Beyond The Grave

By Terri Lee

Summary

The story opens with three student victims in a Christian School bombing. It attempts to show Godís hand at work in all situations and circumstances, and visits Christian role models from the past.

Characters

Rae, CC, Saki Ė (can be male or female- parts are written female, adjust accordingly)
Blandina- Female
Cassie- Female
Rachel Scott- Female
Ayako (eye yah coe)- Female
Nagano (nah gah noh)- Male
Angel- (can be male or female - part is written female)
Pastor
Raeís Mother ĖFemale (If needed Mother and friend can be father and friend)
Motherís Friend- Female

Script

Scene One

(LOUD EXPLOSION- LIGHTS FLASH ON AND OFF BRIEFLY)

(Three children (CC, Rae, and Saki) are lying on the ground. The room is dark, except for small lights on the kids. Slowly, groaning , Rae and CC start to move around. They both sit up and begin questioning each other.)

Rae: What happened? Where are we?

CC: I donít know, I canít remember. I feel okay, though.

Rae: Where is Saki? She was with us, I remember that. Look, CC over there (THEY BOTH CRAWL OVER TO SAKI BEGIN SHAKING HER)... Is she hurt?

CC: Saki, Saki, wake up..

Rae: Donít shake her to hard you might hurt her. (Rae moves hair out of Sakiís face, gently pats her cheek) Saki, can you hear us? (Pauses, looks up at CC) CC, Iím kind of scared. I mean where are we. Whatís going on.

CC: I donít know. I think I remem... Look! I think sheís waking up.

(SAKI, slowly opens her eyes. Rubs her head, and then sits up a little.)

Saki: What happened?

Rae: Thatís what we have been trying to figure out. (Helps Saki sit up) We canít remember anything. My memory is as dark as this place.

Saki: (puts head in hands, closes eyes) I, I remember the school. We were just arriving.

CC: Sheís right! We were joking about Miss Powers and her love life. I was opening the front door and something happened. Was it an earthquake? I felt shaking...

Rae: Yeah, maybe it was an earthquake... No, wait, I heard a loud boom.

Saki: I did, too. There was screaming... Lotís of it. Someone ran towards the door we were at. She ran into me... There was a brilliant flash of light and then the boom you were talking about, Rae. The hallway shook. I remember we grabbed for each other. And we... we... thatís it , thatís all I can see.

CC: Someone yelled something in my ear.... what was it. Oh, Yeah! (snaps fingers and says matter of factly...) Bomb! (THEY ALL LOOK AT EACH OTHER IN SURPRISE)

(Speaking over each other: What? Do you think...? )

Rae: It couldnít have been. I mean look at us... weíre fine. Arenít we?

CC: Where are we? Weíre not in the school, and this sure doesnít look like a hospital. Does it seem kind of foggy to you guys. (Looks off into the distance in deep thought)

Saki: If we were injured, surely we would be in pain, right? I feel fine. I feel kind of drowsy or tired, but Iím not hurting.

Rae: Iím not hurting either. What about you CC? CC? What is it?

CC: The ceiling broke apart... right above us... the lights were out, but the sun was coming through the windows. I saw it falling towards us, and I tried to warn you guys, but my voice wouldnít work. I wanted to push you out of the way, but I couldnít move. (LOW VOICE) I think it fell right on top of us, it was huge...

Saki: But then, that would mean, weíre probably... no one could live through that.

CC: So that means, weíre deaÖ

Rae: (jumps in before she can finish the word dead) Donít say that... Of course weíre not. Weíre all Christians.... we would be in heaven. Iíve read the Bible and THIS (gestures around her) is NOT heaven!

Saki: But Rae, how else would you explain (gestures the same way that Rae did) THIS?

(An Angel walks into the light. All three gasp and move in closer together)

Angel: Do not be afraid. I have been sent to help you.

Saki: ( a little afraid) Who are you?

Angel: I am a friend, or better yet, a sister. I am here to help explain where you are and what happened to you.

Rae: You donít need to explain. We are fine and we are dreaming. I am at home safely tucked in my bed. My brothers are in the next room and my parents are just down the hall.

Angel: Iím afraid not dear. You are here for a reason. I have come to show you.... No, wait. Let me start at the beginning. You were all at the school this morning. You were laughing and joking when things seemed to explode around you, right. (children nod their heads) CC was correct, it was a bomb.

CC: (Shocked) What!?

Rae: (angry< yelling) Why would someone want to blow up a Christian school? We never hurt anybody.

Saki: Weíre just kids...

Angel: You ARE just kids and what was done was terrible, and horrible, and a real shock to every nation on earth. Not one country has celebrated this evil.

Rae: So why would anyone do that? HOW could anyone do that?

