Welcome, reading friends! Today, we have D.I. Telbat’s Christian short story, Secure Worship, Part I. You may even recognize old COIL friends! Enjoy!
Secure Worship, Part I – Belarus
by D.I. Telbat
Jesse “Milk” Patters watched the surveillance monitor that was installed in a small room of a Belarusian church. The building doubled during the day as a community center, but tonight, it was a gathering place for believers. On Milk’s screen, a tall figure in dark clothes prowled from shadow to shadow, inching closer to their building. The rest of the city was quiet.
“If that guy isn’t suspicious, no one is!” Quin “Toad” LuDao stated. He was a stout Chinese paramilitary-trained soldier now devoted to the worldwide safety of Christians. “Shall we?”
Milk, an Ohio native, smiled at his COIL teammate. Both men had been Special Forces operatives of the Commission of International Laborers for four years. Milk, a handle derived because of his complexion, slapped Toad on the back.
“Tell the others. I’ll keep an eye on this guy.”
In the next room, fifty civilians of Belarus were having an “unauthorized gathering” to study the Bible. Their pastor and teacher, Georgi, silenced his booming voice when Toad gestured to him.
“Lights out,” Toad instructed, though only a couple of them knew English. Three assigned men shut off the lights, blanketing the room in darkness. “Be very quiet.”
Toad didn’t need to explain the danger they were in. The post-Soviet regime had tightened its grip on religious gatherings. Members of the congregation had already been arrested and imprisoned.
Even the children in the room were quiet, which both impressed and saddened Toad. Sad that they had to be raised under such conditions. But, it was a condition that Toad had seen in many countries, even his own.
At one window, there was a rustling sound. In the darkness outside, the one they assumed to be a government informer, bumped the side of the building. He cursed and moved down the wall.
If the informer discovered the meeting in progress, a police investigation and more arrests would be just the beginning. The community center might even be closed, and the Christians would be blamed.
“It’s clear,” Milk whispered from the small room several minutes later.
“Then why are you whispering?” Toad laughed, and the people relaxed. They talked amongst themselves as Toad joined Milk. “So the resolution is good?”
“Works great. Three angles outside, even recording capabilities to record criminal mischief.” Milk clicked a few buttons to display the lurking figure from a few minutes earlier, saved on the hard drive. “We’ll store this guy’s face for security purposes.”
“Great. We’ve got a plane to catch. Train two of these guys and let’s move out. We’re due in Brunei by noon tomorrow for another install.”
As Milk explained how the security camera and warning system worked, Toad stood in the other room and listened to the Belarusians sing familiar hymns in their own language. An elderly woman approached him and took his hands in hers, urging him to quietly clap with the others.
Toad grinned as he clapped with fellow Christians. They were strangers, and most didn’t speak any language he knew, but they were still his brothers and sisters in Christ. He would do his part to keep them safe and allow them to enjoy secure worship.
Read true stories of those suffering for their faith at the Voice of the Martyrs website.
Click here to read Part II of Secure Worship, the setting in the country of Brunei.
Read more short stories by D.I. Telbat at Short Adventure Stories.
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