Chapter 7(part 2)

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How are we feeling today?' the lady spoke with her usual smile still gracing her features. 'Great, Right?' Her eyes wandered as they moved from face to face even as a chorus yeses and yeahs greeted her warm remarks. 'Me too and I am so happy to see you all here...' Right Bernice.' she said smiling at the smaller of the two sisters who was now whispering to one of her friends. She blushed slightly as she nodded and turned her attention back to the front.

'I know that we usually start with sharing the word, but I would like us to do things quite differently today. To mix up abit, and yeah we will still share the word or otherwise it wouldn't be called a Bible study, right? ' the group nodded again as some of them burst out in laughter.

'So, this is what we are going to do today. ..' she began as she stepped out from the podium to walk between the seats and among them. 'we are going to pull all these tables together and seat around them.' she said pointing at the little triangular tables that were scattered among them. 'I want this to be an interactive session where each of you is going to teach us something. For a start, you can tell us what God has been teaching you or you can tell us about your favorite scriptures or the revelations that you have gleaned from them... That way it won't be as boring as me standing up there and talking at you! ' she finished with a quite dramatic pose that illicited another laugh from the group who now looking too eager to start.

' For our guests,' she said smiling at Ryan and some other faces that he assumed were also new to the group, 'We welcome you.' her appearance brightened as  she adorned another smile that did not leave it. 'It is also okay if you feel like you want to just observe for now and it is even more okay if you feel like you have a question or something to share as well... All your insights are welcome as your presence is valuable, Okay?' another round of affirmatives and chairs moving back sounded out through out the room as the chairs were pulled back to create room and the tables were joined at the centre of the hall.

Ryan watched as the small triangular tables came together and as each person found a place around the big table that they had just created. Again, Mrs Beufont invited him to seat beside to her.

'For the sake of those who are new, we will begin with a brief introduction before moving on to the word you are sharing. We are also quite many and we thank God for that. However it may pose a challenge on our time since we only have about three hours...'

A hand lifted and Mrs Beufont turned to the tall dark skinned who was seated at the end of the table.

' Yes Kia. '

' How about we put a time limit?'

' Okay, any one else with an idea or a feedback... Yes Samuel? '

'It is a great idea but we are still quite many. Unless we are to give a maximum of two minutes to each person which will still not be enough to share everything that we have to give... And even then there will not be enough time for discussion... That is, assuming that we are still going to have it. '

'We are...' Mrs Beufont smiled and the way she held out on her own solutions made Ryan feel like this woman already had an answer but was holding out out waiting for a students to come up with the same solution or a better one themselves. For that, he respected her. 'Any other suggestions...Yes Daniel,' she said turning to a young man who could have been Ryan's age or older and as he began to talk, Ryan's eyes wandered taking in the all the faces that were seated at that table, curious as to the age diversity that was presented there. He counted forty eight give or take and their ages ranged from mid teens to young adults who seemed to be way in their twenties. A few elderly faces were also present but these looked more like chaperones who were in charge, helping Mrs Beufont with the running of that huge group.

'Kia is right.' Daniel began. 'Though the time limit should not be on the presentation per se but on the time we conduct this. Of course it means that not everyone will be able to share, but we can always continue where we leave off the next time we meet.'

'That's a good idea Daniel. I thought so too...' She smiled back at him before turning back to the rest of the group. ' Do we all agree on this?' another round of affirmatives passed through the group as Mrs Beufont nodded. ' Okay Sasha...' She said turning to the girl seated to her right, will you start us off?'

It is safe to say that Ryan had a great time and when it became the time for him to leave, he remained and dallied with the rest of them, snacking with the new friends that he had made. He had very few of those now, none considering that he could only think of his sister. His acquaintances however, those were many but few of those wanted anything to do with him, seeing that he had been a perpetual drunk who managed to instigate everyone against him through his poor choice of words and callous behavior. He had always blame it on the alcohol but even he knew that it was just bitterness. Booze could only work to lose his tongue and the rest of the words, those had been the thoughts that he had already been thinking.

Then, there were those that he hurt through his lack of tact and all round insensitivity. Those had once been his greatest friends and among them, the love of his life. The same woman who he had so wronged and was now paying for it. He had hurt her so badly that it killed him just to think about it. How could he have been so stupid, foolish, insensitive and because of it, he had managed to turn even his own son against him. Hadn't he called him dad? He could never forget it, even if he wanted to.

However he would have to move on, just like Mrs B had suggested. What had been done was done and there was no changing it, but he could be better. He could have a new life, a new leash of life. He had just needed the courage to take the very first step and he had already done it and now, he would make the most of it. This new opportunity that God had given to him to be the best father that he could ever be.

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