PRIESTESS OF KEBRA.
Sheila was in a total shock.
She still couldn’t believe that her mother was alive.
“How possible is that? Or is my mind playing tricks on me? I made sure I dig the knife into her abdomen….She was confirmed dead…my mother died. Yes, I’m very sure she died. What kind of magic did Dembe perform… what did he do? I wanted her gone Just like Aprin for refusing me the seat of a priestess…. nothing should be a hindrance or stand in the way of my greatness. Mother was the highest rock, I made up my mind to remove her from the way and I did exactly that. How did she come back to life… what kind of power did Dembe used on her…
Sheila couldn’t keep calm. The more she thought of how her mother manage to survive the knife stab the more confused she become.
She was back to her husband’s house and was sitting on the roof top with a cup of wine in hand as she wondered aloud, all alone to herself.
Bash came to the roof top to meet her.
He stood at a distance watching her before moving closer.
“How could you Sheila? You had no fear at all even as you embark in such a deadly
Sheila interrupted angrily. She threw the drink inside the cup on Bash before standing up to face him.
Pointing her fingers to his face and slapping his chest in a dramatic display.
“Don’t you dare talk to me about guilt or fear Bash. Because you are not a saint either. My mother wasn’t the action woman I used to know. She began to change gradually after Aprin choose Dembe’s God instead of the general gods and goddess of Kebra that we all worshipped. She became a weak priestess and Kebra does not need such. I asked her countless times to make me the next priestess of Kebra but she refused…she said I was not worthy. I asked her again and again but she denied me of my right. Aprin was dead and I supposed to be the next…but she bluntly refused. She left me with no other choice than to remove her from the way. oh yes, I had to do whatever it takes to become the next priestess of Kebra. I spread a poisonous gland over the blade of the knife so that she
Bash took few steps away from her. He face another direction as he stood close to the edge of the roof.
looking down into his compound he said.
“You are pathetic Sheila. I should have known better and not fall for your tricks and ended up with you. How could you? You did not only try to kill the priestess of Kebra you also framed her death on an innocent man. You were ready to execute Dembe and also your young nephew Just because of the hate you had for him. Of a Truth…now I know and believe that the God of Dembe never sleeps. his God is truly alive and he will come after you…
Sheila was boiling at every word from Bash.
As Bash tried to walk away from the edge of the roof top Sheila rushed with speed and pushed him hard.
Bash screamed and fell off the roof, his hand hanged onto a brick but his legs were dangling in the air.
“Sheila help me… please. Don’t do this… Sheila…nooooo….
Sheila stood on the roof top watching him struggle. A little more push and his skull will be scattered on the ground.
“I have warned you severally to stop messing with me Bash. Right in the presence of people you took a defensive stand on Dembe. You argued with me on every of my decision. You keep defending Dembe…an infidel, just like mother also did. I will watch you fall and die like chicken and I will invite street dogs to lick your blood because you are worthless to me. You can’t give me a child and yet you still can’t support my decisions…
“, Sheila please…I don’t want to die. My hands are getting weaker and I may fall off any moment to my death. Give me a hand and push me up… help me. I know there is still some good heart in you. I beg of you don’t do this… Sheila… please…
Bash pleaded as he was still dangling in the air. His weak hands holding tightly to the brick walls.
Sheila can either help him up or finalized his sudden death.
As Bash was still begging there was a foot sound climbing up and calling out to Bash.
And the voice was that of Bash friend. Hazan.
“If you dare scream or make any noise about this I will not hesitate to kick you and watch you fall and smash into pieces. Shhhhhhh… keep your mouth shut.
Bash became quiet. Sheila began to shout for help so that she won’t be suspected.
Hazan rushed up with speed and saw Sheila in a great panic.
“Oh Lord Hazan… thanks to the gods for bringing you Just in time. My husband slipped off from the roof top and fell. His hands are hanging onto something but I have not been able to pull him up…I have been trying but no luck. Oh the gods…I don’t want Bash my loving husband to die….
“,Calm down my lady… please don’t cry or panic…let me try and pull him up…
Hazan said and rushed to Bash. He grabbed his hand and pulled him with all his might untill Bash who was almost falling off was safely back to the roof top.
