The long road home

November 18, 2010
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I sat down in the snow and wrapped my arms around my knees. Why did it have to be so cold at 3 in the afternoon? I shook the thought from my head and pulled my legs in closer, hoping that the warmth would stay inside of the space. A car drove by, honking its horn at me, thinking that I was an idiot, but I did not react. I was use to it by now. I have been traveling for seven weeks along this road to where I think safety will be, but I haven’t seen it yet, and I hope I do soon.

My name is Rebecca Wang and I am a runaway and I am homeless.

When I left, no one even noticed that I was gone until the school called on a Wednesday morning, saying that I didn’t report for home room…Again. My dad got up to go to my room and saw that my window was open, leaving a blanket of snow on the floor and on my bed. This was four days after I left. Why I know this was because I was across the street in the ditch, bandaging a cut from the chain fence I had to climb to leave my neighborhood. My dad was calling my name, worry climbing as he continued to call, but I never answered.

I love my dad and my mom; I never like hurting them like this. Other runaways say that their parents beat them or some other “blame the parent” excuse, but I can’t blame them for this cycle of events. They always protected me from everything that could harm me and they always let me do my own thing, even if they didn’t like it. They acted like real parents, with discipline and love, and I love them for that. But they couldn’t stop what made me turn to the streets, and I think they knew after I left.

Another car drove by, but this time a glass was thrown out the window and hit against the icy ground in front of me, making the glass shatter and hit my bare hands. I cried out in pain and jumped back, blood dripping now into the white snow and leaving a red trail. I took out the roll of bandage and wrapped my hands up until the blood stopped dripping. I packed it back into my bag and started to walk again, knowing that I would freeze soon if I didn’t find a place to eat and sleep soon before sunset.

The reason why I left is something that people never thought of when I lived in town. They thought that running away, especially in the middle of October was kind of stupid, but they couldn’t stop me for doing it. Why I ran away was because I was being threatened with my life for believing what I did by a group of ten kids who ran the school with an iron fist. They told that I was stupid to believe in what I believed in and every time I protested, they gave me a beating that left cuts and bruises all over me, but not in the places that people could see in broad daylight.

Why do they do this, especially to me who does nothing wrong to them? Nothing is bad about my beliefs, but they think I am a pointless being on their earth. Not our earth, but THEIR earth. The earth that they think they can take over and conquer. But I am somehow their only barrier to their plot, so they attack me with everything they have. Words, whipping sticks, books, hands, feet, everything that you can carry in your school bag without bringing up suspicion. They always stood at the doors where I left at and they beat me until I cry out and they run off, leaving me.

I grabbed out a scarf from my bag and wrapped it around my face, feeling warmth run through my cheeks and I smiled. I looked down the road and sighed. Finally, no one was driving down the road, but they were all stopping and gathering into a small building where it looks like it was holding a meeting of some sort, but I didn’t stop. I thought they looked angry and vicious, so I ducked down behind a parked car and pulled out my book, feeling the cracks and wrinkles in the cover and some of the pages out in every direction and felt some warmth enter me. I opened it and started to read.

My book in my hands has been my anchor and blessing since traveling along the roads. Of course I met some that spit on it and threw it out into the busy road, but it never bent to their hate. I always saved it and held it even closer, showing the other deserters that I was being protected by it. Runaways would either start cursing me or the book or they gather around me and let me tell them about the great power behind its words. Some as many as thirty gathered around me and sat in the snow and let me speak about its power and several of them turned from themselves and were reborn.

I enjoyed that feeling when I spoke to those lost. It made me feel good that many can change their ways and some of them ran back home, back into the arms of their loving family. Even if I was doing this for those runaways, I still had my fear for returning home. Many saw their wrong doings and changed, but I still saw others look at me and laugh at me, leading to a beating and an occasional choking. I did not feel sorry for doing what I was doing what I was doing, but sometimes I feel scared because of my book in my hands.