Angel: You all know what has been happening in the world around you. It has been gradually getting worse and worse for the past three years. An organization in Europe has been very influential in the peace talks that have been taking place during the last two weeks. There are some, especially where you live, that are angry over what is taking place.

CC: So? We live far away from the peace talks. What does that have to do with our school?

Angel: The school and the organization are both Christian. That is the only connection that the bombers needed. You were close by and an easy target. You would also make the biggest statement to the world.

Saki: How many people were killed? There are over 1000 students at our school.

Angel: Most of them had heard of the bomb threat before you arrived. They were able to run to safety. Still, many did not hear in time, like the three of you. (sighs) 241 students were killed and most of the faculty, 47 teachers and staff members. They stayed behind to help get the children out, and because of them, the death count is much lower than the terrorists had hoped.

CC: And weíre a part of the 241, arenít we?

Angel: Well, actually...

Rae: No! It is not time for me! I have hopes and dreams... I was going to take ballet this summer. I have a new baby brother. Why do I need to die now? What could God possibly need with me?

CC: Rae, calm down. You know that God has a plan and a purpose for everything.

Saki: I have to agree with Rae, CC. What good could possibly come from this explosion? How could the deaths of the three of us change anything? Weíre just a number in the school. One of the 241.

CC: We may not understand the reasons, but they are Godís and they must be good.

Rae: Good? good? How can you say that CC? You are a Bible study leader in your class. You have led three people to God in the last two years. One of them was me. How could your death be good? I would think that you would be at least a little upset about it.

CC: Yes, there are things that I will miss, things that I regret not doing, things that I was looking forward to, but what greater future could one have than a future in heaven? It will be glorious.

Rae: Well, for some reason, we are not there now. I should be getting a little worried if I were you.

CC: I am trusting in God and his perfect timing...

Rae: Trust? I am having so much trouble with that right now.

CC: You know, today was Good Friday. The middle school worship team had prepared an amazing service for chapel. Yesterday, I was reading the scripture we chose and I suddenly got a terrible feeling. Like something evil was going to happen. The verses just brought so much peace to me. Peace surrounded me like a big hug from God.

Saki: What were the verses talking about?

CC: They were about Jesus and his death on the cross. He was in so much pain, after being beaten and whipped, and nailed to the cross, and he still asked God to forgive the people. That is the message of Good Friday. Jesusí death on the cross.

Rae: (explodes, jumps up) How can death be good? (calmer) Look, I believe in Jesus, I know he died for me. I have faith that he did what he had to do. I trust him and I follow him. I just donít see why brutality is a part of life. What good can come from all of this.

CC: You know about Adam and Eve and the fall and how..

Rae: uughh! Words. Yes, I hear them... I understand, but I donít. All I get are explanations. I just wish that someone could show me. (sits down frustrated.)

Angel: (clears throat) (Children are surprised, forgot she was there) Actually, thatís one of the reasons Iím here. I have come to show you what God has done through others like yourself. What good can come out of these kinds of difficult situations. Letís take a walk up here for a minute. (leads the children up to the grave yard, points out one) Look here... This grave stone belongs to a woman I think you may find interesting. Her name is Blandina and she lived in Lyons, which is in France now, but was then a part of the Roman Empire, in 200 AD. Iíll let her tell you a little about her life.

(Blandina rises from behind her grave...)

Blandina: I was called? Ahhhh, these must be the young ones. You know there are a lot of people prayÖ (ANGEL shakes her head behind the children, mouths NOT YET to Blandina) well, anyway, I am here to tell you my story, correct?

Rae: Is this a good story?

Blandina: You may not think so at first, but yes, I think it has a good ending. The year was 177 AD. Marcus Arelias was Emperor of Rome. Most felt that he was a good emperor, seeking to advance the empire and truly help his people. He even sold his own possessions to avoid raising taxes on the poor people of the Roman Empire. There was only one thing that he would not tolerate, and that was Christianity. He felt that it was a weakness to the empire and would challenge his authority. Christianity had been around for about 25 years. As the church in Lyons grew, more and more people came to fear it. They were challenged by the positive changes they had seen in their neighbors. They were used to the old ways and did not want to convert. Gradually, persecution against the Christians in Lyons began. We were shut out of businesses and houses. We had things thrown at us and were constantly humiliated in public. Mobs were formed to beat and stone and rob the Christians.

Saki: Havenít Christians done the same things to people in the name of Christ?

Blandina: Yes, they have little sister. And it pains me that they have done these things. They do not know who it is that they say they follow. They cannot truly know Jesus and do those things. Like CC told you earlier. Our savior Jesus suffered a terrible death, and he still forgave the people that did those things. Instead of striking the people that hurt or plotted against him, he forgave them and even helped them.

CC: Weíre supposed to turn the other cheek.

