Monthly Archives: March 2017

Laughter is the Best Medicine

med-gecko

Gecko friend

Laughter is the best medicine, even while enduring tough situations. Most of my Nuggets are memories of our lives in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), describing what it was like growing up on Mission Stations that were extremely primitive and not an easy life. Many Rhodesian settlers of the era I grew up in, (1940’s and 1950’s), can attest to the fact that to survive you needed to have a backbone of steel, a willingness to work hard, the ability to improvise; along with a good sense of humor.  In October of 1969 Glyn and I assumed our missionary duties as a young married couple. Our first home, a rented house, was in the town of Hartley. It was not exactly what you would consider palatial, quite the opposite. The walls were cracked; the roof had seen better days and the floors were nothing but bare concrete that had a red wax polish smeared on them, which required a lot of “elbow grease” to bring up a shine.  Humble though the house was, it was our first real home and I felt like a queen. Our furniture was second-hand but it was ours! We had only been in the house a few days when we discovered that we were sharing it with several rather unique occupants. Geckos freely scampered across the ceilings with the help of the sticky pads on their feet. Then there were the spiders which we would find in the most amazing hiding places, like our shoes, our closet, under our bed and many times racing across the floor trying to out run my broom! There was one species of spiders that seemed to multiply daily but we rarely killed them. It was a flat wall spider whose body resembled a coin; their body could grow to be the size of a sliver dollar; so, we had them is numerous sizes and their favorite haunt was on the ceilings. The reason we “lived at peace” with the geckos and wall spiders is they loved to feed on mosquitoes which was a natural deterrent for us, as none of our windows had screens to keep them out. We slept under a mosquito net which protected us from the mosquitoes as well as the creepy crawlies that lived with us. Occasionally a snake would slither in seeking shelter from the heat in the coolness afforded by the concrete floors. These were not welcomed guests as many were poisonous so were speedily dispatched to “snake heaven”.

On one occasion we joined my parents, Willard & Florence Wilson along with my younger brother and sister for a trip to Gobatema Mission; for the men could do some maintenance work on the bore-hole pump. It was a long hot trip as the Mission was 80 miles out in the bush from Bulawayo, which was a three to four-hour drive from our home Hartley. We arrived late in the afternoon, hot, thirsty and VERY dusty. The first order of business was for everyone to wash off the dust. Years earlier Dad had rigged up a large galvanized tank on the roof of the old Mission house and water could be pumped from the bore-hole pump into the tank. The water was brought into the house simply with the “trickle-down effect” by a few pipes in the kitchen and the one room reserved for bathing.  It was a small room with nothing but an old-fashioned bathtub sitting in it. We decided that Mom should go first seeing she was the eldest and that would ensure her getting a measure of warm water. Somehow it had escaped our attention that it was the peak of the summer heat with the outside temperatures of plus/minus 132 degrees Fahrenheit; blazing down on the water tank. The water was so hot that mother had to wait for it to cool before enjoying her soak. The rest of the family busied themselves setting up camp cots, starting the old wood stove when suddenly we were startled with shrieks coming from the bathroom. There were no ceilings in the old mission house, just rough rafters covered with galvanized iron sheeting. The water had been so hot the room had filled with steam and the geckos on the rafters began to lose their footing and were dropping into the bathtub in which my unsuspecting mother was ensconced. Dad went in and fished the unwanted swimmers; while the rest of us were reduced to hilarious laughter at the comments coming from the bathroom! Just another day in the life of a missionary!

When we would hold services in the villages and remote areas; at first, we would camp in the back of our truck; then we were able to purchase a tent and finally we bought a used Gypsy caravan. We could only use the caravan when we were going into an area that had a semblance of a road.  When the word reached the villagers that we were coming they would prepare us a special “out-house shelter”.  This shelter was nothing but tall dried thatch that was bundled and tied together with rawhide, fashioned in a circle with a door less entrance.  A hole was dug in the middle of thatch enclosure that was about 3 feet deep with no seat over it, this served as the toilet!  It worked great once you figured out how to accommodate yourself without falling over but it had a major drawback. No one had counted on the curiosity of the African children! They were quite convinced that we did not have white skins under our clothing, so when they would see one of us heading to the grass shelter it would not be long and we would have an audience of little eyes peering through the thatch that they had parted! Yes…….just another day in the life of a missionary.

