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The Peacemaker. 

In the Sermon on the mount Jesus said, "Happy are the peacemakers. "  In this story a boy became happy after helping to make peace.

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John woke up earlier than usual. At first he felt very sleepy and tried to remember what was special about today. When he was completely awake he remembered. Today was his birthday and he was twelve years old. He got up, got dressed and went down stairs. On the table was a birthday card and a parcel with his name on it. It had layers and layers of paper and sticky tape around it and it seemed to take him ages to get it open.  When he did get it open, he found just what he wanted - a digital camera. There was an instruction book and John wanted to start reading it straight away but his mother said, "No time for that now. It's nearly time to go to school. John had his breakfast and went to school.

Picture of box                                                                                                    Picture of camera

 When he got back he could hardly wait to look at his camera again and read the instructions. He had his tea first and then read through the book. One part caught his eye: "How to take photograhs of moving objects." John remembered that his school football team, (Ronning Rovers ) was playing in the final of School's league football. Their opponents were Ubis United who actually came from the next village. John read the instructions again. The important thing was to keep the camera steady and use a high shutter speed. This would only work well if there was plenty of light. When John got to the football field he was pleased to see that he sun was shinning brightly.

At the start of the match it looked as if his team was winning. They scored the first goal and it looked as if they would soon score another because the ball always seemed to be in the United half of the field.

 Goalkeeper catches the ball


The striker actually had 2 more shots at goal but the first hit the goalpost and the second was saved by the goalkeeper.

Then United managed to clear the ball and their striker ran all the way down into Rovers half of the field, another member of his team kicked the ball over to him and he was able to kick it into the goal. The teams were level at one all. As all this was going on John ran up and down the field with his camera, trying to take action shots. He would have to wait until he got home to find out how they looked. At half time he noticed someone talking into a microphone and at first he could not think what was happening. Then he remembered. The village had set up its own radio station. The commentary would be recorded and it would be broadcast in the evening.    Man with microphone


The second half of the game did not go well. United kicked the ball down into Rovers half of the field. One of the Rovers team ran out to meet it but it bounced into the air and came towards his face. Automatically he threw up his hands. No one was sure if he hit the ball with his hand or if the ball simply hit his outstretched hand. It happened in the penalty area and the referee ordered a penalty.


 The man spoke angrily into his microphone, "This referee is stupid. I have never seen such a bad decision. How can Rovers stand a chance if the referee is playing for the other side?" John looked up and saw that his teacher was standing beside him. "Was the referee wrong?" John asked. "Well", said his teacher, "It was a very difficult decision to take. The referee can see better from where he is standing than what we can. He can certainly see better than the man with the microphone. He was looking at the microphone switch when it happened.

United took the penalty but it did not go in. For almost the whole of the rest of the game the ball was kicked backwards and forwards up and down the field. Then a dreadful thing happened. One of the Rovers players slipped and fell. He could not get up and he could not straighten his leg at the knee. An ambulance was called and John's teacher decided to go with the boy to hospital.

       Picture of boy on stretcher                                                                                                                          Picture of ambulance


Picture of boy on stretcher                                                                                                        Picture of ambulance

Picture: Ball kicked away from goal 

  He did not see what happened next. United's striker kicked the ball forwards and Rovers' goal keeper ran forward to meet him. The striker kicked the ball past the goal keeper. At the same moment another Rovers' player ran into the goal mouth and turned to try to stop the ball going in.

The ball hit his foot and came flying away from the goal. The referee said that the ball was over the goal line but the man with the microphone was very angry.

"This referee is obviously playing for the United team. This is absolutely disgraceful! He should not be allowed to be a referee. He turned to someone standing beside him. "What do you think of that?" "Of course it wasn't in!" said the other man. I think that referee should be taught a lesson. Why should we put up with that! Just wait until the game is over and we'll get him!

But just before the game ended the police arrived. They took the referee over to their car to give him a lift home. "Coward!" shouted someone in the crowd. You did not dare to stay and face us." At this moment John's teacher came back. "What's been happening here? he asked. John told him. "This is very bad," said the teacher. "And Philip will be in hospital overnight. "I'll have to call and see his parents. There's nothing to worry about but Philip has a lot of pain. "Has United won the match?" said John. Well, I don't think anyone will change what the referee has said and I really hope they don't. If we are good sportsmen we should not be upset by losing but if someone is saying the result was wrong people in the two villages could hate each other."            


 John went home and thought a lot about all that had happened. Then he remembered the photographs in his camera. He transferred the pictures to his computer and began looking at them. When he got to the last one he got a shock. It was taken at the time just before the referee said it was a goal. There was the ball, inside the line and inside the goal.

Picture of ball inside goal line


What the referee had said was right. John thought about what he must do. If he showed the picture to his teacher he would see that the ball was in and that Rovers had lost.


 Then John remembered what his teacher said about the people in the 2 villages hating each other. The next morning he showed the photograph to his teacher. "Why did you do that?" said John's friends. "Now we have certainly lost the match." "John is quite right!"said the teacher." I will show this picture to the newspaper. "When it comes out on Wednesday everyone can see what happened and they will stop arguing. Our team played a good game and we all enjoyed it. It would have made us happier to win but we must be good sportsmen.

Some of John's friends were still angry. "You have let the school down," said one of them. John felt very sad. But then a strange thing happened. It was speach day and the boys and girls who had done best in their exams got prizes. But then the Headmaster made a suprise announcement. "This year there is a special prize. It goes to John who took the photograph that made peace between our villages.Because of this everyone thinks our school is great. Congratulations! You are a peacemaker. Everyone cheered

peacemaker 7.mp3

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