He lay on the roof top breathing so hard even Hazan his friend sat on the ground trying to catch his breath.
“May the gods repay you for your kindness Lord Hazan. Oh… what would I have done if you haven’t showed up in time to save my dear husband. Bash… my Lord…the husband of my youth I’m so happy that you did not crash to the ground. The enemies would have glory over our misfortune…
Sheila said, pretending to care and putting up a nice performance for Hazan who did not really know what transpired.
Back at the priestess house, she healed up very fast.
Dembe couldn’t hide his Joy as she feed her daily with what she hungers to know.
He was also happy that Phatsy hide Caleb away on that very day and with the help of Brami.
They were securely hidden from Sheila who went in search of Caleb but couldn’t find him.
Dembe thanked Brami and phatsy for thinking fast and protecting Caleb like their own.
The priestess asked Dembe to invite Jon the tent maker over and he did.
Jon came as he was invited and carried out the remaining sermon.
He also thought the priestess how to truly serve God.
The priestess did not have any doubt again within her in worshiping the invisible God of heaven.
Jon baptized her in the fountain.
After her near death encounter she has come to truly believe that there is none like the most high.
She boldly told the people who came to visit her with their offering and sacrifice for the gods.
She spoke boldly to them.
“, I have discovered a new God, he is not a god made by man or lives in a house built with mare hands. Some call him invisible God but I have come to realize he is more than what people call him. He brings to life what is dead and call those things that are not to be. I don’t want to bore you with how glorious he is, i will rather allow you to taste and see that the Lord is good. Join me my good people of Kebra let’s serve this God wholeheartedly. He is the rewarder of those that truly seek him. I have a good friend, lord Jon and my son in-law Dembe… they are available to lead and teach those who are willing. This God does not request for a sacrifice nor burnt offering… the sacrifice he delight in is obedience and kindness to one another. Love your neighbor as you would love yourself and your neighbor can be anybody not Just people living close to you. I’m converting the temple of the gods and goddess of Kebra to the house of the true living God. You are free to come and let’s worship him together for in him we live, move and have our being. We are his offspring…
And gradually the people who hears about this good news coming from the priestess own lips, they troop in with more people to hear about the most high God.
Jon and Dembe with the priestess prayed for days over the idol temple before they began to clear everything that does not glorify God in it.
They packed all the gods and every other thing right in the idol temple outside and set them on fire.
They washed and cleaned up the place, renovated everywhere with the help of some of the servants.
They make it ready for worship and called it “the temple of the living God”.
Sheila woke up in the middle of the night with a loud scream.
Bash who now sleeps in another chamber after his near death encounter with Sheila heard her screaming again in the middle of the night.
He has been ignoring her and this was the third time she was screaming.
Tonight’s scream was more louder than yesterday and a day before.
He decided to get up to know what exactly she was always screaming for.
Bash unlocked his room door and went to her chamber to check on her.
“, They want to kill me…. they are trying to kill me…
That was all she kept saying while panting heavily.
“Who is trying to kill you?
Bash asked confused.
“, Dembe’s God. His God attacked me and try to take my life….he wants to kill me. He attacks me every night and try to snuff life out of me…
Bash rolled his eyes in a rather confused state.
“Since is between you and Dembe’s God, I can’t do anything to help. I will rather return to sleep. Sort it out with him and if he finally kills you…then so be it. You are afraid to die but not afraid to take the lives of others. I hope you feel what those you cursed so much pain feels. I’m going to bed and by tomorrow I will be at the temple of the living God with Dembe. He is showing me ways to serve the invisible God… almost everyone in Kebra is gradually embracing this true light. They are coming to worship with the priestess right in the temple. You will be left out because your offense is huge. You are afraid of your mother, afraid of Dembe and his God… very soon you will also be afraid of me because I can’t be left out in this new life that was introduced to Kebra through Dembe.
Bash turned to leave, Sheila stood up and ran after him.
“Please don’t follow me Sheila, go back to your bed. I can’t sleep with my eyes close if we are in the same bed because I know what you are capable of doing.
