Anna felt someone touch her arm and give her a little shake. "Anna, are you okay? Please say something!" She opened her eyes and saw Philip looking down at her in concern.
"I am fine, Philip. I must have fallen asleep on the sand. It feels so good to be on solid ground." She struggled to sit up and brushed some sand off her cheek. "Brrr, it is getting cold out here." She shivered as she watched the sun setting on the horizon. A thought suddenly occurred to her. "Did everyone make it safely to shore?"
"Everyone is here. I am gathering up some wood to see if I can make a fire. Maybe someone has a match on them."
Anna grabbed Philip's hand in excitement. "I do! I have a match!"
Philip looked surprised. "You do?"
"Yes, I do! Back when I was home that day before the arrest, I grabbed my little pocket purse. I had no idea why I would need the items inside, but God certainly knew." She untied a little belt from around her waist and pulled the pocket out from where it hid underneath her skirt. Everything inside was still dry. She handed the little matchbook to Philip. "See, God is already providing for our needs." She smiled.
"Well, praise be to God!" he shook his head. "I just know everything will be okay. Now to find some fire wood and shelter."
Anna stood up. "Here, let me help you look. It beats sitting on the cold sand. Maybe I will warm up a bit walking around."
Others began to join them in their search as the sky grew darker. Within fifteen minutes they had a blazing fire going and they all gathered around to warm up and thank the Lord for saving them all.
The next morning everyone began to explore the island for something to eat. Some found berries, while others attempted to fish with their hands. Two of the young men took it upon themselves to climb some trees to gather coconuts, but overall, the amount of food they found did little to satisfy their hunger. On top of that, they had not found any fresh water nearby and they were quite thirsty. By the middle of the day, the teens gathered around the fire, feeling quite gloomy. They began complaining and suddenly Philip knew how Moses had felt every time the Israelites decided to moan about their circumstances.
"Listen up, everyone! Why are you all moping around? We need to continue to work if we want to survive. The Bible says if you don't work, you don't eat! I am going to assign everyone jobs and you are going to be required to follow through with them. We need to make the best of our situation, and do what can to make it through this. First thing is this fire - we need to make sure it never goes out. We only have fourteen more matches and we cannot afford to use them unless we absolutely need to. May and Liz (Liz was a seventeen year old friend of Anna's), you will keep near the fire and keep adding fuel to keep it going. Mark, Tom, and Andy, you will go and collect fire wood so the girls' stock will remain full. We also need fresh water; I once watched a movie about a man who was shipwrecked and he got fresh water by evaporating sea water. It might be our only option."
A boy named Chris spoke up. "We would need plastic or some other material to get water that way. We would also need something to collect the water in. Walter, what happened to those large turtle shells we found earlier? Those might work!"
The teen named Walter went off with Chris and they went to fill the shells with water. They lugged them to the fire and then Chris arranged some rocks in the sand as close to the fire as he could get, and lifted the shells onto the rock base. "Now I just need a bag of some sort." He frowned in thought.
Anna thought of her pocket. It was waterproof - maybe it would work! She took the rest of the contents out and handed it to Chris. "Will this work?"
Chris took it. "Maybe," he told her. "It is worth giving it a try." He pointed to the steam coming off of the water in the shells. "See the water is already evaporating. All we need to do is catch the steam and collect it in this pouch, and we will have fresh water." The others watched him do the tedious work. It took an extremely long time to collect the steam, and the sweat poured from his face, but after awhile he had a half of bag of water ready. He smiled. "Anna, I guess your little pocket does hold water. You get the first drink."
As thirsty as Anna was, she thought May needed it more than she did. "Give it to May. I will take the next drink."
"We are going to have to use something a little bigger over time. Maybe we can use some material to collect it and then wring the water into another shell. This will be my project. I will look into getting more fresh water for us."
"I will help," Walter told Chris.
Glad to see everyone was feeling better about their situation, Philip asked Anna if she could get some of the girls to find reeds to make some baskets. They had learned how in one of their art classes at school so this was a good time to put some of that knowledge to good use.
By the time the sun set that evening, every gathered around the fire to show the others what they had all found. More firewood, coconuts, and even a rabbit that some one had snared. More shells had been found, and Chris and Walter were hard at work filling them with fresh water. A few baskets had been made and filled with oysters and seaweed. As Anna ate her meager dinner of the island findings, Philip came over and sat down beside her.
"Nice basket," he commented. He picked it up and examined it closely. "Wow, this could almost hold water it is so tightly weaved."
"That is my plan," Anna told him. "If we can find some tree sap or pine pitch, we can make it hold water."
"Good idea! We seem to be on the right track for staying alive here. Tomorrow it is my plan to find a place to shelter us, or maybe even build one. We also need to make a fishing net, or some spears that we can use to catch fish."
"How long do you think we will be on this island?" Anna asked.
"I have no idea. If for some reason we get picked up again and released, then praise God! But if not, we need to be prepared for the worst. There may be storms coming and we need to have an emergency supply of food and water so if something were to happen we would be ready." He scratched his head. "I can't stop itching!"
Anna grimaced. "You might have lice." At his expression she continued, "We all could have easily picked it up on the ship. It was not pristine conditions in there, you know."
"Maybe we should all cut our hair then. You probably have it too."
"Oh no, not my hair!" Anna moaned. "I don't know if I could cut it off."
"Didn't you have scissors inside your pouch?"
She nodded with a frown.
"Go get them. It will make it easier to care for while we are here."
"As long as I still look like a girl," she told him.
All seven of the girls had their hair trimmed and then Philip cut all the guys' hair as short as he could. Anna cried when she laid down by the fire that night, unable to keep the tears from streaming down her face. Yet, the God of peace, who lived inside her heart, comforted her through the night and assured her that all would be okay. Tomorrow was a new day and He would give her the strength she needed to get through this tough trial.