Rev. Thorpe and his wife, Elsie, are retired missionaries who had served in India for forty years. They now lived in a small house across the street from me. We were good friends and I spent most of my free time with them.
Elsie was a good cook and could prepare a wonderful meal from scrap. She had a garden where she grew vegetables and herbs. In summer we worked in the garden for hours. Their house had a porch with glass windows and a stone fireplace at one end. When the weather turned cold we would retire to this area and in the warmth of the wood fire, we would sing hymns, read the Bible, knit and sew or just talk. I listened with interest to Elsie’s vivid description of the people in India and their customs and the lovely land they lived in. She shared stories of how God’s miracles helped them to preach the gospel to these people and bring salvation to them.
From her I learned that a missionary’s life is not easy. The people were very poor and needy. The missionaries’ income was low and had to be shared with many. Years ago, Rev. Thorpe had served as a pastor in a little village in India. The congregation of his small church was new converts and as it is with new converts, they were eager and enthusiastic to give, share and serve with their limited resources. When they had no money to give, they would bring their tithes in kind – fruits and vegetables, eggs and milk - the efforts of their labor.
Elsie told me of an incident that happened in this place that I have never forgotten. One hot summer day, a missionary couple, Harold and Sarah, from a neighboring state came to visit them. As most of the people in that state were Hindus and Muslims, the missionaries were not welcome there and the few believers and converts were having a tough time. Hence the missionaries were travelling around trying to raise funds and support.
Rev. Thorpe welcomed them with open arms and promised to help as much as he could. The next morning Elsie asked them what they would like for breakfast.
Sarah replied, “We would love toast and eggs. It is a long time since we had eggs fried sunny side up,” she said while Harold nodded.
“Why, sure,” said Elsie and hurried to the chicken-coup.
But to Elsie’s dismay there was only one egg in the egg basket. She searched everywhere, while she prayed,
“Pleas, dear God let me find one more egg for you servants. Please don’t disappoint them.” She could not find any and returned to the kitchen still asking God for a miracle.
Elsie made the coffee, toasted the bread, squeezed some oranges and made juice. She added the butter-dish and some fruits and set the table. Elsie decided to fry the egg and leave it on the table and confess that she is sorry that there is only one egg and leave it at that. She put a little butter in the pan and placed it on the stove. When the butter started to sizzle she broke the egg into the pan. At that moment God answered her prayer for smiling at her from the pan were two golden yellow yolks in the middle of the white.
“That,” said Elsie “was God’s miraculous answer to my prayer. He could have let me find another egg. But that would not have been as miraculous as putting two yolks in one egg. He is Jehovah- Jireh , my provider.”
Elsie prepared a delicious potluck breakfast to the missionaries. Sarah never forgot how God satisfied her heart’s desire. That day the missionaries found new hope for their ministry, for God had proved to them one more time that He is still in the miracle working business
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