“Bash I’m afraid. Dembe’s God may kill me before morning. I’m afraid… please don’t leave me at his mercy because I don’t want to die…I will sleep on the ground if you want me to but I don’t want to be alone…
Sheila pleaded. But Bash was no move by her plea.
“I’m not staying in the same room with you Sheila. Call your maids to keep you company but leave me out of whatever is trying to kill you…I won’t be part of it. You really have to go and make peace with both your mother, Dembe and everyone you have offended…that is the only way you can have peace. As of for me… I’m not interested again in this marriage. I’m still giving you time so that the information will sink in. I know you can’t return back to your mother’s house because of your atrocities and you can’t stay here either so start planning on what exactly to do with your life…
Sheila kept pleading to follow him but Bash strongly refused to stay in the same room with her.
“Mother will never forgive me. She will rather watch me stone to death than have a daughter like me. Dembe is not even somebody I want to talk about…he will throw spit over my grave if I die. I don’t have anywhere to go to Bash. mother has destroyed our priestess home and turned it into a worship centre to the God of Dembe. She burned the gods and destroyed everything we hold sacred. There is nothing left for me. No mother, no sister, no child of my own, not even a seat as the priestess of Kebra… Everything is gone and now you also want to leave me. My life will be empty with no hope and this God of Dembe will destroy me finally… please … don’t leave me.
Bash made a heavy sigh before saying.
“I’m sorry Sheila, you brought this upon yourself. I really can’t help you…
Bash walked into his chamber and locked the door firmly.
She sat beside Bash door, leaning her head on the wall afraid to go back to sleep again.
In the morning as Bash opened the door to come out of his room, he stumbled on Sheila lying in front of his door, she wrapped up herself in a tick shaw.
“, What in the Lord’s name are you doing lying on the ground in front of my door. Sheila…?
Sheila yawned loudly as she sat up from the ground.
“That God was going to kill me right in my bed. I decided to trick him by changing position. He probably searched for me on the bed in my chamber and since he couldn’t find me he left.
Bash suddenly started laughing hysterically.
“You speak like a child Sheila. So you thougt that you can actually hide from the invisible God??…
Few days later Sheila kept having sleepless nights. Her fear grew worst anytime the night draws close.
She suddenly started loosing weight and feeling sick.
“, Dembe’s God struck me down with this sickness. He was out to destroy me for every bad thing I did in the past…
She cried out. She was always afraid and hates to stay alone.
Anytime she is in her chamber she will imagine an invisible eyes watching her.
And with such imagination she will began to scream.
Bash was tired of the Continues drama from his wife.
He felt pity for Sheila with the way she was going down joined with her crazy attitude.
She was begining to act like a mad person, talking to herself and always running away from nothing.
She doesn’t sleep at night, and afraid during the day.
Bash decided to speak to the priestess and to Dembe just to plead for Sheila’s forgiveness.
Dembe obviously has nothing against Sheila and wish she could really see that his heart is pure towards her and he has always prayed for her.
The priestess who was gradually turning into a prophetess had this to say.
“Sheila is just like me when i was still serving and bowing to idols. I was heartless at some point and wanted everything to go my way. My husband was like a hindrance to my power and I try to remove him from the way. He got sick and later died. I moved on without much to regret over. I told my two daughters that men are not supposed to rule over them, I told them that they have power to do as they please and anybody that stands on the way should be removed. Aprin was different… she has always had a soft heart for people. Sheila swallowed all my words and buried her head in it. Sheila is my replica and I later regretted every thing that I did and how I sowed evil seed in my children’s heart. I didn’t want to have another type of myself on the seat..it would have been a total disaster. Sheila would have brought down doom on Kebra and the people at Large. I saw my young version in her and that was why I refused to accept her as the next priestess of Kebra even after Aprin died. It wasn’t so surprising when she tried to stab me to death or hang a crime she solely did on Dembe’s head… I and Dembe were hindrances on her way and she tries to remove us but heaven intervened on our behalf. God showed up and had mercy on me even when I’m undeserving. I’m not worthy yet he counted me worthy to be alive in the land of the living. I will use all I got, everything in me…to serve him. I dedicate the rest of my life to him alone. Sheila is still my daughter…if God can forgive all my sin and make me his vessel how much more Sheila. I have forgiven her and I’m only waiting for her to realize herself and come around. Tell her that I yawn to see her again. Is almost a year now that I almost died from her stab, the scar on my stomach serves as a reminder of God’s kindness. one of the reasons God brought me back to life is to help people like her to find their footing. I’m sure Dembe has no problem with her either. Sheila is only eaten by guilt. She remains my daughter and nothing will change that. I caused her to be so heartless with my word and action in the past but I can also help her to see the true light that has come stay in Kebra… please help Sheila to start seeing this light that you have also come to embrace. Don’t leave her… maybe God placed you in her life for such a purpose Just as Dembe was brought to us for such a time as this, to lead us out of darkness”>darkness into a marvelous light..