Bush out-house

Bush Out House

Many more humorous tales are etched in my memories but they will have to be kept for another day! The ability to laugh at ones-self amid harsh circumstances is a gift from God. Being joyful and being quick to laugh is a CHOICE we make. Laughter will drive away the clouds of bitterness and a barren spirit and remind us that there is no experience too trying, that God cannot see us through.

The presence of God in the floods of our lives is better than a ferry-boat.

Yes we will be tried and tested but we will be triumphant; for God Himself, who is mightier than any circumstance is with us.

So my friends rejoice in the Lord today and let laughter fill your heart and soul.

Remember the words of the scripture:

Proverbs 17:22 (NKJV) A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.

 

Advertisements

The Lord is our Strong Tower

My beautiful picture

(Our rented adobe home in Hartley, Rhodesia, Africa)

THE LORD IS OUR STRONG TOWER

Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV) The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.

It was a hot, muggy evening following a typical African summer thunderstorm, in the small town of Hartley, Rhodesia.  The house we were renting was humble; it had bare concrete floors, adobe walls and a corrugated asbestos roof.  Humble though it was we were as happy as though we were living in the luxury of a palace. The Lord provided for our daily needs and we were focused on the call He had placed in our lives. The work was flourishing, many lives were being changed by the preaching of the Word; exciting days lay before us. Not only were we rejoicing in what God was doing but we were anticipating the birth of our first child in three months’ time! Life was good, we had each other, our hearts were full; we had so much to be thankful for, our confidence rested firmly in the shelter of God’s provision and protection.

The thunderstorm gradually abated with a few distant rumblings as it moved across the thirsty countryside. Now the muggy heat set in. Our bedroom had French doors that opened onto a screened porch that had a simple screen door with no lock. Most summer nights, we slept with our bedroom doors open to maximize the flow of air. We had no fan and slept under a mosquito net for protection from mosquitoes. The mosquito net hung from a hook in the ceiling and was tucked in around the bed. Even though it was thin cotton netting, it gave us protection not only from malaria carrying mosquitoes but also the many spiders and geckoes that shared the house with us!

This particular evening Glyn and I decided to lie in bed and do some reading while waiting for the night air to cool down; before tucking in the mosquito net around us for the night.  All was quiet expect for the comforting night sounds, that we were so familiar with.  Lost in the book I was reading I was oblivious that a very large rain spider had scurried in from the porch and had climbed the wall directly over my head, seeking out our bedroom light. Rain spiders are known to come out of their hiding places after a rain as they love to feed on the flying ants that take flight once the summer rainstorm has passed. We had a lot of these rather nasty looking spiders living in our rock garden! They are large spiders with thick bodies, long legs and a set of intimidating pincers that they catch their prey with. Full grown ones can stretch the length of a hand! In spite of their ferocious looks they are not poisonous but can give a painful nip if provoked…..Not really a spider to be feared though.

A movement above my head finally caught my attention, I look up and staring down at me from its vantage point was our 8-legged night visitor!

What transpired next was hilarious to say the least!

I might have been in my last trimester of carrying our baby but I leaped out of bed with the speed of an Olympic hurdler and ran out onto the porch! To my consternation, I discovered that the spider had dropped to the floor and was chasing after me.  In my haste to flee I forgot that these spiders run after movement. Instead of stopping and letting my pursuer simply run harmlessly past me, I grabbed the screen door, flung it open and ran outside………….BIG MISTAKE!

I ran bare footed into a nest of rain spiders greedily stuffing themselves with flying ants! By now my “Knight in shining armor” knew that the love of his life was not a happy camper, controlling his mirth he encouraged me to come back to bed where I would be safe in his protective care!  Once I was back into the safety of our bed and we were all tucked in under the mosquito net for the night, I began to reflect on the hilarious adventure I just had experienced.

I saw a spiritual lesson in what had just transpired …… You see the big mistake I made was to run from the protection of my bed.

