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 Episode 23

"Bow to the gods of the land so that you may live, it doesn’t take anything just deny your faith, tell Mandioh that you aren’t a Christian and prove it by proclaiming any god of the land, Venus, who is generally worshiped by women as your god. Once you denounce your faith in the presence of Mandioh and his men, they will let you live, is very simple Tamar, although I féâr for you.."

"Don’t be afrãid for me my lady, there is no other god both in heaven and on earth except Jehovah, he sent his son Jesus Christ to d!e for my sin so that I will not d!e to this world again, he took my cùrsed, my trøublës, my sicknêss and disêåsës, he took my fëär and my pãin to the cross and näiled it all there so that I maybe redeemed from them all. I have no féâr my lady, I don’t, not for Mandioh or his béãst, for greater is he that’s’ in me than he that’s in the world.."

"..There’s a story in the bible, I once told you the story back home, before you got married to Adolfo, about Daniel and the lions…"

"Yes…yes, I still remember that story. His god saved him from the lions…but they are just stories, childhood stories Tamar. I have never heard a man being saved from a lion before, even the once that are ārméd still get k!lled. Those stories are not real Tamar, you told me your father use to tell you and your siblings the stories before he was k!lled, they are just stories to get people’s attention…"

I smile as I replied her

"They are real stories my lady. God proves himself in a thousand ways to his true children, those who trust him and love him. If God allows those lions to k!ll me and feed on me then is fine, it only means my race is done here on earth. since men have to d!e in different ways, well then…mine has being predestined by God not by Mandioh and I will rather d!e fulfilled because of Christ than to deny his name because of dëath and still have to d!e in later years. there are things you will not understand my lady but I pray this day that God will visit you soon, and heal your heart from doubt and he will lead you to the light so that you may come to know him and understand why I can’t substitute God for anything in this world…"

"I wish this god you boldly speak of is real, I wish you have not turn down Vim’s proposal, he would have saved you, I wish I can exchange you for Shamara, allow them to take only Shamara and leave you for me because you are a great help to me, I wish I never come across Okra, when you spoke the other day, you made me to think deep and to realize the kind of person she is. You are more than a friend to me than Okra will ever be, I’m sorry I caused all this, I so much wish I can undo my mistâkes. Now, you have to be k!lled by those ūgly béãst because of me, I …I can’t even tell Vim or go to mother and father, I can’t even tell Chakan, Vim will not care if you live or d!e, Father and mother are getting old and I don’t want to cause more trouble for them and that maybe exposing Abel too. Chakan may håte me if he knows, and Adolfo who could have helped, I can’t even face him after how I treated him. I have begged you to deny your god in their presence, just for that time, when you come back you can continue serving him within this walls, no one will know, but just proclaim the gods of the land as your god and you will be saved Tamar. Mandioh is a very powerful man, Vim would have saved you from him because he respects Vim, but Vim has turned his back on you, you have to save yourself Tamar… please…"

"Quit worrying about me, I’m glad, so glad you are beginning to see the kind of person Okra is and to stay away from her, because a day will come and she will ask you to poison and kill your husband.."

"Well, she once did and that was when I was still married to Adolfo, she said if I have to be free from him I have to k!ll him by putting po!son in his meal little by little, so that when he eventually d!es, it will look like a natural dèãth. But I couldn’t, I try to think about it and felt cold all over, I couldn’t even speak of it to anyone, I was so scared, even though I don’t want Adolfo but I don’t want him déãd and when she brought the po!son I collected it, waiting to summon courage to do it but I just couldn’t. I threw the po!sonous substance away. I really felt gu!lty that I have to k!ll the child I had for him. Okra said it was better I don’t look at the child so that I won’t have regrëts but even though I didn’t look at the face of the child, I still feel so bad anytime I remember that I gave birth to a healthy baby and ask you to go and dispøse him..."

"...Is sád, even though the marriage has being void of love but Adolfo would have being so happy to have a son, I would have being so glad to watch my boy grow, it will delight me greatly. I regrët those deeds. it sit heavily in my heart, i would have done another if not that you speak some senses into me. I’m blessed to have you and is very sád you have to go this way. I wish I can save you from Mandioh but I can’t. I wish you can just save yourself and tell Mandioh that Venus is your god and I will back you up as a witness, you will just tell him that you are not a Christian and you don’t serve the Christian god, just say it out loud and act like you mean it and they will free you…"

As me and Zity speak inside her chamber, Chakan was out, a message came from a slave that Mandioh’s men where outside waiting for me and Okra was with them, they also have Shamara already. I stood up and step out with Zity who was still pleading to me to dény my God so that I will live, but I ignored her. now is not a time for too much word is a time to silently pray to God to intervene in anyway that pleases him, let his will be done but I will never ever dény god, because even the life I live is not mine it belongs to God. if God can save me from the wār after all my family members were wipéd off, if God can save me from dy!ng in the desert, after a long walk or in the sea even after shipwréck. 

