Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Table in the Wilderness

From a Christian missionary to Africa: A few months after we arrived in Liberia, our family ran out of money. We received nothing from home and used what remained to purchase food. We lived near a large village of about ten thousand people, called Bahn, where we bought most of our food. The women there sat near the center of the village with produce such as vegetables, fruit, and rice displayed on cloths in front of them. There was also a man in the village who sold meat. He usually sold goat meat, but occasionally he had deer or beef available. The meat hung in the open, covered with flies. We ate whatever the Africans ate, but we needed money to purchase it.

We soon used what little food we had on hand. It would have been easy for my wife and me to get discouraged as we had a family to feed, but we did not. We didn’t share our problem with the children. Also, due to WEC’s policy of not making financial appeals, we didn’t share our need with others. We simply prayed. We had seen God provide before. We wondered how He would provide food for us now—back in the jungle with no one knowing our need.

The prophet Elijah was also
fed, by ravens!
After we ate our last food, we prayed. My wife told the Lord that we needed meat, and she requested deer meat and rice. Well, before it was time to prepare the next meal, a little old lady who looked very poor came to our door with some rice rolled up in a piece of cloth. She said she felt she should bring it to us. Another old lady showed up with a piece of deer meat. Others brought vegetables, and we had enough for a very good meal. We thanked God for that meal and prayed for the next one. Before the next meal time, more villagers came with food, providing another good meal.

How long would this continue? Each month we expected funds from America, yet nothing came for four months. We didn’t write about it or tell anyone, including the other missionaries or the Africans. Every day for four months, Africans came with food. Many looked so poor—like they had very little themselves—but they gave to us in our need. They were God’s servants feeding us. We never missed a meal.

After four months, we received money to buy our own food. Immediately, Africans stopped bringing food. Never again did they bring food. God used them to spread a table before us in the wilderness. It was very humbling to accept food from people who looked so poor, but we knew it was God who sent them. We learned a tremendous lesson—our God can provide for us in any situation! He can do the same for you! Praise His holy Name!

(from WEC.Go Magazine, Fall 2011, excerpted from Bob McCauley, The Still Small Voice: A Journey in Listening)

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