by everyone. You’re young!” he spoke out.

“Like father, like son! How can he lecture me? Anyway, what he says sounds true. I have to listen to him. He tells the truth, just like his father used to do in those days.” Kiden spoke to her heart.

“So, tell me from your heart why you want to study the Bible? There’re so many people studying this thing in Juba, not South Sudan as a country. I think it will be too much for so many people to study the same thing. What do you think?”

“Well, I think it depends on what I want to study, not what others are saying. I want to study this because it’s part of who I am. It’s part of my life. I simply love God and his works. You can see his works in the sky above. You can fall in love with his nature!” “Okay, so you love God? But does God love you the way you love him? How do you know God loves you in that age of yours? Did your teacher tell you these things and you believe in him?”

“Mother; God is what you know from your heart, not what someone tells you about. I know God from inside. Nobody told me all that I am sharing with you apart from God himself. He reveals himself to us through nature and also in his Word. His Word is both written and living.”

“Ebenezer! You sound to be a natural theologian. You were born with this knowledge. How do you know about these theological thoughts, my son?”

“I have already told you, mother. You know where I got this knowledge and wisdom from. God is my teacher. God the Holy Spirit is my best teacher. I normally tell my teachers, I have a better teacher!”

“Shut up! Never tell them such things again, understood? Don’t boast about your abilities, either with your teachers or fellow students. This is bad because it means you are boasting on what God has done in your life. I love you so much, my only son?”

“Why do you say that, mother? Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. I am not qualified to be called by that name. Do you think you will not give birth to other sons after me?”

“My son; I can’t get married to another man apart from your father. If he doesn’t appear from hiding, I will stay like this until you dig my resting place. I can’t see any other man like your father. For this reason, you’re the only son I know for now. You’re my all in all. You’re my best!”

“I thought Jesus is everything, not me or my father. He is your all in all. You even told me this was the son you used to sing in this days, isn’t it?”

“Anyway, you’re so supernatural, my son. I can’t dispute your arguments. This means you are on the right track as young as you are. May God bless and keep you. God may add more knowledge to you and wisdom. You may reach the world for him and his message of love.”

“Amen! Thank you, mother for the words of blessings. I know God has heard your words more clearly, and what you have just said will surely come to pass before your very own eyes. God bless you too for believing in Him and His Word.”

Brilliant boy!

He knew all these things?

Like father, like son!

Kiden has a determination and purpose. She decided to follow her choice for life. But life still demanded answers to its greatest questions.

Will her son be the person she thinks he will become?

Will he do what his father did when time comes?

Imaginations.

Nothing else but pure imaginations. Ebenezer as he said, can become whatever he dreamt to be in life. His dreams can only fully be realized when they come to pass. It is nature, God and him who know exactly what he wants. But do we always get what we want in life or some sort of supernatural beings have to decide on the final end of everything? Can we be able to tell the future with definite precision?

“I have no idea what I will be after I become an adult!” said Junior, Ebenezer’s classmate, a taller boy who looked older than he was. “But, what do you mean, Junior? You don’t know what you will become in the future? Then why are you in school?”

“My friend, I have to tell you the truth walai. I have no single idea of what I will become in the future. I am in school to find out about it. Do you know who you will be?”

“Yes! I know I will be a mentor of many. I will be a life coach for many people, locally, nationally and internationally. I will be a spiritual trained. I will encourage others to stay on the right track.”

“Ebenezer, what do you mean by helping people to stay on the right track in life? Even you yourself, do you think you will always stay on the right track?”

“It depends on how you have understood me. What do you think then when I said, ‘stay on the right track’? I mean, what came to your mind?”

“I thought of living a kind of life without mistakes or sins frankly speaking, Ebenezer. But there is none like this in this world. There is no one to help others stay sinless in this sinful world. So what do you mean then? Let me know clearly. Maybe I didn’t get you right?” “I didn’t say I will stop others from sinning. But I did say that I will be a coach to them when they need me. I will be their helper when they need help. I will be their trainer when they need training. I will encourage them to go on with life.”

“Okay. I see your points. But do you think your mere encouragement will improve their lives in any possible ways? Do you think what you merely tell them is important? Don’t they already know about the fact that they have to go on with life as it is? What will be new to them according to your perspective?”