He has saved me too much already, from the brutal!ty of men and from sicknêss and diséásës he will also save me now, but if is his will for me to go, for me to kiss the earth goodbye then so be it, I will join mother, father, Joe, Kath and Deb, but in all of this I am glad I live on this earth. 

I know I will miss Abel, oh, my own dearest Abel, who has foretold things like this will happen, he has tried to build me up for a time as this and he really did a great job, I am what I am because God sent Abel on my way.

I’m glad, so glad I came to know him. I will also miss lady Zity, Rhonda, Adolfo and Eura, even the merchant who I plan to show the light, I will miss lord Reese and lady Phin, I will miss the twins and little Jon. Zity will never get to know her little boy is alive, Adolfo will never know he has a son, the merchant who desired children will never know he has beautiful twin girls somewhere.

Is sad what is hidden will remain hidden, Rhonda is a great mother and the children the Lord gave her will be hers to keep. I wish Zity has come to know the true god and also her parents, I know even if I’m not there Abel will take charge, but Abel has said my work is greater than his, he was only there to guide me through.

 when I’m gone, Abel will take up the wheel fully by bringing the master and mistress to christ, I know Adolfo will be converted by Eura, he was already on his way to doing that, Eura will do the remaining job.

I have try not to think of Vim but he is always in my thought, is pa!nful how much I still love him even after all of this. I pray one day his heart will be soften and he will come to understand why I couldn’t marry him, is not because I’m stup!d, having all the beautiful things of this life presented to me in a platter of gold and I turned him down, bru!sing his pride, his ego, and making him look stup!d.

 He will not understand now and I know he hātes me for rêjécting his proposal, I just pray someday he will come to understand why I have to do it all. And it was worth it.

Jesus is the center of my life, all that’s good and perfect comes from him, I can deny the world for him, because there’s no life without him, he hold my breath, for in him I live and move, in him I have my being.

I saw Shamara crying in agøny, she was pleading to Zity and to the men but non pays her attention, I turned to Zity to plead on her behalf but she still refused and said let Mandion do whatever he desires with her, she can’t have her under her roof.

Zity said I should be more worried about myself than Shamara, that I’m innocent, my only sin is worshiping a forbidding god which if I deny him before Mandioh, he will let me go, but Shamara is gu!lty, she will serve as a lesson to other maiden that will want to sédüce their mistress husband or agree to lay with their married masters.

 I told lady Zity that Chakan is equally gu!lty, why must Shamara suffer alone just because she is a slave, Zity ignored my plea, my heart melt right there as I watch Shamara wéép.

Okra stood like a winner at one end, smiling as if she has won a jackpot. I moved closer to her as Mandioh’s men put me in cha!ns, I wanted to say few things to Okra.

"So many years ago, a tiny slave girl was brought to you by your husband, her head was shaved but covered with a turban, and when you saw her, you rêjéctëd her and cúrsed your husband for buying such slave, you said she has an aura, like a strange presence around her and you don’t feel comfortable, and she looks like she will drop déãd any moment. the slave was taken away within a second of your outrâge, do you remember that inc!dent.. Yeah, you do offcourse. Well, I’m still that same slave, I did not drop déãd, instead I grew strong, and even stronger in the Lord my God, and I keep waxing stronger even now, not even face to face with dèãth will weaken me..."

"... Repent before is too late, ask God to forgive your sins, God is just and ready to forgive, even though your sins is like scarlet, they shall be white as snow, though they maybe red as crimson, they shall be as wool. Tomorrow maybe too late my lady, turn from your ev!l ways and embrace light. The children you bore and threw away are safe in God’s care, repent and have this peace you yawn for, stop allowing the dev!l to use you to dëstrøy lives, instead be a good agent for Christ and you will find yourself doing more good than ev!l, may the Lord have mercy on you…" I said confidently to Okra, who stood watching me

She began calling on the guards.

"Come and take this termite away from here, in few hours from now she will be gone and forgotten. Listen slave, you will become food, the animals will chéw you raw. looking at you, you are not even a good food to those lions, just a mouth full and they will chéw you up, swallow and still want more. you will also serve as a lesson to those that crosses me, and to those who believe in a forb!ddén god, your life could have being save if you have rejected your so called god, but no, Christians are the most useless and stubborn people I have ever known, worshiping a god who they can not see or touch, and even ready to d!e for him with the hope he will save them, at the end nothing happens, they all d!e. may your hopeless soul rest peacefully in the lion’s belle… I will so much enjoy watching the lion chew you like some pieces of meat. oh! I just have an idea, I will send a message to Vim to come and watch too, he will be so glad and will even thank me for sending you to Madioh.."

