Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)
TITLE: THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI
By Patricia Williams
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My mind is in a whirl! It’s so very early in the morning and here we are on the ferry boat, going across the Mighty Mississippi River. Wow! Look at all the little whirlpools. I see why they call it the muddy Mississippi.
A screeching sound above draws my eyes upward. I watch several vultures circling the dark sky. The sunrise is barely rising over the top contours of the hills. I watch the shadows of these huge birds of prey sweep down, out of the sky, diving to the rivers edge onto a dying animal. It made my heart hurt. Why did so much pain have to exist in our world? Surely God never intended this to be! Then out of the bushes came two men with rifles. The scene was fading away for me as the ferry boat moved forward in the water.
I was the only one outside of my car holding onto the railing. Everyone else had decided to stay in their cars. I had never been this far south and didn’t want to miss anything. They had told us it would take about 45 minutes to cross this mighty river by ferry boat. I couldn’t help but think about how awful it would be to fall into the fast moving, muddy flowing river with all of its whirlpools.
I lifted my hands to heaven as though I were pulling the light of day from behind the dark hills along its paths. Goose bumps danced up down on my body as I felt the glory of God come all over me. A soft still voice touched my heart and I cried as it answered to my spirit, “I never intended death to come upon any of my creation. I worked hard to contain the raging evil powers of darkness that stirred the wind and water. Evil entered the heart of man and sin brought death.”
He pleadingly said to me, “Tell my people to return to righteousness so that peace and life may override the evils of sin. I shall return and bring with me the heavenly glories of Eden to a new purified earth.”
As I stood in awe at the message, I was jolted by the ferry slowing down as we reached the other side of this mighty river.
The engines started to slow down and you could hear the voices of many people talking as I returned to my car. The sun was now clearly shining and a new day was starting.
Driving off the ferry and starting down the road to Drysburg made me hungry. I reached behind the seat for my lunch bag and began to peel the apples and slice them as Doug continued to drive.
Then I sliced the homemade banana bread and spread the slices with homemade almond butter and honey. What a treat. Doug blessed the food and asked for God’s guidance. He began quoting Psalm 31 ending with thanking God for me as his helpmate. This was a morning I would never forget as it was our first evangelistic meeting trip so far away from home. I was 16 years old and four months pregnant with our first child. He was ten years older than me. We had already been married a year. My heart filled to overflowing from the prayer he had just prayed.
Finally we reached the little church of approximately 50 people that met three times a week. We quickly learned that they had no electricity or running water. We did have a bedroom.
The church meeting was early. Singing was half of the meeting. There were guitars, a banjo, tambourines and drumsticks to an upside down wooden bucket. There was no piano or organ but I had brought my accordion. It was very different from anything I had ever seen. The benches were boards sat on upside down buckets. The services started early and ended early because of not having electricity.
Sharing music, laughter and worship was spontaneous. Different? Yes. Pleasing? Yes. Salvations? Yes. Baptism? Yes. New to them but everyone participated. Evangelism? Yes. To whom? Everyone but most of all to me.
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