How many times in our spiritual walk have we run ahead of God in His leading? In doing this we are removing ourselves from the refuge He has provided for us. There are so many things that will draw us AWAY from God’s plan for us, even when we foolishly think we are doing the right thing, as I did that night.

I love the scripture verse at the beginning of this Nugget. The Lord IS our STRONG TOWER……as children of God we have this place of safety to run to for refuge. He is the “tower” that cannot be breached or invaded by the enemy.  Remember; when the circumstances of our lives cause our trust and faith in God to waver DON’T RUN FROM the strong tower of God’s provision but RUN TO IT.

Yes…..the Name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run to it and are safe! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Shake off Your Fear

Mana sunset by Ross Sayers

Mana Pools sunset by Ross Sayers Photography -used with permission

SHAKE OFF YOUR FEAR

Having lived through a horrific terrorist war while we were missionaries in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), the pictures of the carnage that took place in London this week were all too familiar and brought back a flood of painful emotions and memories that will be forever seared in my heart.  Sadness overwhelmed me for the individuals whose lives would be changed because of this heinous attack.

While watching the scenes from London unfold on the news media; I could not staunch the flow of memories flooding my emotions of the countless days, months and years that we dealt with, first hand in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

At times like these I have found solace in turning to God’s Word for strength and then record the emotions pouring into my heart, that I gleaned from the promises I found in the scripture.

I sat in the silence of the hour, musing over these very tangible memories filled with pain, heart-ache and often terror that refused to be silenced.

My first thought was: “How could this be happening to us again?”

I reached for one of my old devotional journals and began to read my notes that I had written those many years ago in Rhodesia; when each day was fraught with danger, uncertainty of life and untimely deaths of those close to us. The words I wrote back then are so very applicable to the events unfolding in our world today; I would like to share them with you; that you may draw courage and strength as I did and continue to draw strength.

My meditation was drawn from:

Deuteronomy 33:25 (NKJV) “Your sandals shall be iron and bronze; As your days, so shall your strength be.”

These are the words I penned as I meditated on this verse of scripture:

When our days are overshadowed by Divine protection; when we receive provision and courage from His Hand; we are surrounded by a glorious peace which glows in a brilliant contrast to the ugliness of the circumstances swirling around us!

We, as believers, are pilgrims traveling through a dreary, harsh, unforgiving wilderness; our days require great strength to endure; energy and patience to not become weary and discouraged.  We are not left alone; God has promised to supply whatever grace we need for each circumstance that we walk through. No matter what we must face, there will ALWAYS be a sufficiency of strength and provision to draw from in our hour of trial.

I notice that two little words change the whole meaning of the verse in Deuteronomy 33:25. The two words “AS” and “SO” have a powerful impact on the outcome of our circumstances.

Let me re-phrase this verse this way:

‘AS our day, no matter how it turns out, SO shall be the supply of sufficiency of God’s grace be provided for us to tap into.’

I notice that this promise does not pledge that we shall be ABSOLVED from EXPERIENCING the heat of our fiery trials BUT God promises to supply us with His grace and strength EQUAL TO AND EXCEEDING the adverse circumstances that threaten to overwhelm us.

God’s strength will be our portion when the tempest of life rages and threatens to overwhelm us.

God’s strength will be our portion when we grapple with the enemy of our soul.

God’s strength will be our portion when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Take courage weary sojourner; we may not know what the next hour, day or week will bring; BUT GOD KNOWS and He has promised His Divine presence and grace to walk each wavering step with us!

Just as we have the assurance that the setting sun will rise again and shed its warmth, comfort and life in the morning; so too, we can have the confidence of God’s presence in our lives.

What comfort is ours!  What sustaining assurance we have in these seasons of fear, violence and uncertainty; for our God walks with us during these dark days and HE WILL bring us through victorious!”

 

 

Our Timeless God

Seeing through the heart by Linda ElliotGrand Canyon taken by Linda Elliot -used with permission

A dear friend, Linda Elliot, recently posted a beautiful picture that she had taken during a visit to the Grand Canyon. The picture was taken through a split tree that appeared to be the shape of a heart and looking through it; was an incredible vista of the Grand Canyon’s time carved cliffs plunging all the way to the Colorado River.  I am sure hundreds of people had walk by that spot and never saw this amazing image because they did not see it through a talented photographer’s eyes!