Saki: I remember that saying, I didnít realize it was in the Bible. So those things done in the name of Christianity, arenít Christian values?

CC: Right.

Rae: What happened next Blandina?

Blandina: The believers were arrested and examined by authorities. I was one of those arrested. We did the only thing we could do, we told them we were Christians and followers of Christ. The leader of our church boldly told them that the only way to heaven was through Jesus. His boldness encouraged the rest of us and the entire time we were being chained and locked up we witnessed to the guards. I donít know if it made a difference to them, but it helped us to have faith. We were kept imprisoned to await the arrival of the governor to our region. Some of the wealthy Christians in our Church had servants and they were arrested, too, even though they were not believers. They feared torture and death, so they made many false accusations against us.

Rae: Accusations?

Blandina: They told the governor many false and evil things. The people that didnít understand us and were afraid of us were looking for any excuse against us. When these servants made up horrible stories about us practicing cannibalism and other horrible things, it was not questioned. These things only enraged the Roman mobs more. We were brought to the deepest darkest part of the dungeons in Lyons. We were all stuffed into small rooms and it was very difficult to breath. Some of our younger believers suffocated. Over the next few days each of us was taken away and tortured and told to deny Christ, and proclaim him evil. It seems impossible that any of us could survive these tortures, and while some of us didnít, those of us that did were strengthened. It sounds unbelievable, but we encouraged each other and we had God to lean on. During the next week, one or two would die at a time, until there were only a few of us left. (Stops talking and loses herself in thought)

Saki: What happened then? Were you released?

Blandina: We were taken to the amphitheater in the middle of the city and we were used as entertainment for the crowds. They released lions into the arena to kills us. From the moment we left the dungeons we knew that something appalling was going to happen and we started praying. I was beaten and whipped to draw blood, so that the beasts would immediately come to me. I was roped onto a wooden stake and hung in the air. I was praying so intently, for myself, for my friends and fellow believers, and even for the people in the stands. It seemed that I was only up there for a minute before I felt hands pulling me down. I looked into the surprised faces of Roman guards. Around me all over the ground were the bodies of most of my friends. I was spared. I heard the guards talking about it. I heard the buzz of the crowd around me. They werenít surprised, they were bewildered, puzzled, and amazed. The wild beasts had come nowhere near me! The beastsí keepers had tried to whip them closer to me, and they would not go. God had heard my prayers. Not only the prayers said for me and my friends, but the ones said for those in the audience. They were confronted face to face with the power of my God. They could no longer discount his authority. It was a miracle. I was thrown back in prison.

Rae: What! They didnít let you go. But you showed them how strong you were.

Blandina: No, child, God showed them how strong He is. And He also allowed me to live that greater things might be shown. On the last day of the contests in the city, I was again brought before the crowds in the amphitheater. I was brought in with a boy named Ponticus, who was only 15. Every day, we had been brought to watch the violent deaths of our friends and families, and every day pressed to deny our faith and swear by idols. We remained strong in our faith and would not forsake it. The two of us prayed together even as the beasts and lions were released into the arena. Ponticus died first, and it was very quick. I donít think he felt much of it. He was praying when he was first knocked to the ground and he died with a smile on his face. It was then that I knew this was the day of my death. There would be no release and no pardon. A peace came over me in the midst of all the turmoil. Again the beasts would not touch me, so I was taken and tied up in a net and thrown before a charging bull. I felt nothing of what was happening to my body. It was like I was seeing it from a distance. I passed from life with firm faith and conviction.

Rae: So, a lot of those people that saw you and your faith, became Christians right?

Blandina: I wish that I could say yes, but I canít. The people were terrified. They didnít see any good come from what we did. They didnít know about what we had to look forward to. They thought we just gave up our lives for nonsense that wasnít going to change anything. Many of them put the trials out of their minds for a long time.

Rae: So that brings me back to my point, where was the good in that? Why couldnít God allow you to be set free after you were spared by the beasts? You just said that the people put it out of their minds. If you had been released you could have told them what to look forward to.

A: I can fill a little in of what happen later. All of the things that took place were a part of Godís perfect plan. No, people didnít come to know Christ right away, it took many years for that transformation to take place. Many years after the executions, some missionaries moved into the Lyons area and began witnessing to the people. The memory of a little slave girl by the name of Blandina was awakened in their minds. Her strength and faith made them wish for something that they knew had been missing. She had planted a little seed so many years earlier that was just beginning to surface. Her story has survived for centuries. Today, children such as yourself can read about her life and her faith.

CC: Rae, God is timeless. He is in the past, present, and future. What doesnít make sense to us now, may have wonderful consequences in the future.

