By Judy Brandon: Religion Columnist
I have written about this before but feel it is time to tell it again. A missionary related this story while visiting his home church in Michigan.
Serving in a small field hospital in Africa, the missionary had to travel by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. It was a tedious and dangerous trip every two weeks.
The journey through the bush took two full days, so by necessity, the missionary doctor had to camp overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, he was on the second day of his trip when he arrived in the city. His business there included stopping at a bank to collect money and purchasing medicines and supplies to take back to the field hospital.
While in that city, he observed two men fighting, and one of them seemed to be seriously injured. He approached the injured man, treated him for his injuries and at the same time, witnessed to him about the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then with his purchased medicines in hand, the missionary began his tiresome two day journey back to the field hospital alone. He recalled that he traveled two days, camping overnight and arriving home without any kind of incident.
Two weeks passed and the missionary had to repeat the journey to the city. Arriving in the city, the same young man that he had treated on the trip before approached him and told the missionary that he had known that he carried money and medicines and was traveling alone.
The young man admitted: “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.”
The missionary laughed and said, “I was certainly all alone out in that jungle campsite! No one was with me. You must be mistaken.”
But the young man continued to press the point and adamantly responded. “No sir! I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.”
The congregation had been attentive as the missionary had revealed his story about the young man who had followed him intending to rob and kill him. But at this pause in the story, one of the men in the congregation who was listening to the missionary speak, jumped to his feet and interrupted him. He asked him if the missionary could tell him the exact day that this incident had happened. The missionary told the congregation the date.
In response, 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. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. The urging of the Lord was so strong, I could think of nothing else and went and called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?”
Men from all over the congregation stood to say they had prayed that day. As he looked around, the missionary counted 26 men in all.
The account for us was nothing short of inspiring. Most important, the lesson for us is that if we ever hear such prodding from the Holy Spirit in our own personal lives, we should act on it and pray.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org