 "..Maybe from there Vim will like me and we may become friends, hahahaha! while you rot away, I will keep blossoming. to héll with you and your god, I never liked you then, when my so called husband bought you and I saw you I hāted your presence, I never knew you are the one all this while, serving Zity. I håte you even more now, now I understand why I disl!ked you with passion.."

 "..Get away from me ev!l térmite, when you manage to look up from the béãst den you will see me and Vim laughing together at you with our glass of wine in hand. Nobody can save you not even your useless god…"

I was taken away in cha!ns by the soldiers, Shamara never stopped cry!ng.

 They put us into an open chariot and moved us down to Mandioh, it was a very long ride. On getting to mandioh’s big gate there were few crowd all around, some where throwing pebbles, stones and rottén fruits at me, some where cursing and making fun of me and how I will be consumed and my god can not save me.

 when we got inside Mandioh’s cell quarters, I was locked with Shamara inside the same cell.

And I held her in the dark cell, trying to comfort her and to stop her sád wéép.

 I began to tell her about the only one that can save us, there's no other except Jesus. She became quiet as she listened to me talk about God.


 Episode 24

Right there at the cell Shamara accepted Christ, she proclaimed Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and saviour and was no more afraid of death.

I was so glad.

And when we were called out after being in the cell for two days,

Mandioh stood there in a blue rob designed with gold, he was older than Adolfo.

His pot belle was protruding out like that of a pregnant woman, he was a very short man but speaks of wealth and commands respect.

He sat on his big carved lion's head, and was surrounded with lion art work all around him.

 He calls himself a lion god.

 people surrounded him, I can see Okra sitting at a far end, her face filled with smile, I told Shamara not to say a word I will speak for two of us and she agreed.

 Mandioh looked at us then back at Okra

"Okra, this ones will not do much for my lions, especially this skinny one, she doesn’t even have curves like the other one and no much flesh on her skin like her second. Okra with the amount I paid you to fetch her out, I was actually expecting something that will serve as dinner for my lions, this ones won’t do.. I want to confirm again, you said Vim washed his hand off the slim one, I don’t want Lord Reese son’s trouble, that young man is filled with trouble…are you very sure Okra"

"Yes Mandioh.. I'm very sure. Vim said he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her, he boldly declared it that her god can have her. The amount you paid me will also encourage me in fishing out the rest of the other infidels, those who worship strange god in our kingdom. this slim one, they call her termite, she is the stubbørn one. There is no need of wasting your time with her, her mistress even tried to make her denounce her god, but the fool!sh girl refused, she is ready to d!e for a usëléss god. she is a fanatic…but Vim made it very clear to the sister, Zity that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her. Zity told me so herself. this termite of a girl turned down his marriage proposal, which I’m so grateful to the gods that Vim, a royalty did not end up with this abom!nable looking thing…"

"hahahah, good then! I’m glad to know that Vim doesn’t want her, is a relief because I don’t want any trouble from the second prime ruler’s son, they have power on their shoulder and I have built a good relationship with Vim so I don’t want anything that will stain it. you called her termite, is that her real name? Why of all the whole beautiful and outstanding maiden of the soil, both royalty and normal born… what exactly did Vim see in this one or he was probably joking when he threw the marriage proposal to her, I still can’t understand.."

Mandioh turned to me and began asking me questions.

"...Young lady what is your name and the name of your second…"?

"Tarmar, my lord and this is Shamara…" I said calmly

"Tamar! Okra you are right, the name sound like termite…."

There was outburst of laughter everywhere. The few people gathered just kept laughing as Mandioh called me a termite.

He continued asking me questions after a long laughter

"..So Tar…mite or whatever your name is, is it true you are a Christian? Tell me, what god do you worship…?

"The one true God, who through his son Jesus Christ I have being saved. I am a Christian" I declared boldly.

There was murmuring everywhere and Mandioh ask everyone to remain silent.

 He asked me again and I answered boldly to the same thing.

 He asked Shamara and she also answered affirmatively, she was trying to be bold but I can see fear in her eyes as she answered Mandioh. she was determined yet féâr clouded her.

 I whispered to her, that she has a choice to live if she still want to denounce Christ, I am not forcing her to believe.

 it has to be a personal choice, she may not return to Zity but she will be sold as a temple slave or to another household, with that she will have her life, she shakes her head and said she is not a foøl, she knows what she wants and she really will not deny God just like me, even in dèãth, then I encouraged her not to be afraid.

As there was a silent murmur and Mandioh was given us chance to have a change of mind but I turned to him and told him we won’t change our mind for anything.

