by John Cosper, jr.
A young Somali woman is not afraid to stand up for her faith, even though it means death.
Rebekah- A young missionary's daughter in Somalia
Passersby at the flag pole (non-speaking parts)
(Rebekah is in a tight spotlight. She looks haggard, with visible injuries. She is dressed as a prisoner in Somalia, and her appearance is dirty. She is sitting close by a pole, the top of which is not visible to the audience. During the monologue, she is free to stand and move, but keep movement small and to a minimum.)
I'll never forget the first time I saw my father arrested. I remember the crash of the door and light from outside pouring in with the police. The other people in the room were screaming. The police shouted as they waved their guns around the room. Instinctively, my mother pulled me out a side door before they saw us. She was shaking all over, and visibly scared. She had done her best to shelter me from the government's oppression, but in a country like Somalia, you can't hide forever. As we watched my father being loaded into a van, I asked my mother why they were taking him away. Her response frightened me. "Because he believes in Jesus."
Even at age seven, Jesus was the most wonderful man in my life. I knew Jesus loved me. I believed he died for my sins and had sent angels to protect me. Until that morning in church, I never had the slightest doubt about him. But how could Jesus allow anyone to hurt my father? Were there no angels for him? Had he done something wrong?
To my father, being arrested was nothing less than a blessing. My father loved he contact with other prisoners and guards. It gave him joy to share Christ with them. None of this mattered to me. My father belonged home, and I begged him to take us home.
It took a long time for me to understand. My father was arrested five times! Every time, he returned home beaten and withered, usually sick. But what caught my attention was that he never came home weary. Prison lit a fire in him that grew with every trip. He brought home exciting stories of men he led to Jesus Christ. Men who would never have heard the gospel unless God allowed him to go to prison.
My father's passion for sharing Christ began to burn inside of me. One night when I was fifteen, he came to my bedside with his Bible open to 2 Timothy. "Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel." [2 Tim. 1:8] "You live in a world that hates God," he told me. "And it will hate you for loving him. But you must never give in. The world needs Jesus, and you must never stop proclaiming his name...even if it means death."
With that challenge, my father passed his torch on to me. The following day, my father was arrested again. We were never told whether he was shipped away or executed. Only that this time, he would not be coming back.
I knew a day would come when I would be given the choice to stand for or hide from my faith in Christ. I loved God, but I was scared of the government that stole my father and what they might do to me. Then I realized, that was exactly what the government wanted. They shut my father up in prison to keep him from sharing the gospel and discourage me from doing the same. Nothing made them happier than to see me hide my faith in fear. Which is why I didn't stop to think when my chance to stand came.
Two years after my father disappeared, I led a public prayer vigil. We fully expected the police to break us up immediately, but to our surprise, the first people rushing to the scene were other believers. Christians from our town and others felt empowered to stand up for Christ. Non-believers hungry for hope accepted the grace of Jesus. For three days, we stood fast on our knees in prayer for our families, our nation, and our government, even as they rolled toward us with tear gas and live ammunition. A dozen people died that day. Hundreds were arrested. And as one of the leaders, I was sentenced to die.
I do not regret being a missionary's daughter in Somalia. I was blessed with the opportunity to stand for Christ in a country where the gospel is desperately needed. What makes me sad, is that on the other side of the world, people have the freedom to worship God openly... and they do nothing about it.
I know all about your lack of courage. We were told all about how you in America simply don't exercise your right to worship God. Help me understand how people with unlimited access to their Creator neglect him like you do? My country built a wall between me and my God while you have the right to worship him in total freedom! What wall is holding you back?
(Other characters walk by in a separate spot light. They carry book bags and slow to look at the audience as if looking at a prayer circle.)
Is it them? Are you afraid of what they're going to think? Are you afraid to be called a nerd? They're the ones who need you to stand up the most! Maybe you're not ready for the pressure of living up to the title of Christian. Do you hide it because you're not ready to live it? Are you afraid to surrender your whole life to him?
(The other spot fades out. Only Rebekah is lit.)
This Wednesday I will be at the a pole, and make my final stand. I'm not sad to leave this world. And I'm not afraid. Jesus was nailed to a pole to suffer and die for us. Maybe for you the price is just too high, but I gladly lay down my life for him.
Holy Father, keep them in your care, so that we will be united together with you in Heaven. The world hates them just as the world hated you because they don't belong to it. I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but to protect them. Fill them with your Holy Spirit. Send them into the world as you sent your disciples, unashamed, and unafraid.
© John Cosper Jr
All rights reserved. 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. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.