With God, Facts Can Be Stranger than Fiction
. . . I cannot end this without giving you a very interesting experience that came from pastor JohnGeorge, and which took place in the island of Ambrym on the 3rd of June, 2001.
On Friday 1st June, 2001 the pastor recieved a call, from our laymen Jackie and Ohlsen from the northernpart of Ambrym, to visit them and help continue with the series of meetings which they are alreadyconducting.
Realising he has no money to travel to the area, he asked his daughter to accompany him. The place they had to travel takes 4 to 5 hours to go by a 25HP outboat motor - and they were going to go by a canoe.
From the beach, they could see big swells and it was also very windy. The pastor told his daughter, "we have always heard that Jesus looks after his people from the Bible and he could do the same to His people today. If we are drowned in the ocean today, it will be His problem to save us, because we are on His errand." His daughter agreed.
They hoped into the canoe, and before they could even go one meter the canoe got drowned. They pulled the canoe ashore and the pastor asked his daughter to drained the water off the canoe while he arranged their bags of clothes and books which would now be all soaked up. To his amazement the bags, although very wet outside, were very dried inside. Not a drop of water was inside! Feeling encouraged, he asked his daughter to report on how the swells were developing. She said she could only see 7 huge swells coming in to crash on the beach. After the last of the 7 swells swept in and outof the beach, pastor John George and his daughter offered a short prayer.
His prayer was something like this: - "Our father in heaven. You are the father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You commanded the sun to stand still when Joshua was fighting. You commanded the sea and the wind to be still and they obeyed you. Today we are going on your mission, and we now ask your protection from the wind and from the sea. Please keep them still as we travel through."
They hoped on the canoe and the sea was as calm as the river - there was now no wind. The time was 5:30pm and the sun was hanging just above the horizon. They should be at their destination around 12 midnight or 1 in the morning.
The pastor began to paddle his way out toward the first point, out into the open sea. Unprepared for, unexpectedly, unknowingly and without notice the surprised daughter who was sitting at the front of the canoe informed her father, pastor John George, "We have reached our destination." There were no exclamation remarks between the two. They knew God had answered their prayer. It was now exactly 5:35pm and they have reached north Ambrym and it was too good to be true!! But it is!! They pulled the canoe ashore and quickly went and told the story to the few believers. The pastor excitedly said in his lifetime ministry, from the time he was working for the conference until now, he has never been through such experience. He thinks very soon some of us would walk across the ocean from island to islands preaching the gospel. He said he feels if we have enough faith in God, He will open up ways and money won't be heavily relied on. He said we rely too much on money for the completion of work when God wants us to rely on Him.
He said they asked God to calm the sea and the wind, and He added speed! We serve a mighty God don't we!! This makes us feel so small.
On 7th July, 2001(Sabbath) the pastor was accompanied by his wife and his sister. They were travelling(walking) from Baiap where they live, to Graig Cove where he should catch a boat to Vila. This was the only time he could catch the boat - MV Hula, because Campmeeting in Tanna starts on 10th July. After about 2 hours walking they arrived at Craig Cove( main ports) to find no boats. MV Hula did a reschedule on Friday night and nobody listen to radio on Friday nights.
Well, they planned to rest, have lunch then return again to Baiap. While waiting, they saw an Outboat motor coming in from the north of the island, where pastor went to before.
The boat went back leaving a man to carry his luggage to the airport by himself. Pastor John George went and offered to help him carry his bags. The man was the principal of Ranon Secondary School, North Ambrym. He asked what the pastor was doing in Craig Cove on the Sabbath day. The pastor related to him his story and at the airport the gentlman made inquiry for the availability of the seat and had pastor's airticket paid for. He rushed back, got his bag, returned to the airport and flew down to Vila. At the airport he was met unexpectedly by a close friend and member of the church who drove him straight to his host church.
Now tell me, is this a coincidence? I will leave you to answer. May God continue to bless us in these big ways as we strive to serve Him in our small ways.
May His name be glorified in everything we all are doing.I wish you all His wonderful blessings.
Vanuato (South Pacific Islands)