"Do you know who you are standing before? If you really know who I am, if you really understand that I am the god of lions, you will quickly have a change of mind. this is no joke, I will ask you two more times, I'm giving you another chance to change your mind and live, a chance to walk away from here alive, because you are not even enough food to my beast. Which god do you serve…Tar…mar…"

"The one true God, who has saved me through his son Jesus Christ, I serve the living God, not the gods of this land, made and carved by men. For the people who made them are just like them, they have mouth but can not speak, eyes but can not see. I am not afraid of you or your beast. I may sound foolish to you but not to my God, no other God in heaven or on earth except Jehovah, my defender.."

I turned to the crowd and said to them.

"...Everyone listen, please listen to me even if is this once, turn from your ways and embrace Christ, he is just and ready to forgive and save you, he loves you more than you can ever imagine. tomorrow maybe too late, change from your idol worship and come to the light, I am not afraid of death because I know who is with me, you can’t see him with your visible eyes, he is right here and is beckoning on you all to come to him, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and he will give you rest. take his yoke upon you and lean on him, for he is meek and lowly at heart and you shall find rest unto your souls, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light…"

I declared boldly but they all began to laugh

"hahahaha, this slave is really foolish. Okra you are right when you say she is a stubborn one, this is a total madness. well, let her invisible defender help her."

Mandioh said.

He turned to his guards and said

"... guards take her and her second to the den, let’s watch my beast chew them raw. It will be fun to watch.."

The guards pushed us as the few crowd cheers on, I can hear Okra’s laughter, she shouted at me as I walk pass her.

"Termite, I have sent message to Vim through one of Mandioh’s boys, before the lions eat you all Vim will be here to cheer along with us, he will soon arrive. No god can save you, I'm sure that even your so called god will be laughing at your foolishness. I sweär to you with every god of this land that you will die today and you will be forgotten like every Christian eaten away by those lions…"

When we got to the front of the Lion's den, there was a lifter tray that will send us down below to the under ground, into the den. 

We were asked to walk into the awaiting tray and we obediently did.

I wasn’t listening to the cheering crowd I was silently praying for them because they have being brainwashed and deceived.

The whole cave suddenly began to open up wider out of sudden, somebody was opening it wide so that everyone can see how the lion will eat us up.

I look up at them, they were cheering as they look down at us as the tray lifter slowly took us below.

Shamara shut her eyes as she kept muttering “God please have mercy and save us, I’m afraid to die….please save us…"

 I breathed deeply.

As I looked down I saw the ūgly mighty lions, three of them. they moved all round their cage.

 as the lifter was gradually taking us down, the lions were eager to have their meal as they jump around waiting anxiously, anticipating.

They made a terrifying noise that got my whole body covered with goose bomb.

 Shamara shakes as she held onto me.

Mandioh shout down below to us

"Have you changed your mind yet, one lucky chance again for you to be lifted out before you get to the mouth of the lion. You've seen how huge those lion's are, two seconds and they will téar your meat into pieces. I guess you have changed your mind, who do you serve? the gods of this land or the Christian god…? Mandioh asked, his voice was mixed with laughter.

I shouted back to him, I was very loud so that the crowd can also hear me clearly.

"May the gods of this land burn to ashes! I serve the one true God, Jehovah Rohi, which means Jehovah my shepherd, he alone is God, there is no other.

 Not even death can make me turn away from him. for though he allows me to be wounded, he will also bandage me up, if he allows me to be strike, his hand will also heals, but even in death he will always be my God. For in him I have my being.."

"Alright then, may your soul rest peaceful in the belle of the béãst, stup!d and fool!sh slave. Remember is your stubbornness and pride that k!lled you because you had a chance to live but refused instead you chose dèãth.."

I turned to a troubled Shamara and told her not to be afraid, she should stand beside me and when we got to the den she should follow my every move so that dèãth won’t feel so pa!nful.

 Once the lion is done tearing me apart and that’s if God allows them, then she should just breath in and spread out her hands so that when they come at her she will not feel too much pa!n, it will be so quick and they will be done with us.

But that's only possible if the God of heaven and earth permit it.

 But I wasn’t afrãid anymore, I have felt féâr all over me as I saw the might beast walking around in expectant since they know that food was coming down for them and the noise from the people cheering at the lions make them so eager to feed on us.

 I have felt cold and féâr and it quickly left me when I thought of God.

then I started saying psalms 91. I kept saying psalms upon psalms, I said Psalm 91 repeatedly and then psalm 23.

I started shouting psalm 91 out loud, the few that came to my head, I shout it so that the people can hear.

 As we were lowered to the den, I can see human bønes and skulls scattered everywhere, they were at every corner, all the people the lions has eaten in the past.

This place was terr!fying

Shamara clinged onto me as she shakes all over.

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