I have visited the Grand Canyon and the vastness of its splendor can’t not be comprehended in a simple glance. Those craggy canyon cliffs that plummet countless yards down to the winding Colorado River have been slowly eroded by years of wind, beating rain and erosion resulting in one of the most breath-taking wonders of the world. Centuries of time are represented in the magnificence of this place!

We all can relate to time!

One author writes: “We manage time, waste time, spend time, and save time. We wish it would come…we wish it would pass…we see time fly…we feel it drag. We watch clocks and carry calendars… time literally controls our lives”. (Bob Gass)

God is the one Who set time in motion and He controls time.

He created time, and His creations are fenced by His time, directed and guided by His loving hand.

So many times, we are surprised by unexpected developments in our lives, but God is NEVER surprised by even the most disastrous turn of events.

Just this morning I was praying on the phone with a dear friend who was just a few hours from undergoing very serious surgery. I reminded my friend that God was not taken by surprise by this turn of events in her life!

God is at work in our life circumstances and our outlook on life changes dramatically when we allow this truth to permeate our thinking. Once this truth becomes a reality in our faith we can know with unwavering assurance that God is working within us to ‘to carry out His purpose.’ In the events of our life. (Ephesians 3:20)

Think about how you would live if you were certain God was at the end of your life’s deadlines. That even if there were mere seconds left, you believed with certainty He was working through your circumstances according to His Will for your life.

Believing God is intricately involved in “our times” is the essence of faith.

The scripture teaches us that ‘Jesus…is the same yesterday, today, and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8 ).

Time cannot change Him!

Time cannot diminish His love or His power to work within our life.

He was there in the past.

He is present in the now.

He will be there in the future.

The truth is, He has ‘all the time in the world…a thousand years or a day, it’s all the same to Him!

2 Peter 3:8 (NKJV) “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

God’s ultimate goal, is to bring you into eternity, not just get you through to the end of the week. Today remind yourself that in EVERY situation “His power Is at work within us to carry out His purpose and do super-abundantly…above all that we dare ask or think beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams!

Our God is a timeless God. Do not fear your tomorrows as He already is present in them!

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NKJV) “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height– to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Unfailing Comfort

www.hdnicewallpapers.com

UNFAILING COMFORT

I would like to challenge each one reading this Nugget today to take time and reflect on some of the hardest circumstances that you have had to experience during your life’s journey. Many will not want to do this because it brings back so many painful memories but bear with me.

Once you have reflected on deep valleys you have had to walk, stop……..now remember how God walked with you and sometimes even carried you during these difficult times!

What I am trying to evoke in each one’s heart; is the truth that God can make you comfortable in some of life’s most uncomfortable places. He can bring you through situations you think you won’t survive, or feel like you’ll be stuck in forever.

He will give you peace when you’re under pressure.

Before our journey on this earth is over, every one of us will experience loss, financially, materially or the passing of a cherished loved one. Yet, losing some things will help you to appreciate the things you have!

Another facet of loss can be total failure on our part in some unreachable dream.

Until we have tasted the bitterness of failure, we will not fully appreciate the sweetness of success!

We all live not knowing what tomorrow holds, but one truth is CERTAIN, we know that God has ALL our tomorrows in His control!

Our future isn’t in the hands of your boss, your banker, your spouse, or anybody else.

Nor is it in our own hands to control.

All our tomorrows are in God’s hands!

Just because we don’t understand the path we are on, doesn’t mean God isn’t leading us.

He promises: “I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them” (Isa 42:16 NKJV).

So, my challenge today is press in and get to know God more intimately—because you need Him.

He will be there when everybody else has failed you, and He will be there for you in the dark places.

The Psalmist writes, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps 30:5 NKJV).

Let me encourage you today; however long the night, morning will come—and with it the sunlight of His joy!

Looking back, you’ll realize that His grace has protected you, provided for you, calmed you, comforted you, and brought you through.

Times, seasons and people change, but NOT the Lord. He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV).

I love the words to that beautiful song:  His Eye Is On The Sparrow.