A: One of the men that went into Lyons later had this to say in his journals: ďThe strength shown by these martyrs, in enduring these cruel and most bitter tortures with so much constancy, proves to us that the souls who really love Jesus Christ, and are dedicated to His service, can easily overcome, by the assistance of His grace, whatever tribulations and trials we are doomed to suffer in this life.Ē His words about those people are very similar to the words that will be spoken about your friends, your family, and your teachers.

Rae: Fine, thatís one example in hundreds. It was also 1800 years ago. Things like that donít happen nowadays. The media will take God out of everything it writes. Soon, we wonít be a Christian school, weíll be an international school that was caught in the middle of an argument. While the newspapers are at it theyíll probably blame Christians for starting it all.

CC: That doesnít change anything and you know it. Bless those that persecute you. Why are you fighting this so much?

A: Just give her time, CC. While you are thinking, let me introduce you to someone else. (BLANDINA and gravestone fade to back ground. All the others move across stage to another stone.) I have brought you to meet Cassie Bernall.

Saki: Iíve heard of her, isnít she the ďyesĒ girl.

(Cassie rises from behind her grave stone, slowly)

Cassie: Why, yes I am. Although I donít think itís as dramatic as they make it out to be.

Rae: What? I donít know who you are.

Cassie: Then why donít I start at the beginning. Iím Cassie and I was 17 years old at the time of my death. I was a student at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. I consider myself just an average student. I was a typical teenager, worrying about how I looked, my future, and which boy to pay attention to. I was going to go to medical school. I wanted to help children that were suffering from cancer. Wow, I had such dreams. Anyway, It was a regular day and things were going on as usual. I had a research paper due the next week, so I went to the library to work. Around 2:30 there was a commotion out in the hall. It sounded like firecrackers or something. People started screaming, and before we could react, the doors to the Library flew open and Dylan Klebold came in with a huge gun under his arm. He sprayed bullets around the room and I saw a couple if students fall. I knew they were hit, maybe even dead. I was terrified and I couldnít move. I finally controlled myself and was going to duck under the table, when our eyes met. I wasnít popular at school, but I was fairly well known as a ďBible thumper.Ē Dylan just got this hateful look in his eye as he stalked over. We stared at each other and he sneered, ďDo you believe in your precious God now?Ē ďYes.Ē And then bang. He shot so close to me that death was instantaneous. I didnít have anytime to react. I was there, and then I was meeting Jesus. Iím so thankful that my instinct was to say, Yes. A few years ago and the results might have been very different. I had turned my back on God and my family. It scares me how similar I was to the two boys that shot up Columbine High. 13 students were killed, including myself. Then the two boys shot themselves. It could have been me on the other side of the gun if my parents hadnít intervened and I hadnít been saved.

Rae: I suppose youíre going to tell me your death was for the best, right. That seems to be the general theme here.

Cassie: Actually, I was going to say something like that, but maybe I can give you some of the reality of what happened in the days and weeks following the event. Many people began to question like you... Where was God? How could such a good and loving God allow Christians to die in such a manner? Why didnít he protect them? What did they do to deserve this? Many people now believe that God was there in the halls of Columbine that day. I know He was. God was there when a group of students huddled in a circle on the library floor and prayed for invisibility. A prayer he obviously answered as Dylan and Eric, who had made a point to shoot everyone that appeared to be praying, did not seem to see them. Even bullets randomly sprayed at the floor did not hit them. God was there when two boys hid in a closet - one a devout Christian, the other not. As the gun fire sounded around them and the pipe bombs exploded, one boy was able to lead the other to Christ.

Saki: Did that really happen? Were there bombs too?

Cassie: The boys had actually intended to kill more than 500 students and teachers. They made big bombs and set them around the school as well as smaller bombs to throw. God was there when he prevented a large bomb in the kitchen from going off - had it exploded it would have taken a large chunk of the school with it. Even though 13 people died that day before Eric and Dylan took their own lives, God still protected the hundreds of other children and staff members that attended that school. Even those who the hospitals didn't think would make it, survived. God was there when a girl continued to witness to the killers from underneath a table as the killers reloaded their guns to pump even more bullets into her. But she would not be silenced and she survived even after being shot nine times. (Cassie pauses and looks down)

Rachel Scott: (looks at Cassie, puts her arm around her) Here, take a minute... . Hi Guys, sorry Iím late. Iím Rachel Scott, and I was also at Columbine High that day. And like Cassie, I was killed because I was a Christian, too. But I know from watching my family what God can do through these kinds of situations. God was with my brother Craig, as he watched his two friends murdered before his eyes. He played dead, praying fervently, until he was able to lead a group of students to safety. Once they were outside the school, Craig knelt, with a number of friends, in prayer for siblings and friends still inside the building. Of those praying with Craig, everyone's family members made it out safely, except for me. God took care of them and comforted them through their fears and uncertainty. But God didnít stop there... He then guided another boy to escape out the second story library window into the arms of rescue workers below. Doctors said later that had the boy not gotten out when he did, he most certainly would have bled to death. .

