The Email Exchange

From: “barnabas” <barnabas@pobox.com>  View Contact Details

To: "Mark" <goodwins@yahoo.com>

Subject: Peter’s Trial

Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2004 21:51:36 +0300

Dear Mark,

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your emails, but the trial has taken up all of my time. Regretfully, our appeals have been denied. The US government refuses to intervene since Peter was in the country as a missionary. His execution is set for tomorrow at dawn. I’m sorry. I know he is like a father to you.

I was able to talk with him one last time this morning, and Mark, you wouldn’t believe how calm he seemed. As you know the punishment for proselytizing in this country is death by hanging, but Peter talked as if he were closing out things at the office in preparation for a long anticipated vacation. We prayed together…well, he prayed and I cried…and as he ended our time, Peter said, “Thank you, Lord for the privilege of serving you here, and I guess I’ll finally get to see you face to face bright and early tomorrow morning. Amen.”

I hope when God calls me home, I go with the same dignity.

Peter wanted me to tell you how much he loves you, and how grateful he is for the years you sacrificed following him around the Middle East and Asia.

And Mark, Peter asked that you do him a final favor. He wants you to write the story about how he came to faith. He wants people, especially young people, to realize what can happen to an entire town when one person is a true believer. He wants you to tell the world about the time Russell Hicks came to Wilkins, North Carolina.

Will you do it?

My cell phone is beeping so I’ve got to go. When things are finished here, I’ll fly over to Italy to spend some time with you.

Until then, God bless.

Barnabas

Date: 11 Oct 2004 07:07:40 -0000

From: MAILER-DAEMON@yahoo.com  Add to Address Book

To: "Mark" <goodwins@yahoo.com>

Subject: failure delivery

Message from yahoo.com.
Unable to deliver message to the following address(es).
peterlongley@globalnet.com
Remote host said:error: This user is no longer active.

Hey Peter,

I’m not sure why I’m writing to you. I know you’re gone. CNN and Fox both covered your execution. It’s grotesque that your untimely and unjust death was newsworthy, but your life of sacrificial service to humanity wasn’t.

I can hear you telling me that bitterness will only lead to my own destruction. You’re right, of course. And the truth is, your life was newsworthy to me and a thousand other people.

I miss you, Peter. You mentored me even after the mission board fired me. You stuck with me when nobody else would. You shared your great faith with me, and in me, until it became my own. How can I thank you?

By telling the story, I guess.

I’m no writer and I doubt if anyone will believe what happened, but I’ll do it out of love and appreciation for you, Peter. I’ll write it just like I’ve heard you tell it a thousand times. I’ll close my eyes and imagine you talking to me…

Goodbye, Peter