The Mysterious Package:
Sometimes life brings
unexpected blessings in strange packages, but no one would’ve ever thought that
it could happen in the deepest part of Kenya! Such is the case in my life. In
fact, it was a large green and blue box to be exact. Jambo (hello)! My name is
Imani. I am fifteen years old. I am the last born daughter of Chief Tau. This
is my story.
The day started out like any other day. My father was still
sick; my mother was still crying; my older siblings were still doing the easy, more
important chores; and I was still doing the hard, unimportant chores. My mother
always told me that my chores were the most important, but I knew they weren’t.
Today, I had to walk four miles to get muddy water from the stinky, old well.
on my way to the well, I met the strangest woman. Her skin was very light,
almost like a pale white cloud. She had flowing hair that glistened like grain.
Her eyes were as blue as the sky, and her lips were like the red ice flowers my
mother planted. She was wearing a long white skirt, a green collared shirt with
a strange looking book on it, and she had a dangling white tree-like symbol
hanging from her neck.
noticed me studying her and waved for me to come over. I slowly inched towards
she exclaimed. I was shocked that she spoke my language!
was staring at a very large package that was wrapped in green and blue paper.
is it?” I asked her.
don’t know,” she replied, “but it is for a young girl named Imani. Do you know
was talking about me! How did she know my name?
am Imani,” I said.
she pushed the package towards my feet.
package comes with very important instructions,” she explained. “It cannot be
opened until we meet again. I must be on my way now. God bless!” With that, she
quickly disappeared into the wilderness.
stumbled home, carrying – and dragging — the giant package with me. When I got
home I showed my mother the package.
it!” she exclaimed.
mother. I mustn’t,” I respectfully disagreed. “The woman told me I must wait
until we meet again.”
years went by, and I had not seen that mysterious woman. A famine struck my
village. It was very hard. We lost everything. We had no more food, no more
cattle, no more water, and no more flowers. The little we had left, a
neighboring village raided! If that were not enough, our village was struck
with a deadly disease. My father, four of my siblings, and many of my friends
died from the horrible plague. In my despair and anguish, I ran out into the
wilderness, collapsed on the ground, and sobbed. Why was this happening? Why
was my life ruined?
days later, I turned fourteen. There was nothing to celebrate. There was
nothing worth living for. Fourteen might as well have been a hundred. To die
would at least bring relief.
day I gazed at the package in the corner of the hut. What was in it? Why should
I even bother with it? I went to sleep that night determined to open the
package the next day.
the sun rose early the next morning, it brought the sound of laughter and music
with it. What was this? Was I dreaming?
sat up and peered out the opening of my room. There was a large assembly of
joyful, singing children running and dancing around a group of light-skinned
people. In the middle of the group, I saw her. The strange woman! I jumped up,
and raced out the front door.
Jambo!” I shouted, waving my arms as I approached her.
my dear,” she said. “What is it? What’s wrong?” She stared at me with
is I, Imani,” I explained. “You gave me that strange package many years ago.”
lips quivered, and a few glittery tears rolled down her cheeks.
cannot believe this,” she said. “My dear, where is the package?”
will get it from my hut!” I exclaimed, racing to the hut as quickly as my feet
could carry me.
set the package down at the woman’s feet. She motioned for me to help her.
Together we tore open the box. Inside, were peculiar long tubes, cans with
fruit pictured on them, flower and vegetable seeds, blankets, clothes, toys, and
a box with an odd red symbol on it. There were even books that matched the
strange book pictured on her shirt.
is all of this?” I asked.
is a gift,” she said. “My dearest friend told me your name specifically. He
said you would need it. So I did what he said. You see, we are missionaries. We
bring gifts to people all over the world, and we introduce them to our dearest
friend who supplies all of the things we give away.”
held up one of the long tubes.
a drinking straw,” the woman said, almost reading my mind. “You can put the end
of it into any kind of water—the dirtiest water even—and it will make clean
water come out the other end!” She held up the box with the red symbol. “This
is a first aid kit. If you get hurt, it has bandages in it and healing ointment
to help you not get sick with infections.”
is this friend of yours that can give such precious gifts away for nothing?” I
asked, completely puzzled.
is in this book,” she said, pulling out one of the strange books from the box.
“This is called the Holy Bible. And my friend’s name is Jesus.”
I wondered aloud. “How does he fit into such a little book?”
you read this book,” she explained, “he will make himself known to you. Then,
he will be as real as you and me. You will understand more when we study this
very special book together.”
day was the first day of the rest of my life. Soon, Jesus became my very best
friend, and I shared him with everyone I met. The mysterious package, that
strange woman, and my friend Jesus forever changed my life! The rains came, the
food and cattle were restored, and a radiant light shined from within my
village for all to see. That is not the end of my story, though. Oh no. It is
just the beginning…