A small giveaway, written and read by Jennie Altmann. Music composed and produced by Jason Shaw https://audionautix.com/
When we asked Jenine for a photo or video of herself, she sent us this snippet which her grandsons helped to produce: Jenine, an introduction. Thanks so much guys – looks like you had a bit of family production fun 🙂
If you enjoyed Jenine’s story, get a copy of The Swimmer, and tune in to 1079 Life for more stories of life. Feature photograph of Beijing Hutong by James Diewald from Flickr.
Thank you for being part of Stories of Life 2020 – whether it’s been taking the time to send us your story, or reading ‘The Swimmer’, or sharing it with someone else. One the last day of 2020, we bring you some of our 2020 Stories of Life contributors …
From us to you: may your 2021 be filled with stories of life!
Nesta Hatendi’s story, The Holiday, was published in our 2020 anthology, The Swimmer. A very short excerpt:
The last five months have not been how I envisaged them before I left home. I arrived in Australia in March for a family reunion and a once in a lifetime trip to Bali, thrown in as a bonus. …
The long-awaited Bali holiday dramatically smouldered into ashes as news headlines referenced new visa restrictions to limit the spread of the virus to Indonesia. The global epidemic was now a pandemic which had a name – COVID-19…
We asked Nesta about her experience of having her story published in our 2020 Stories of Life anthology, The Swimmer.
What led you to write this story?
I was feeling disorientated and somewhat despondent because my plans had gone awry and things seemed to be out of my control. Then when events started falling in line without much effort from me, I began to realise that there is a time and place for everything and I should just have faith which conquers all.
What has being published meant to you?
This was my first published short story ever! Since then, I have been writing more and submitting short stories online. I want to eventually publish an anthology of short stories. So thank you for the boost in my confidence.
Any feedback from people who have since read your story?
My family and I spent three weeks in the USA from December 2014 to January 2015, experiencing various locations, catching up with one of our daughters who was studying there at the time, and, of course, celebrating Christmas together. Several days after Christmas, we were shuffling our way through crowded Manhattan on our way to a restaurant. Although the weather was mild in New York, I was still wearing a coat which had been invaluable in the biting cold of Boston the previous week.
Throughout our travels, we had been struck by the masses of homeless people in American cities. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish between those with real need and those just willing to receive handouts. However, one man on this particular street really drew my attention. Initially I walked past him before realising I had an opportunity to help him. The story relates how I wrestled with whether or not God was prompting me. Though the encounter was brief, it was a graphic reminder to pay attention to the situations we find ourselves in on any given day and the needs of those around us.
I don’t know the outcome of the few minutes Andy and I spent together. I can only hope that the coat proved to be a blessing to him.
When my story The Ring was chosen to be published in The Swimmer anthology and also won third place in the open section of the Stories of Life competition, I was delighted not only for myself but also for my friend Ruth Allan. Ruth and I have been good friends for over thirty years and even travelled overseas together in 2000 to Europe. I have forgotten when Ruth first told me about losing her ring as a young girl, but I was so taken with the story at the time that I carefully checked the details with her and recorded them on my laptop to be explored at a later date.
Finally, that date came this year. I had just completed my current novel and was checking what other writing projects I had that I could explore further when I saw the ad for the Stories of Life competition. I decided to polish up Ruth’s story, make sure I had all the facts right as best Ruth could remember, and send it in. Ruth has gone through some very difficult experiences in her life, yet she has held onto her faith in God through it all. And this event I have shared in her story The Ring had a key role to play in helping her do just that.
I hope this story honours God for enabling Ruth to keep going but that it also honours Ruth herself for holding onto God. And both Ruth and I hope that, as others read what happened that day down at the beach, they will draw that little bit closer to God and know for sure that God loves and cares for them too.
Feature photo of Jo-Anne and Ruth supplied by Jo-Anne (left)
Although I prayed that the bad things would stop, I mostly just talked to God about those bad things because my parents were preoccupied with their own problems, my sister too young to understand, and the topic of family troubles taboo in school…
Karen Curran’s story, An Imperfect Mum, was published in The Swimmer and other stories of life. She gave a copy to her friend Michelle…
‘This book has been a blessing to me,’ said my friend, Michelle. ‘The stories are just the right length for this time in my life.’ Michelle’s husband died on 21 November of COVID-19. As she grieves and deals with the necessary work related to memorial services, finances, and administration of her husband’s estate, she is overwhelmed and often unable to focus long on any specific task or story. The short takes on life and faith in The Swimmer and other stories of life have been a soothing balm to her broken soul.
Order today for delivery to someone you would like to bless.
That Wonderful Peace written and read by Jeanette Grant-Thomson.
Music composed and produced by Jason Shaw https://audionautix.com/ Feature picture above: Jeanette’s sister, Wendy, and Wendy’s husband, with their baby.
Backstory to That Wonderful Peace
This incident stands out in my memory because of the amazing quality of the peace that enveloped me. I was, at that stage, a fairly timid person. Not ‘strong and calm’ at all, except when God was doing something special, so it was a huge blessing. I’d love to be like that all the time.
The whole thing was such a coincidence or God-incidence – I’d been teaching and doing missionary work all year on New Ireland (where I met Peter of My Friend PeterSOL 2018). Nearby in a local village were two missionaries – my sister Arlene (Wendy is her second name) and Michael (John was his second name). We spent a lot of time with them, talking and praying for one another in this interesting native culture. At the end of a busy but wonderful year, I flew over to Rabaul to have a holiday with Robyn, a Christian who worked there. I waved goodbye to my healthy sister, who had just had a baby. So you can imagine my shock when the events of the story happened.
Another interesting thing is – Rabaul is on New Britain, another large island in PNG. In those days it was established inside the rim of a huge volcano thought to be extinct, and was incredibly beautiful. To my alarm, it was often shaken by small earthquakes which rattled all the bits and pieces in the house. In 1994 the volcano erupted and send a cloud of ash thousands of metres into the air, smothering the town of Rabaul, burying much of it. Many people were killed. So the Rabaul of my story no longer exists.
The rest is in my story, I think.
If you loved this story, get a copy of The Swimmer, and tune in to 1079 Life where selected stories from the anthology will be played on-air over summer.