“Listen, Junior. You’re not senior yet, are you? I think we should leave alone some of these thoughts. You know how our teacher talks about me, calling me a bastard? Do you remember when he charged me of being older in the brain? I know that I think far beyond my age mates. I do have more understanding than my teachers.”

“I think Junior was right. He wants to know what you mean by those crazy terms. You sometimes speak like if you don’t live in this world. You speak as if you know everything from the past, present and future. How can you say that you have more understanding than your teachers? You don’t even do well in mathematics, so what understanding are you talking about?”

“I know that you guys can’t catch what I am trying to say. This doesn’t mean you don’t think well, or that I am older than you. I am only turning nine next month, and you guys are eleven years old or twelve. Yet, I have to tell the truth. The truth is that I have an inner teacher—Holy Spirit!” “Okay. So, you know a lot of things? Then why are you in school? Of course anyone who knows all things doesn’t have to go to school because what use will it be to be in school?” Agany, his classmate spoke up at last.

“Let’s leave that topic for now, my friends. You can’t stop arguing over these things though I know exactly what I am trying to say. I can’t make you understand what I say. You all fight your ways to make me understand you. I do understand your points, but do you also understand mine?”

“Yes, we do. Why not? We do understand you, but do you understand us anyway? We’re simply saying that you’re just like any of us, so how can you claim to know things we don’t know? If it’s because of age, we’re older than you!” Kun spoke up.

“Oh, I heard that your father was a religious man, wasn’t he? But where’s he by the way? Do you even know how your father looks like? Have you ever seen him? Do you have his photos at home?” asked his classmate, Omot.

“Are you not speaking anything at last?” asked Nyalith, his friend from a different class. Joseph’s son seemed to be confused for a while. He can’t tell them where his father was, since he didn’t know. If his mother can’t tell him the whole story, where can he get the right information anyway?

Like father, like son. This was Ebenezer, a biblical name, given by a single parent, a mother. Was his mother a widow? Was he really a bastard as his age mates used to call him? Could this affect his life either positively or negatively?

We can draw all kinds of conclusions for sure. Joseph was being represented at home as well as at school by his own biological son. Will he come one day to claim him? Will he finally get married to his beloved girlfriend at the end of the story?

“I don’t know for sure where my father is right now. My mother can’t even tell me where he went. Is he really alive? Where is he then? Why is he not coming to see us for one day? I don’t even know myself anymore! Are my friends right when they think I am crazy?”

Ebenezer could reason and ask such questions to himself, not to anyone else. He spoke to his own heart, and maybe to God. His faith in the God of his father and mother sometimes subsides a lot when challenges come his way. His friends challenged him almost each and every day.

But, did he have any part, any role in this? Was he responsible for his conception in the first place? Was it not God’s plan for him to be born to his parents? Can he learn anything at all from such as a life like his own? What can he tell his friends about his lessons in life?

His friends thought he was crazy, so were they right in their thinking? Because Ebenezer loves to sit alone sometimes and think much about his bright future, he was suspected of being depressed by most of his friends at school. Ebenezer could take some minutes or hours to sit alone and think. His thoughts were filled by future adventures. He wanted to be a great man in his country, in Africa and the world at large. He wanted to be remembered even long after his death. But what did he really want to do in his life on earth? Was he thinking to be a priest, a pastor or just a God-lover?

Was he able to visualize his future from those early days? Because he was an extrovert, he was known by many friends, even those who were much older than himself. He could make friends so easily, but this exposed him to some very dangerous decisions sometimes. He could make mistakes, hurting his new friends in the long run without his knowledge.

Rational thinkers like Smartphone, are not always smart. They can’t really comprehend everything in life. They can’t tell what tomorrow will bring, even if they claim to know who holds the future.

Like any other country in the world, South Sudan was not free from corruption, nepotism, tribalism, hate speech, greed and all that others call evil.

Born in poverty and troubles, Ebenezer has a story to tell. He knows what it means to be born to a single parent. He knows how hard it was to be brought up by a mother as a boy child without any sign of a father at home. This was part of his journey—his story.

Will he complete his journey without his father? Will he complete his education? Who will pay his school fees? Will his mother be able to carry on her motherly duties without a husband of her own, parents and relatives?