129. Shabola goes to heaven
(sound of a hammer pounding)
Father: "Shabola, you did that very well."
Shabola: "I bet that gives you sore muscles. Ouch! Ouch! That was my foot."
Father: "You can’t even hold the hammer anymore. Rest a bit and then you can stomp to make the dirt firm."
Shabola sat down in the shade. In the distance he heard the cry of a monkey. His father continued to build the huts in the jungle in South Africa. Would they be as nice as the ones in the missionary school in the village?
Father: "Get to work again, Shabola."
It was fun to help father, but he liked going to school even better.
The next morning, after eating his breakfast of cornmeal and peanut butter, he left for school. He liked Umfundis, the Zimbabwe name for 'teacher'. All the children liked her. What Shabola like the best was his religion class. There the young boy with the black kinky hair listened especially well.
Teacher: "A small, wild sheep ran away and got lost. The shepherd left the rest of the herd alone and went looking for the lost sheep until he found it. He pulled it out of the thorns and carried it in his arms back home. The Lord Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He came to the earth from heaven in order to seek those who are lost."
Shabola: "Umfundis, I’m also a lost sheep. Is Jesus looking for me, too?"
Teacher: "Yes, he is looking for you because He loves you. You can tell Him when you want to belong to Him."
One day, Shabola was missing in class. He wanted to get out of bed that morning, but he had a fever and was so dizzy.
Mother: "Shabola, you have a high fever. I’m going to get the witch doctor."
Shabola (in a weak voice): "He can’t help me."
Shabola was very sick and could hardly talk. On Sunday, his teacher visited him.
Teacher: "Shabola, you are very sick. Are you ready to die if it’s time?"
Shabola: "The Lord Jesus is my Good Shepherd. Soon He’s going to take me to heaven."
Shabola closed his eyes and didn’t open them ever again.
At his funeral, Umfundis told the story about the Good Shepherd.
Suddenly his father knelt down next to the small casket and prayed.
Father: "Lord Jesus, now Shabola is with You. He is doing wonderfully there. I also want to belong to You. Forgive me my sin and be my Good Shepherd. Amen. Umfundis, I’m not as sad anymore because I know that I’ll see Shabola in heaven again someday."
People: Narrator, father, mother, Shabola, teacher
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