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come

Why should my heart fell lonely and long for Heaven and home

When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches over me

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me, He watches me

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches

I know He watches, I know He watches me

(Songwriters: CHARLES HUTCHISON SR. GABRIEL, CHRIS E. MARTIN, PETER MATZ)

God of all circumstances.

African Fish Eagle

GOD OF ALL CIRCUMSTANCES

It seems that my “In-box” is filled these days with heart-breaking messages from friends around the globe who are carrying heavy burdens. Exhaustion stalks their footsteps, in some cases it is a daily battle for them to put “one foot before the other”!

During these times of intense trials and heart-ache it would be so easy to just “give up”.

To the weary battered individual, the question of continuing to fight the daily battle; assaults their mind with the intensity of a jack hammer.

The troubled mind is filled with questions that don’t seem to have any answers.

Questions like………………….

What is the point of going on?

Does God even value me anymore?

Where is God in my situation?

Better still, does anyone care whether I live or die?

Let me challenge my readers this morning; DON’T GIVE UP.

DON’T ALLOW DISCOURAGEMENT TO CONTROL YOU WITH ANXIETY.

God is our eternal rock of strength and our deliverer!

Consider this powerful promise from the God of ALL circumstances:

Isaiah 44:6-8 (NKJV)  “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them. Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’ ”

Let these words fill your heart……… “there is no other Rock”!

Focus on the promise that God is the FIRST to be aware of our situation and He will see us through to the very end…..if we don’t give up.

In the passage of scripture, I quoted from Isaiah 44; God first established His Sovereignty to us, and then He tells us not to fear or be overwhelmed when trouble rips into our lives like a roaring tsunami.  Not only are these verses speaking to the situations in our lives but they are also pertinent to the events unfolding around the globe. Earthquakes are shaking the foundations of this old world, the nations are gathering against Israel, conflict and hatred abounds nationwide and the level of violence has reach an all-time high. Globally this world is reeling, out of control at warp speed!

Friends, without a deep confidence and faith in God, fear will overwhelm our hearts…. BUT GOD!

As I meditated on this passage during the morning hour, a joyful realization permeated my being.

If God can sustain those who trust in Him as their “rock of strength and defense” through these terrible global events, then He CERTAINLY will be our “Jehovah-Jireh”, our Provider, in every situation of our personal lives.

Yes, “rest” in this knowledge today! His joy, provision and peace will sustain you through the events and challenges that each day holds!

Don’t fear the storm because God walks in the storms of life!

A hiker stood on a lofty peak of the Rocky Mountains watching a storm raging below him, suddenly an eagle came up through the turbulent storm clouds. He soared ever higher towards the sun and the water on his feathers glistened in the sunlight like diamonds. Had it not been for the storm the eagle might have remained in the valley. Instead he soared using the intense velocity of the wind of the storm to enable himself to break free into the glorious sunlight.

What a lesson for you and me to learn!

When we place our focus on God, our rock of strength and defense, then these hard experiences of life, will cause us to rise like the eagle, through the storm and into the sunshine of God’s love.

Sunrise at Mana by Ross Sayers PhotographyWhile reading in the Book of Daniel I was struck by Daniel’s total commitment to God even though he knew it could well result in his death in a horrific manner. It got me thinking about the church of today and the climate of total moral decline in our own nation.

I asked myself the question; “Am I willing to stand up and be counted for righteousness sake in this day and age where wickedness abounds? Would I dare to be like Daniel even if it meant extreme persecution?”

This is truly a soul-searching question.

Jesus already demonstrated the answer to this question in that beloved verse in John 3:16.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

If my loving Lord could die for my sin then then surely the least I can do is be willing to resist the moral decay that is spreading through our land like an insidious cancer!

Let me share with you the thrilling testimony of an African Pastor, who “dared to be a Daniel”. His name was Joel Chuma. He was one of the early preachers who worked with my parents back in the 1940’s. We were living at Gobatema Mission at the time. One day Pastor Chuma came to the mission compound and shared with Dad that he really felt the leading of the Lord to travel to Mozambique, East Africa, to preach the gospel and plant some churches. Dad counseled him that the Gospel was not well received in this area and many Christians were being severely persecuted. Dad was not trying to dissuade Joel from going but he felt he needed to be aware that it could well cost him his life. Joel understood but felt strongly that this was God’s leading, so after a time of prayer he left with Dad’s blessing upon his venture.