Cassie: (Stronger) God was there as a boy, Danny, stopped 500 feet from freedom and held the school doors open for fleeing classmates. 15 feet from safety Danny was shot down, but numerous lives were saved because of him.

Rachel Scott: There are many, many more stories, such as these, that give evidence to God's presence that fateful day. But many people may ask that if indeed God was there why would he allow such a tragedy to enfold around him. When tragedies such as this occur, God tends to use them for a greater good. Yes, the massacre at Columbine was a horrible event and it's hard to imagine any good coming from it. But it did... After the shooting a spiritual revival like no other seemed to sweep through Littleton, Colorado. At Cassieís funeral there were 75 first time commitments to Christ. 45 at my funeral and numerous others at John Tomlin's funeral.

Cassie: John Tomlin was a 16-year-old who loved God and his Chevy truck. His old truck sat in the parking lot with his Bible just where he left it that morning. John's mother, Doreen, later told newspapers about the prayer she said the day she learned of his death. "I just thanked the Lord for the 16 years that he gave me with John, and I just prayed that it would glorify the Lord, that his death wouldn't be in vain." John's death wasn't in vain. He had been trying for months to get his best friend, Brandon, to attend church with him. The day after John died, Brandon accepted Christ as his personal Savior. And when Chevrolet learned of John's love for his truck, the company sponsored the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home in his honor.

Rachel Scott: A prayer meeting in a park started with five friends and ended with over 120 teenagers present. A religious singing group toured the east coast in the month of June. At each stop they asked people to take the Cassie Pledge. A simple pledge in which the pledgee agreed to devote their life to God. Both the Scotts (family of Rachel) and the Bernalls (family of Cassie) have become excellent witnesses for Christ. They've been writing books ("She said 'Yes' The Unlikely Martyr of Cassie Bernall" "Chain Reaction"), appearing on national talk shows ("20/20", etc), and giving their testimonies on Capitol Hill. Two of Rachel's older sisters have also been touring the country with Rachel's story. Even the Christian-shy media had to run the Cassie Bernall and Rachel Scott martyr stories, which touched hundreds of lives. And one of the most amazing things to happen from the tragedy, Dylan Klebold's brother's best friend was also able to witness to the Klebolds. I could go on and on, but I won't. You get the idea. A tragedy occurred and lives were lost, but God was there, and in the aftermath it has become very apparent, that He can use all things for His glory.

Rae: Do you really think that something like that could happen at our school? In our community? Not many people know that I was a Christian. Sure, I went to the school, but I only accepted Jesus into my heart a week ago. What can people learn from my...

Saki: (Interrupts): Iím not understanding some things. You keep talking about people that were killed because of their beliefs. Is that the only was to get in to heaven? Does everyone have to die a terrible death?

CC: No, Saki, youíre missing the point. They are just trying to show Rae why God allows

bad things to happen.

Saki: I understand that... but can you show us someone that wasnít killed for believing in God?

(Cassie and Rachel fade into background)

A: I have just the people you need to see, but it will take us a minute to get there.

Scene Two

(Lights upÖ A couple of new gravestones have been added.)

A: (brings the children to two gravestones) Now, you wanted to meet someone that wasnít killed for believing in God. I think these two people may speak to both of you.

CC: (Leans forward to read gravestones) Masao Nagano February 28, 1909 and Ayako Miura October 12, 1999. Wow, they died along time apart. How can they relate to each other? They couldnít have even met each other...

Ayako: (rises from behind the grave) Well, youíre half right. He never met me, but I met him in a way, and I introduced him to millions of other people.

Nagano: Ayako san wrote a biography of my life, some of it was a little embellished, but it was a pretty good storyÖ

Ayako: I had heard his story when I went to Hokkaido and I thought it was beautiful. Nagano-san totally devoted his life to Christ and was a testimony to his friends, coworkers, family, and neighbors even in his death. He was as close to a selfless man as one could find anywhere in the world. And thatís what I found so fascinating.

A: Why donít you back up a bit and tell a little bit about your life first...

