The Plan

I’m sorting out my things. Boxes of books, old CDs, folders and Christmas cards from distant friends I’ve forgotten. I found this story written on yellow paper from….I don’t remember when… it’s pretty bad writing, but maybe it can be saved. Let me know what you think.

My parents had me by accident. They were missionaries in Bolivia, fresh out of college and waiting for the day when the sky would split open and Jesus would return. For weeks after my mother discovered she was pregnant with me, she felt waves of fear and anxiety. Not because she wasn’t happy, but because it was not in The Plan.

Mum and dad met in College.  They often talked about whether The End might come before they graduated. It could be at any time; the signs were all posted. My father said it was like a countdown for a space flight. “You wait and wait, with everything ready and then someone says Countdown! Then 10, 9,8, right down to blast0ff!”

So here was my mother, with a child on the way, in the jungle, so far from everything. The Plan was to take the message about the coming new world to every tribe on the planet. Some anthropologists had prepared a database of ethnic groups and put it up on a wall at the College.  Colored maps showed the location of some 637 groups that were still in the dark about The End. Fervent speakers said they knew what it would take; they had heard the mission declared a hundred times: “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, every kindred, tongue and people…and then will come The End.” All of which meant: the new world was not coming until the anthropologists had identified every language group in the world, and their locations. and message-filled literature was delivered to them in person.

My parents met at the South American section of the wall map. It’s like a huge upside-down pear, and Bolivia was at eye level for my mum. My dad was trying to pronounce the names, they looked at each other and both said, “Cochabamba” at exactly the same moment, and that was that. Four months later, they were married.

So that’s how it all started. Except I was not in The Plan.



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