Justine Meets The Queen of Sheba in a Refugee Camp in Congo
by Matthew Kohrell
Justine was sitting in a makeshift prayer chapel in the refugee camp outside of Kinshasa Congo wondering what would the future bring her after she came to America. Would her dream of becoming a nurse be possible living in a place where people speak English and not French? How would things work out for her? Where will she live? Will the flight be safe? So many anxious questions flooded her mind. Justine was so lost in her worries that she did not notice the woman come in the little chapel.
“Mind if I join you?” the woman asked.
Justine was startled out of her shell and looked to see who the woman was.
“Sorry if I disturbed your prayer. Is it okay if I sit with you?” the woman asked.
Justine calmed herself after seeing the woman meant no harm. She knew women have to be careful in the refugee camps. She looked in the woman’s eyes and smiled shyly, “Yes, please do.”
The woman smiled, “Great, I always enjoy talking with God’s people.”
Justine was curious, “How do you know if I am one of God’s people or not?”
“Well for starters, why else would you be sitting in a prayer chapel that looks more like a hut?” The woman replied.
Justine chuckled a little, “I see your point. Do you want to pray or something?”
“Prayer is always good, but actually I would like to share a bit with you today.” The woman responded.
“Maybe that is what I need. I am so nervous that I can barely keep calm. Maybe talking will help me not focus on changes so much.” Justine shared.
“What is making you so nervous? Is it the new life that awaits you in America?” the woman inquired.
Surprised the woman knew Justine was going to America, she asked, “How did you know I am going to America?”
“Oh, there are many things God showed me before I came here to this chapel.” the woman reassured.
“God showed you? When? How?” Justine’s curiosity was peaked now.
“He showed me a few minutes before he sent me here from heaven to speak with you.” the woman explained.
“From heaven? How is that possible? And by the way, who are you?” Justine pressed.
The woman smiled, “I guess that is a lot to take in. I was in heaven and God sent me here for a short time just to talk with you. You can call me Sheba, but we can leave my title out of it for now.”
“Nice to meet you Sheba.” Justine reached out to shake her new friend’s hand.
Sheba took her hand and held it for a moment looking Justine in the eyes, “Nice to meet you too, You should know that everything you are worrying about is going to be taken care of. Even as we speak, the caseworker you will meet is arranging your apartment and has asked a woman from Congo living in your new city in America to help greet you at the airport.”
Justine sighed a sigh of relief, “That is good to know. My big worry is if I can reach my dream of becoming a nurse. Would they want someone from Congo to become a nurse there?”
“From what I understand the city you are going to has people from all over the world and the hospitals hire people who are from all over the world.” Sheba reassured her.
“I just feel like I have nothing to offer even to God. I have no money, no college degree, no family yet.” Justine confided.
“Perhaps I should share with you about an experience I had while I was living on earth. I had a chance to meet and visit a man named Solomon who was the King of Israel. I went there with the wealth I could offer seeking wisdom from him because he was known for his wisdom. He explained many things to me about God and living for God. I learned so much from him and I decided to follow the God of Israel. I didn’t feel I had much to offer after I saw how wealthy Solomon was, but I offered what I had. When I left to return to Sheba, Solomon gave me more than I had brought for him, but the biggest thing was the teachings about God.” Sheba shared.
“So how does that apply to me?” Justine asked.
“It is in the principle that it applies to you and your situation. The principle is that when we come to God with what little we have, he can take us to be more than we were when we came to him.” Sheba clarified.
“But I have only the clothes I am wearing and a few other clothes. I have nothing.” Justine interrupted.
“Remember what the angel told Mary the mother of Jesus my friend, that nothing is impossible for God. God can take your empty hands that you offer to him and bless you. Step by step he will guide you to your dream of becoming a nurse.” Sheba encouraged her.
“The steps seem so big for me right now.” Justine exclaimed.
“The first step is to get on the plane. When you arrive to your new city, God will show you the next step and each step after step by step.” Sheba replied.
“Yes, it is close to time for me to leave on the bus to the airport. Step by step, I need to remember that.” Justine sighed.
“Yes, remember step by step with God my friend.It is time for me to return” Sheba encouraged,
“Wait, you said something about your title. What is your title?” Justine pressed.
“Oh, of course. It is no big deal in heaven, but on earth I guess it would be. I was the Queen of Sheba.” Sheba confided.
“Queen? Oh my, so I have been talking with royalty?” Justine felt slightly embarrassed.
Sheba explained, “I am not a queen anymore my friend, but I have so much more in heaven than I did on earth. However, in many ways your journey on earth is just getting started. I need to go now my friend. It has been nice chatting with you.” and with that Sheba was gone.
Justine heard people yelling outside the chapel. The bus had come, so she went out and got on the bus to take the first step toward her future.
Thank you for reading my story. I was away from writing my stories for a few weeks because it is allergy season and the allergy meds make me sleepy. 🙂