Ayako: Well, I had struggles too, all through my life. In 1946, I contracted tuberculosis. Now, in this day, the disease doesnít sound so frightening. People deal with it and you even have a shot that can keep you from getting it. Back then, it was a death sentence. I spent several years in the hospital. I was depressed and had no hope of living. While I was there I met one of my childhood friends, Maekawa Tadashi. He was a Christian. I had stars in my eyes. I couldnít see anyone but him. He tried to talk to me about Christ and I was just starting to listen, when he got tuberculosis and died in 1949. I was shocked, and angry. I hated God, and everybody else, including myself. I attempted suicide, but, by Godís grace, I didnít get it right. After a good long fight with self pity, I began to wonder about who God really was. Why would he take my boyfriend, just as he had begun sharing his faith? In my search, I began to see Godís unconditional love for me and what a gift he had given me in my life. A few years later, after completely healing my heart, I met my husband, Miura Mitsuyo. Sometime after I married I discovered a love of writing. A brilliant idea came to my husband. He put it very plainly. I love writing, I love God, and I love my country. Why not put all of those things together. I didnít think I was very good, but others read my work and that was all that mattered. One of my most popular books was called Shiokari Toge or Shiokari Pass. It was a story about the life and death of a young Christian man, Nagano san.

CC: Hey, my sister read your book. She loved it.

Ayako: Why, thank you. So, I was in Hokkaido visiting a church there when I came across the unbelievable but true story of this young man. And yes, while I did fictionalize a bit of it, the important things are there for all to read. His unwavering faith and dedication wereÖ oh! well, what better way to here the story than from the man himself. Nagano-san, wonít you tell the children your story?

Nagano: I donít have the gift for words that you do, Ayako.

Ayako: But you lived it, you felt itÖ I could never give it the heart that you do.

Nagano: Okay, okay, Iíll give it a shot, but donít expect too much. I grew up under the very strict buddhist hand of my grandmother. She was very devout, so devout that when my mother converted to Christianity, she threw her out of the house and made my father disown her. I was just a baby and didnít even know that I had a mother until many years later. My father kept my mother away from the house to appease my grandmother. When my grandmother died suddenly I was still a young boy. My father was now free to bring my mother back. I discovered that I had a mother and a little sister in the same day. My mother and sister were very kind but they had a special bond with my father that I did not. They were all Christians and I was stubborn in my faith and refused to listen to them. So, they gave up talking about it, but continued to witness to me through their actions. I think you would consider me a strange child. A Buddhist follower, but one who knew what sin was, and tried to figure out what was right and wrong. Buddhists do not believe in sin, and find it hard to grasp even the concept. I struggled with belief and disbelief for so long. I knew that my mother must have been praying for me during all of that time. One day, one of my friends that had moved to Hokkaido wrote to me and invited me to visit. We could get to know each other again, and I would have a great opportunity to go and work. We had been the best of friends, but hadnít seen each other in years. Something urged me to go, so I went.

Angel: This is a good part. He meets his long lost love.

Ayako: She was his friendís younger sister. She was crippled and was suffering from Tuberculosis. Despite that, there was such a peace in her life. She was happy with her situation.

Nagano: Thatís right. She was always happy. I, on the other hand was rarely happy even though I was healthy and lived very well. I began to wonder what she had that made her so different. She shared her faith with me, and I was curious. I finally gave in and read the Bible. It didnít quite make sense to me though. Finally, a pastor I had met challenged me to take any commandment from the Bible and try to follow it. I knew that I could do it. I didnít sin, I was a good man. It wasnít long before I figured out that I couldnít do it. I saw my need for God and confessed that I was a sinner and asked Jesus to live in my life. I worked in the Church and tried to tell my friends, neighbors, and fellow railroad workers about my life change. Sometimes I was successful, most of the time I wasnít. It wasnít until the day that I was going to meet my fiance in Sapporo, that my testimony had the greatest effect. The train was slowly creeping up the rail tracks towards Shiokari pass when it suddenly stopped. Then just as quickly it began to roll backwards. We had passed several sharp turns on the way up, and I knew that if the train started going too fast, it would derail and everyone would be killed. I ran to the back of the train to pull the break, but it was rusted and broke off. So I did the only thing that I could do. I had to save those people. I knew where I was going if I died, but most of the others had never even heard of Christ. I had to give them that opportunity. Before I could think about it anymore, I threw myself down onto the tracks. (He trails off quietly)

Ayako: He died instantly, but the train was stopped, and everyone else survived.

A: Because of his self sacrifice, many people heard about Christianity, and some even became Christians. Actually more, since Ayako wrote her book.

Ayako: You see Saki, God took his life and spared mine. For twenty years I considered myself a walking miracle. I tried to kill myself, but was saved, I battled tuberculosis for many years, before recovering. I was diagnosed with cancer in 1982, but lived, and in 1992 I was diagnosed with Parkinsonís disease. I never was completely healthy and any one of those things should have killed me. But greater is He who is in me, than He who is in the World. God is far greater that Satan, who is the master of lies, and sin. God used me and my testimony to reach so many before my death in 1999. Right up until my death, I was writing and sharing the faith. I miss it sometimes, though.

Nagano: But we are now in Heaven, and we are whole. No more sickness, no disease. We can spend out lives praising Jesus. And thatís really all we want to do. You could say it is what we were made for.