Three months ago, I visited a forgotten building in my town after following a girl running away from a man with a metal pole. She went inside and I took his place, but not to hurt her but to comfort her. As I entered the building, I felt odd warmth from the back of the building and suddenly I heard singing from a small group of people. I ventured in further into the building and noticed a small room where candles were glowing in. I stepped through the cloth barely over the door and saw fifty people sitting on the floor on standing up around a young, American boy with the little girl in his lap, her tears still fresh on her cheeks.

The boy looked up at me and smiled widely. “HI!”

The people on the floor turned around and I began to notice several of them from school and from work. They began to frown, but then they smiled as if they were waiting for me. I took a step back and ran into a boy holding a bag filled with books. The bag spilled out across the floor and I let out a gasp as I realized that he was crying over the fallen books. I helped picked them up and finally read the cover of one of them and the gears of my head started to wind up. This was a secret sermon for Chinese Christians and that the books were the holy bible.

I stood up and looked back at the man who was standing up, the girl’s hand in his. I took a breath and said in the best English that I knew, “So… You preach?”

He nodded. “I am Patrick from the United States. I flew here four weeks ago and have been hiding because of the non followers. Please don’t turn us in; this is our only sanctuary from them. You can join us if you want.”

I looked around the cramp room again and started to think about how much pain they would be in if they were discovered and how much hate they would see if they stood for their belief. I didn’t like the idea that I would have to hide like a thief or traitor, but I felt the boy’s hand on mine and I saw him pass me a book, the one that I have now. His eyes met mine and I saw happiness and peace in his while mine had hate and irritation inside of them.

After I took the book home and read the first thirty pages, I realized that this wasn’t evil; this was something that I needed for my empty soul. I felt warmth and happiness fill my soul when Jesus Christ lived again and I suddenly felt something enter me like a spirit taking over my body, but I was happy. I finally felt that I had something worth fighting for. Something that the world had to know about… The world needed to know about Jesus Christ.

I ran back to the building the next day and I prayed with Patrick, feeling all my worries and sins leaving my shoulders. I cried at it, but Patrick said that Jesus still loves me and that I have taken the first step to receiving God into my life. I was so happy that I decided to start hanging with the others at school, making them my best friends, but making my old friends my enemies and my traitors. Soon after, about a month I joined the group, the band of beaters found me and attacked, noticing that my former friends were in the group.

A horn went off, breaking my mind from the past and the book and saw an elderly couple staring at me with worried looks. I stood up and pushed the book into my bag, scared that they might turn me in for having it. They stared at me for several minutes, making mental notes on my clothes and bloody hands. The women said something in Mandarin, but I could not understand it fully. She took a step around the back of the car and she called out a name I knew by memory and I smiled with happiness.


I jumped around them and ran into the middle of the street where I met the arms of Patrick, my preacher, my pastor. He laughed and swung me around, noticing that I was extremely thin. I wiped away a tear and I said in my poor accent, “Seven weeks… Scared for life.”

“I know. The group was snitched on by a boy who was being paid to infiltrate the group. My assistant, Nik. We were beaten by the people and we ran away four weeks ago. I met your parents and they said that you ran away because of the same thing, but they said that they were happy that you met God.”

He pulled out a phone, my phone actually and pointed to the building. I suddenly saw my parents silently praying in the doorway, not even noticing me. I looked at Patrick and he said, “After you left, they came to the meetings and surrendered to Christ. They have been helping us find homes here and we are now free to bless the world with the gospel of Christ.” He called them and they pulled their heads up and our eyes met. I started to cry and started to run towards them. Mom did the same and we met in the lawn, tears staining our clothes.

This was two days ago. I am now sitting on a bench in front of Patrick with my parents on each side. Our hands are intertwined as we sing in praise for Christ’s birthday. I smiled gently as I rested my head on my Mom’s shoulder and I finally felt happy for being here on the earth. If you would have seen my travels and my face, you would have seen a scared and empty face, but now, you can see the Holy Spirit inside of me again and nothing is scaring me again.

I finally said to the skies, “God… Bless your grace and Thank Jesus for your sacrifice for me.”

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