Incidents in Travel and Soul Winning – By Elmer & Julia Shelhamer

Chapter 23

Miracles Among Missionaries

While we were holding a revival in Africa for Miss F. Grace Allen, one of our old, dependable missionaries, she told the following. She had traveled a long distance on horseback and had started home when it began to grow dark. She had many miles to go and must cross a stream of water six times. Her life was in danger from superstitious natives who sometimes kill a white person that they may have his liver for medicine.

At best she would be far into the night getting home. Though very brave and accustomed to the country, she suddenly became afraid. Added to this, her horse balked and absolutely refused to go downhill. She tried every means to get him started, but no — he would not go. When the horse was in a good humor she could never hurry him. His gait was slower than that of a man. Now he had stopped entirely. There she sat in the darkness.

Sister Allen says, “In that situation I began to sing How Firm a Foundation, and instantly I realized that someone was with me. I could see him –a man — a tall soldier — so tall he was as high as my head though I was seated on the horse. All fear left! I realized that he was a heavenly being sent for my protection. I leaned my head over toward him.

“Instantly my horse began to walk, then did something he was not accustomed to doing. He paced rapidly and kept it up all the way until he brought me to our gate.”

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Another Miracle

In the beautiful, modern city of Johannesburg, we met a very prosperous lawyer, by the name of Baker He is a devout Christian and spends much of his time in establishing missions among the natives. The following story was told me by Rev. and Mrs. Ryff, our missionaries. Last week I was privileged to hear the same story from the lips of Mr. Baker’s Christian daughter.

Some time ago her father was called upon to take a baptismal service in a native village where a large number of new converts were gathered. The last person in the long line of candidates for baptism was an old woman who was greatly bent and hobbled along on a rustic stick for a cane. She was thought to be about one hundred years old. Father Time had robbed her of her teeth, and infirmities had rendered her almost helpless. She had lately been converted and wanted to be baptized before she died to show her neighbors that she was a believer. At the close of the ceremony the Lawyer-Minister said the words found in the Ritual, “Rise to newness of life.”

Then the old woman arose and hobbled off. About a year later Mr. Baker was asked to preach once more at the same place. He went and was met by a black lady who wanted to know if he did not remember her. No, he could’ not place her. Then she asked if he did not recollect meeting a woman whom he had baptized a year before, and stated that she was that one.

“Yes, but that woman was bent double and had no teeth.”

“Yes,” she answered, “but when you baptized me did you not say, “Rise to newness of life”? He answered in the affirmative.

“Well,” she said, “I thought you meant it and I did rise to newness of life.”

There she stood as erect as a young woman and with a beautiful set of pearly white teeth that had grown right out of her own gums.

You who ask if missions pay would feel like giving your all to this work if you could attend one of the services where these dear native Christians sing and testify to the wonderful power of God. Can you not send a tithe of your last month’s wages to your missionary Secretary at once? No! let me correct that send two tithes at once for does not God promise to repay you 700 per cent of all that you give to Him?