Christmas Eve in Portland

"What's going through that beautiful head of yours?" Hank asked Ede as she stood there by the fireplace, studying him. It was Christmas Eve and they were in the living-room. His mother was upstairs taking a nap. "I'm still trying to picture you as a little terror." He laughed. "Believe it or not, I was. …

Porto Novo & Portland

It was a beautiful Sunday morning and Ede and Hank were in Porto Novo having lunch. "I spoke to my mother last night. She asked me if I would be spending Christmas in Portland with her." "What's Christmas like in Portland?" "Very festive. You have the Revels Show with singing, dancing, juggling, and poetry as …

Hank Questions Ede

It was Saturday and they were having lunch at Ede's grandmother's house. Ede could tell that something was troubling Pastor Hank. He wasn't his usual jovial self. He was pleasant when interacting with her grandmother but a few times, she caught him watching her with an guarded expression on his face. She couldn't wait to …

At the Community Center

Hank was sitting on the bench at the community center when Anaïs walked over to him. "Hello, Pastor Hank." "Hello, Anaïs." "I didn't expect to run into you here but I'm glad I did. I'm here to sign up for a Fitness Kickboxing class." "That's great. I'm here because I teach Vegan and Vegetarian cooking …

Ede’s Rival

"Did you have a good birthday yesterday, Ede?" Ede was at the cosmetic shop where her friend worked. It was Isoka's lunch break and they were sitting outside in the shade. They had just finished having something to eat. "Yes, I did, Isoka." The highlight was when Pastor Hank called her in the morning to …

A Day in Ouidah

Ede was looking out the window when she saw Hank drive up. Immediately her heart began to beat faster. "Pastor Hank is here," she told her grandmother. "Good. I'm looking forward to meeting him." Ede went to answer the door. Hank's face broke into big smile when he saw her. "Good morning, Pastor Hank." "Good …

Ede Meets Hank

It had been several weeks since Father Desjardins left. She missed him very much, especially their talks about the Bible and religion in general. There were times when she walked through the fields, half expecting to see him or him sitting down at the picnic table at the back of her grandmother's house. She went …

Hank’s Last Goodbye

He had one more person to see before he left for Cotonou the next day. Ashley. Everyone had remarked how she would be a perfect pastor's wife and he had been inclined to agree with them but there was only one problem--he wasn't in love with her. And for him, marrying someone he didn't love …

Hank’s Last Day in Portland

He was going to miss coming here to this spot where he spent hours reflecting, praying and enjoying his surroundings. Hopefully, there will be places of solitude in Cotonou where he could spend time alone with God and nature. He had been a pastor since he was twenty-five and now he was fifty. People were …

Chosen to Go

In the early morning glow, her face looked pale as she returned her son’s gaze.  “Do you really have to go, Hank?” she asked.  He’d just told her that he was moving to Cotonou. “Yes, Mother.  The church there needs a pastor and I was chosen.” “But Benin’s so far away.  You’ll be leaving everyone …

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