By Judy Brandon: Local columnist
Editor’s note: This column is being rerun at the request of several readers.
A missionary from Africa told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan.
As a missionary doctor in Africa, he worked in a hospital far out in the country. When he needed supplies, he had to travel by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city. It was a long, tedious and dangerous trip he made every two weeks.
The journey through the bush took two full days so the doctor had to camp overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, on the second day of his trip, he stopped at a bank inside the city for money, and then purchased medicines and supplies to take back to the field hospital.
While in that city, he observed two men fighting. One of them seemed to be seriously injured. He approached the injured man, treated him for his injuries and at the same time told him about Jesus Christ.
Then with his supplies, the missionary began his hard two-day journey back to the field hospital. He recalled how he traveled two days, camping overnight and arriving home without any kind of incident.
Two weeks passed. The missionary had to repeat the journey to the city again. Once on the city streets, the missionary was surprised to see the same young man he had treated on his trip before.
The young man stopped him and said, “I knew from last time that you carried money and medicines and were traveling alone.”
Then he admitted: “Last time, my friends and I followed you into the jungle … to find you when you stopped to camp overnight. We wanted your money and drugs. But just as we were about to make our move on you, we saw the 26 armed guards surrounding you.”
Surprised, the missionary laughed and said, “I was all alone. No one was with me. You must be mistaken.”
Yet the young man pressed his point, “No, sir! I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them. We counted them. Those guards scared us, so we left you alone.”
The congregation had been attentive as the missionary had revealed his story. But at this pause in the story, one man in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted him. He asked him if the doctor could tell him the exact day of this incident. The missionary told the date.
Then the man who interrupted the missionary told this story.
“On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was in a golf game with some friends. In the middle of the game, I felt the urge to pray for you. The urging of the Lord was so strong, I could think of nothing else. So I left the golf course, called some men in my church and ask them to meet me at church to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?”
The congregation looked around to see standing the men who had met together to pray that day. The missionary wasn’t concerned with who they were; he was too busy counting. There were 26 men.
This story is an incredible example of how God works in our lives even when we are unaware. What a comforting and reassuring thought for the year 2007.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: