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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: And The Prez Said…
By Corinne Smelker


“What did the Lord show you while I was meeting with the President?”

Inwardly I quaked. What if I had been wrong in what I spoke out…

It all started that morning. Our missionary team drove into the homeland country of Lebowa to go village to village to spread the gospel. We’d done it before, come in for a week, travel to the villages and preach. We were all surprised when about an hour after our arrival a car pulled up and a uniformed official climbed out and made his way to our team leader, Lester. Much hand gesticulation followed, and they weren’t good gestures. Eventually Lester tore himself away and called Brian, his right hand man over. Then, much to everyone’s astonishment, Lester climbed into the back of the car, which peeled off in a haze of dust.

Brian called for all of us. “OK, here’s the deal. President Ramodike heard about our arrival and has decided he wants us and our ‘white Jesus’ out of his country. Lester is going to meet him and see whether he can change his mind. In the meantime he wants us to split up and pray, and see what the Lord says.”

We all moved to different areas of the camp. My group, headed by Brian sat in the food tent. There was no chit-chat; if the President ordered us to leave we’d have no choice but to disobey and that would mean almost sure death.

I was the youngest in my group, barely out of high school and surrounded by older men and women. Not just physically more mature, spiritually too. I had been saved only a couple of years, and those had been spent at a boarding school with no other Christians, so I was isolated, spending many an hour down at the river praying. Normally an outspoken person, when it came to matters of the spirit I was exceptionally timid. I only prayed aloud when I had planned my prayer out in my head. This time was no different. Perhaps because I was the youngest, I had been placed in a group of Lester’s leaders, Brian, his wife Beth, Lee and her husband John, and a couple of others who always hung around Lester.

“Lord, if it’s your will, we pray we can stay,” was the over-riding prayer from my team. Even to me it sounded like they were hedging their bets. “If we get to stay it must be God’s will, but if we don’t, it must be his will too,” is basically what I heard. That’s not right, I thought. Doesn’t the Lord want his word spread? If Paul found favor with kings, why can’t we? Where were these treacherous thoughts coming from?

I took a deep breath and garbled out, “Be bold and courageous. I will give you every place where you step your foot. Did I not give the city to Joshua? I have given Lebowa to you.” I stopped as suddenly as I started and tried to squeeze myself into a small ball. Did I really just say that? What if I was wrong? A heavy silence descended, but I was saved from saying anything further by the sound of tyres crunching on the hard gravel outside.

Everyone rushed out of the tents, but I hung back a little. By the time I ventured outside Lester was surrounded. He motioned at the leaders and said, “What did the Lord show you while I was meeting with the President?”

A theme emerged, “God’s will shall be done.”
After the third team leader said essentially the same thing, Lester asked. “But what is God’s will?”
A shuffling of feet, and hanging of heads (mine included) demonstrated no one was willing to answer THAT question.

“The Lord has given us the land,” Brian spoke up. “The Lord told us to be bold and courageous.”
Lester laughed, “You’re absolutely right! President Ramodike reassessed our status, and has promised we can stay, and he also offered his protection. Now, who did the Lord give the word to?”
Brian pointed. “To her.”
“Hmmm.” Lester looked over at me. “Wow. And you were brave enough to speak it out.” All I could do was nod. “Well, well. Miracles will never cease. Ok, everyone, back to work!”

I walked away slowly with the knowledge that the Lord spoke to me that day. “Be bold and courageous,” was not just for the group. It was for me.

742 words

These true events took place in March 1988

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/06/07
What a wonderful memory of boldness empowered by God's Word you shared.
Sharlyn Guthrie09/07/07
What a precious, unforgettable moment. Interesting, well-written story.
Jacquelyn Horne09/08/07
It's an awsome experience when the Lord speaks through you. It certainly takes boldness to allow him to do so.
Joanne Sher 09/08/07
I'm sure you will never forget this - I know I won't. Very engaging read.
Sherry Wendling09/08/07
I can just picture me in your place, trying to "squeeze myself into a small ball" as I'm second-guessing the Holy Spirit! Doesn't Lord have an endearing way of luring us out of the boat, then offering His hand just when we're sinking? Lesson brought across beautifully. I loved this!
Dee Yoder 09/08/07
Sometimes it takes someone who is NOT ready to just go along, even in the Christian world, to help God make His plans come about. It takes wisdom and boldness to be the lone voice!