The Witness - eBook

The Witness - eBook
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Deborah Hodge’s breakout novel, The Calling, introduced readers to the touching story of Cate, David and Sarah. The story continues in her newest release, The Witness. Sarah is grown up and on her way to college, full of expectations of a life serving God and being a witness for His word. Challenges abound for her: college life in the United States, pending romance…and danger. Sarah is wooed by Jason and Andy, and threatened by a mysterious stranger. Through it all she turns to her faith—and her family. With prayer, and love, Sarah learns to be The Witness.


Her first impression of the university campus and the people she met was very positive. She expected her whole experience there to be positive, but that was before she found out about Dr. Agar. He was a professor of history, philosophy and ethics, and had a reputation.  She learned about his reputation immediately after registration.

“Who’d you get for ethics?” Shelby asked.

“Dr. Agar,” Sarah replied, as she examined her class schedule.

Amanda’s eyes popped wide. “Dr. Agar!”

Hearing the alarm in her friend’s voice, Sarah looked up.

“You got ‘Old Iron Heart’.” Shelby’s tone and facial expression clearly echoed Amanda’s concern.

Sarah’s brow furrowed, her eyes narrowed and she bit her lip as she surveyed their faces. “Old Iron Heart”?

“Yep, that’s his nickname.” Shelby shook her head in disapproval.


“Because he relishes attacking all things religious and traditional,” Shelby answered.

“Why would he do that?” Sarah’s face captured her bewilderment.

Amanda shrugged, “No one knows why.”

“How does he teach ethics and leave out religion?” Sarah inquired.

“I understand he’s very good at attacking a religious student’s personal beliefs.”

“Yeah,” Shelby chimed in.  “A friend of my sister’s turned her back on her faith because of his class.”

“Surely, not!” Sarah’s eyes widened.

“She confessed to her parents that Dr. Agar had enlightened her to the contradictions of Christianity and it’s teaching about a loving, all powerful God and the existence of inexplicable tragedies.” Shelby made quotation marks with her fingers to emphasize the remark. “He convinced her that religion was a psychological crutch for weak minded people.”

“Really!”  Sarah was shocked. She stood with arms folded, eyes widened, and mouth slightly open as she contemplated this new and disturbing development.

Shelby continued, “Her parents were devastated. The last I heard she was living a rather hedonistic lifestyle.”

“It sounds like she had no real faith to start with,” Sarah suggested.

“That may be true, but that’s not what her parents think. They blame Dr. Agar.”

“That sounds a little unfair to me.” Sarah found herself defending Dr. Agar.

“Just wait Sarah. You’ll see it’s true.” Shelby warned, as Jason walked over and inserted himself into the conversation.

“Wow, the three best looking girls on campus all together in one place. May I join you?”

“Sure.”  Amanda’s enthusiasm was unmistakable.

 “How’s your class schedule?” Shelby asked.

“It’s okay, but I got “Old Iron Heart” for ethics.”

“Sarah did too.”

“You did.” His eyes twinkled, as a broad smile appeared.

“I did, and from what Shelby and Amanda have been saying, it’s going to be an interesting experience.”

“Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard too.”

Unable to let the remark pass, Amanda and Shelby offered advice.

“You two had better be careful.” Amanda touched Jason’s arm lightly.

“Especially you, Sarah; if he finds out that you’re from a missionary family you’ll have a bull’s eye on you.” Shelby’s facial expression and her tone revealed her concern as she gave her warning.

 “I’m sure Sarah can take care of herself.” Jason’s declaration betrayed his interest in her.

Amanda was not pleased. She immediately took him by the arm and suggested, “Want to go to the Student Union and get something to eat?”

“Why don’t we all go?” Jason gazed at Sarah.

Realizing that Amanda wanted him to herself, Sarah and Shelby declined.

“I can’t.”

“Me either. You two have fun.”

Amanda’s face lit up as she realized her friends were giving her right of way. She gave them a nod of appreciation. “I’ll see you girls later,” she took Jason by the arm and hurried him away. “Come on, I’m hungry.”

“See you girls,” Jason allowed Amanda to navigate him toward the Student Union.

“Did you see the way Amanda was looking at Jason?”

“Yeah,” Sarah answered.

“He seems to be a very nice guy.”

“Yes, he does.”  

 “I hope he likes Amanda too.”

“I think he does.”

Shelby threw up her hands, “Sarah, surely you know he likes you.”


“Yeah, Sarah, you!”

“What makes you think that?”

“He looks at you like Amanda looks at him.”

“I don’t think so,” Sarah shook her head. “Besides, I’m not looking for romance.”

“I know that you are here to study, but don’t count romance out.”

“Shelby, I’m not counting anything out. I’m just focused on preparing to serve the Lord in Ecuador, or anywhere else He wants me.”

That’s why I told you to beware of Dr. Agar.”

“That’s why I’m not worried about Dr. Agar. I know what I believe and why. I’m not like that…that other girl.” 

“Maybe not, but that won’t stop Dr. Agar if he finds out about you. Promise me that you won’t let him.”    

“Why should I keep my faith secret? I told you. I know who God is and what I believe.”

“I’m not asking you to keep it secret. I’m just asking you not to advertise it.” Shelby cocked her head, “Please?”

“Okay, I won’t go looking for a fight, but I won’t avoid one.”


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