Many months passed and no word was received from Joel. My parents began to despair that they would ever see this precious friend again. Then one day as the sun began to wane and the aroma of evening meals being prepared mingled with the smoke from the wood cooking fires, a strange but familiar figure slowly walked into the mission compound. He was emaciated but dressed in a beautifully fitted and obviously new suit. Dad studied his face for a moment and then recognized a familiar smile; it was Pastor Joel Chuma! Mom had our evening meal ready so Dad brought him in to the old mission house; an extra plate was set and while we ate together Joel told us his miraculous experience……………..

After a long arduous journey by train and then walking many days through inhospitable bush he finally arrived in a remote village. Initially the villagers welcomed him as a visitor in their midst and daily he began sharing about Jesus and His sacrifice for these people. After three weeks, the witchdoctor stirred up enough animosity toward Joel that the villagers turned against him and told him to leave. This scenario was repeated several times in different villages until one day some government “officials” arrived and arrested Joel. He was taken to a town and without the benefit of legal advice or even being seen by a judge; was summarily thrown into what he described as a dungeon. I appeared to be a large “hole” that had been dug out of the side of a hill; there were no windows, no light, no bed, no blankets; just a muddy dank floor and a pole. The pole had been staked to the floor with chains attached to it. These chains were tightly secured to Joel’s legs. There was a heavy wooden door, which was bolted and the only light he had was what little sunlight managed to filter through some of the warped boards. Once a day, a little hatch in the door was opened by his captors and a small bucket, with what he could only describe as food that would be thrown to the pigs and a small jug of water, would be pushed through for him. Joel said he had no idea how many days or weeks he lay in this black hole of torture. When he tried to sleep cockroaches and rats would scurry across his body and chew on his bare feet. The stench of the airless hole was suffocating and was only made worse when it rained and water seeped in on the dank dirt floor. The chains on his legs chaffed at his skin until they began to cut deep into his flesh. Excruciating pain from the now festering wounds in his chained legs became his daily companion and he began to prepare himself to die alone; with no way to let his family or his missionaries know what had happened to him. Joel said he would sing songs of praise, quote verse after verse of scripture and cry out to God for strength to ease the bleak solitude he was enduring.

Then one day there was the sound of the heavy door bolt being pulled, the door creaked opened and a man wearing “street clothes” entered. Wordlessly he bent down in the gloom and gently removed the shackles that had torn into Joel’s legs. A strong hand helped him to his feet and silently led him out into the brilliant sunshine. It took Joel’s eyes a few minutes to adjust to the bright sunlight and then he searched the eyes of the stranger trying to find a clue about what was going to happen next. The stranger bent down touched the festering flesh on his legs and Joel said that instantly the pain was gone and all that was left of the deep flesh wounds, were healed-over scars. Then the stranger turned, picked up a package, and finally spoke. He told Joel that the people of this place had rejected the preaching of the Gospel and Joel was to return to his missionaries in Southern Rhodesia as they needed help and there were many people who were willing to hear the Gospel. With that the stranger took Joel’s hand, placed some money, a train ticket and the package in it; that would carry him back to Gobatema Mission. Joel said that his tortured mind was having trouble comprehending the events that had just unfolded, he was staring in shocked silence at the money and the ticket in his hand when finally, he regained his composure and looked up to ask the man his name and thank him, BUT THE STRANGER WHO HAD FREED HIM WAS GONE!

Joel discovered that the package contained a set of clothing including the suit and shoes, all of which fit him perfectly. As quickly as he could he made his way to the nearest train station boarded the train that carried him back to the small town of Gwanda and then he walked the 40 miles through the bush to the Mission compound.

Tears of joy flowed that evening as my parents rejoiced with Joel in his deliverance. He showed my parents the deep holes in his legs that the chains had caused; he would carry those scars for the rest of his days. They became a visual testimony to all who saw them of God’s protective care to those who would “dare to be a Daniel” for the cause of the Gospel.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Sunrise at Mana by Ross Sayers Photography (Used with permission)