Ayako: Youíre absolutely right Nagano san. It is time that we get back. The choir is singing tonight. Come on , Iíll race you. Bye children!

Nagano: Bye!

A: Good bye. (Children say goodbye as well) So, there, Rae and Saki, you should both be satisfied with that story. Nagano-san wasnít killed for being a believer in Christ, but he died because he lived what he believed. But look at what wonderful things came about because of the bad things that happened in both of their lives.

Rae: I am beginning to understand, but I still want to go back to my question before. I am just a young Christian, barely a week old. What can people learn in my death. Most didnít even know I had become a believer in Christ.

A: Yes, I think it is time. Let me explain something first, and then maybe I can show you an answer to your question. You see when you three first came here, you came as in a dream, while you were lying unconscious on your hospital beds. While you have been with us, two of you have passed from dream to reality.

CC: Thatís why things seem more clear now, isnít it.

A: That is why. It may seem as if you have been here only minutes, but in reality it has been several days. And the time is right for me to show you Rae what you need to see to understand completely. (She walks them towards a podium on the side of the stage, Masao and Ayako fade into the background, a minister is giving the eulogy for the two deceased children, CC and Rae.)

Minister: Yes, This is a time of tragedy, a time of grief. But it is also a time of joy. These two girls were young, and innocent. But I tell you they are more wise than most of the adults in this room. CC became a Christian at the age of 7, If you knew her then, you would remember that she told everybody. She was so excited. I was excited to watch her, but like most of the other children I have seen, I expected that to fade with time. Itís been five years and she has not changed her attitude. I know that she is with God and she is rejoicing. She doesnít have to deal with war, and hate, and anger and the things of this world anymore. She is with Jesus, her savior and best friend. As for Rae... Iíve known her for a much shorter time. In fact, she was baptized just last week. But I can still see her beautiful face shining up at me as she told me she believed. It was so innocent and childlike. Oh, to have her faith, to experience what she was feeling at that moment. It must have been sheer delight. She told me later that week that she was free. She was so afraid of everything, but from that moment of faith she had complete peace. And she trusted God totally and completely. She shared that there were still moments when she didnít understand things, but she was learning to step out on faith and trust God. And I know that they would both want you to do the same thing. (Pastor continues to talk very quietly as light focuses on the Angel and the children).

A: You see Rae, you two are the last victims to pass away. Your funeral service has been broadcast in almost every country of the world. Millions of people are hearing about you and your faith. Thousands of people will come to Christ because it.

Saki: I donít understand what about me? Where am I in all of this?

(Light fades off of minister and focuses on the pictures of the two girls, Raeís mother comes forward (while Saki is speaking) and places a rose in front of the picture of Rae, pauses for a minute until she hears Rae say ďShe doesnít knowĒ then as turning to leave another woman approaches to talk with and comfort her.)

Rae: Hey, Thatís my mom. Sheís crying for me. I should go to her, oooh, but I canít. Please, angel, let me speak to her. I need to tell her that Iím ok. (Angel shakes her head, no) But, she doesnít know. Sheís not a believer. She has to believe. She has to trust God. It could have been too late for me, but she still has a chance. Someone has to tell her. (Runs over in front of her mom, Rae begins crying softly as she speaks) Mom, listen to me, you have to hear me. Itís true, itís all true. Remember I told you what had happened to me. Itís wonderful and Iím fine, but youíre not. Mom youíre lost, you canít do it alone... you have to trust... mom, please listen to me. (Focuses her attention on the other lady) You... Iíve seen you at church. You have to tell her. Tell her about Jesus. Heís the only one that can help her. Please... You have to try to show her. Please... (turns back to the angel)

Rae: Wait! You said that two of us have come into this reality. That means that Saki is still alive. Is she still in the hospital room? Is she going to be healed.

A: God is allowing Saki to be healed, yes. She will recover within a week of your funeral service.

Saki: What! But youíve spent all of this time showing us why these things happen and preparing us for heaven. I want to go now. I want to see Jesus. I have such a feeling of excitement at seeing heaven with my own eyes. You canít send me back.

A: Saki, God has reasons for everything. Sometimes He allows some to survive, to minister to the ones that are still on earth and still lost. You have been allowed to see these things so you can tell them, and show them love, and help them heal.

Saki: But I donít think I can do it by myself. CC was the strong one, she would be better suited for this.

A: But God chose you for a reason. I have one last person for you to meet. Her name is Rachel Saint and she was like you, a survivor, in a strange land, with only God to help her carry on. (Walks over to the last grave, marked Rachel Saint, she rises from behind the grave.)