Bash nodded to every word of his mother in-law and also that of Dembe.
He thanked them and left.
As he got home, he told Sheila what her mother had said but Sheila did not believe him.
“You want me to get into her trap so that they can kill me? I won’t… she and Dembe won’t see me to kill. They will be happy to watch me die… Even if I have to die let me die right here not under her poking eyes.
She refused to step out no matter how much Bash persuaded her.
The nightmare reduced but she was still acting like a crazy woman and getting sicker as each day comes.
Bash invited Dembe to come over and he did.
Sheila kept screaming in terror the moment she saw Dembe.
She was too weak to run if not she could have ran out of the house.
Dembe without minding began to rebuke every demon tormenting her.
He prayed for Sheila until her scream turned into a cry. She began to sob heavily.
Dembe tried his best to comfort her before leaving.
He came twice to see her and also prayed for her before Sheila agreed to go with him to see her mother.
She fell to her mother’s feet weeping bitterly, she was uncontrollable as she lay face down on her mother’s feet begging to be forgiven.
The priestess was happy to see her daughter again even though Sheila was almost turning into a dry bone.
She was very sick.
Sheila confessed wholeheartedly of all the terrible things she did in the past.
She said that was not worthy to be called a daughter because she doesn’t deserve such title.
Dembe told them the story of a prodigal son in the Bible. Who wanted his own wealth and his father had to give him his own share of the wealth. He left to a foreign land and squander all the money. He spent it all in living an extravagant life. After exhausting his wealth he became poor and couldn’t feed. He begged a swine dealer to allow him to be feeding the pigs just so that he can be able to eat out of the pigs pen. One day while attending to the swines he thought of how the servants in his father’s house eat and live so comfortably. He decided that he will journey back home and beg his father to make him one of his servant because he was not worthy to be called a son. He was hungry and dirty as he left for his journey. His father sighted him from afar and ran ahead to meet him. He embraced his son, asked the servants to clean him up and wear him a beautiful garment. The father called party and gathered people to celebrate with him that his son who was lost has returned home.
Dembe explained to them that the story of the prodigal son and his father is the Same way God reacts anytime one of his own turns away from sin and come back to him. The heavens and all the host of angels rejoices over one sinner’s repentance.
Sheila and Bash started attending fellowship. Jon and his family also comes around.
The priestess was very happy to meet Hannah after she was introduced.
She knew Hannah belongs to the tent makers family and she can’t take her away from them because through her the tent maker and his wife nursed a baby of their own. Hannah loves her parents and was growing to be God fearing and a beautiful damsel.
Many other families always gather at the temple of the living God right in the priestess compound on every worship day to pray, sing and worship together.
The news of Kebra traveled far and near.
Lydia heard about the good news of the people in Kebra.
People from Kish that traveled to Kebra returned back to Kish to testify that the city of Kebra has seen the light and many has given their life to Christ.
It was a great news , Lydia was very excited.
She decided to visit Kebra again. She told her father and brother. Lukas also wanted to go and see for himself too.
Before she set out for her journey. She ran to tell her good friend Cornelius that she will be going back to Kebra.
He was not so happy with the news of Lydia leaving but he wished Lydia the best.
Lydia thanked him for all his kindness and promised that she will always intercede for him in her prayers.
Nel assured her the same.
They hugged for sometime before Lydia Left to start packing her things for the journey.
She knew if she stays any longer she may change her mind from going because of Nel who she was gradually getting attached to.