Rachel Saint: I want to tell you three my story, but this is mostly for Saki, since our mission, and our path chosen by God is similar. Back in 1956, my brother Nate Saint and his wife Marg. set out for Ecuador. They were being called to work with the Waorani tribe in the rain forests of Ecuador. Now, the Waorani were considered the most violent and warring tribe in the world at that time. They prayed and they knew that this was where God wanted them. When they announced their plans, something spoke to my heart. I knew that when they left for Ecuador, I would be with them. When we got there we realized that there was a lot of work ahead of us. There were four other missionary families that were focused on bringing the truth of Jesus to the tribe. Nate was a pilot and he began flying over the tribe and lowering gifts in a bucket tied to a line, from the plane. We sent them cooking pots, buttons, food, ribbon, and various other things. For one month, Nate made weekly runs. After dropping gifts for six weeks, the Waorani, actually sent one back. The tied a headband of feather s on to bucket after they had emptied it. It was the breakthrough we had been waiting for. Nate, and the other four missionaries planned a contact mission and set the plane down next to the river, near the tribe.

CC: Werenít they afraid?

Rachel: Of course they were afraid, and they all realized that they might not return, but they were willing to risk that for God. They landed safely and set up a camp to wait for any curious visitors that might make their way over. They waited for three days, when finally three villagers came to see them. They communicated by writing in the sand. The leader of the three, Naenkiwi, wanted to take a ride in the plane. Nate took him up and there seemed to be a good relationship brewing. When the three tribesmen left the missionaries were all very hopeful. They contacted us that evening by radio, and we got to say a few words to them, and we all prayed together. Naenkiwi, for some reason, told his tribe that the men were evil and cannibals, and had tried to kill him. The tribe spent the next day making spears. The following day they attacked the menís camp and all five of the men were killed, speared to death.

Rae: Thatís horrible... What did you do?

Rachel: We were all so stunned back at the mission camp. Six women, and several children, all alone in a strange country with a people that wanted to kill us. We packed and went to the capital city of Quito. I tried to move on with my life, to get past the deaths, but I kept feeling that God was calling me back to the Waorani. I resisted with everything in me, until I was miserable. I filled myself with hate towards the men that did this. At the same time the wife of Jim Elliot, Elizabeth, was facing the same feelings. She slowly began to see the need of the people and how much God loved them. She decided to return, but before she did, she felt God leading her to contact me. She shared with me her thoughts, and her prayers, and Godís message got through to me. I now had a mission. I needed to bring God into the lives of the villagers. I needed to bring peace to the tribe that lived for war. I needed to move on from my grief and share Godís love to a people that was so totally lost. Somehow, I did it. God taught me so many lessons through the Waorani. When they began to believe, the entire tribe turned around. Elizabeth Elliot and I worked there until God called us home. The mission has been turned over to my nephew Steve, Nate and Margís son. He was just five when his father was murdered by the very people he is now trying to save. Saki, It wasnít easy returning to the place where I lost my brother. We were always very close and I just wanted to die, I wanted to crawl away from everyone and everything. I wished every day that God would take me to heaven to be with Nate again, but he didnít answer that prayer. He had a purpose for me to fulfill. I needed to carry out his plan in Ecuador. Saki, He has a purpose for you. You need to carry His message to the world. You need to bring them peace.

Rae: Saki, you can go to mom. You have to tell her Iím ok. Tell her about Jesus, sheíll listen now, sheís ready.

A: Many are ready now, to hear the message of Jesus. He is the light of the world. He is the Prince of Peace. He is ready to help all those that ask. You need to show them how. Come I will take you back to your dream. Soon, you will awaken... but donít forget. They are going to heaven to be with God, and you are returning home where God will be with you. You must share with everyone what you have seen and learned. Do not be afraid. Now, if the others we have spoken to will comeÖ ( The others rise from their graves and come forward) you must lead these two on to meet their Savior. Saki, letís go... (exits together)

Blandina: (points to the cross) Thatís the way, donít be afraid.

Rae: Iím not afraid anymore. I understand and I am excited. Just think about it !CC, we get to see Jesus! Weíll be in Heaven.

CC: Will we have mansions, are the roads really clear gold?

Cassie: Why donít you come see for yourselves.

(Ayako leads one up towards the cross, and Rachel leads the other one up, the other two follow behind. )

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Production Notes:

When this play was performed, we had some visuals and sound effects that we used during each of the witnessís stories. The sound effects are still available and you can e-mail me a request. The visuals were pictures of different scenes that went in hand with the sound effects (i.e. A picture of a plane during Rachel Saintís monologue, a picture of a steam train during Nagano sanís with a steam engine sound effect, etcÖ) Set design for this play is very simple, requiring a few graves stones of varying sizes to fit people behind.

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© Terri Lee, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. She may be contacted at: terriann_1977@hotmail.com