And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Steve Saint’s father Nate was martyred by the Wadani Indians in Ecuador when Steve was only five. At 35, while visiting a remote part of Africa, Steve began to fret when he could not find a ride out of this dangerous area. Steve wished that he could talk with his dad who would certainly know what to do. His thoughts opened an old wound, Did my father have to die? Had his death been a capricious act? It had not helped to learn that the men who killed his father had been angry for reasons unrelated to the band of American missionaries. What if they had flown in a day later?
Feeling threatened in this hostile environment, Steve prayed, “God, I’m in trouble here. Please keep me safe and show me a way to get back. Please reveal Yourself and Your love to me the way you did to my father.”
Remembering that this Muslim area had a tiny Christian church, Steve asked some children to lead him to it. He was surprised when they led him to a small mud house. Through a translator, Steve asked the young pastor how he had come to know Jesus. The man told how he had stolen from a missionary’s garden. But instead of punishing him, the missionary promised him a pen if he would memorize some verses. The verses led him to faith in Jesus.
His conversion infuriated his Muslim family. His mother even poisoned his food. Miraculously, he was not harmed, but his brother, who had snitched a bite off of his plate, was paralyzed.
“It couldn’t have been easy for you as a teenager to take a stand that made you despised by the whole community,” Steve said. “Where did your courage come from?”
The pastor told Steve that the missionary who had led him to Christ had given him books to read. One story in particular had changed his life. It was the story of five missionaries who’d gone to Ecuador to reach the Wadani and had allowed themselves to be speared by them rather than use their guns to defend themselves. That story had given him the courage to continue in his faith.
“The pilot was my father,” a stunned Steve Saint said. Equally amazed, the pastor was relieved to learn the story was indeed true. God’s peace flooded Steve, changed his perspective, and dispelled the confusion over why his father had died. His father’s death was not a waste. God was working Steve’s loss together for the good of many.
Steve’s story, like our stories, is part of a much bigger story, His-story. Where do you lack peace of mind? God’s peace brings perspective and protection to our lives. Like Steve, ask God to reveal Himself and His love to you today.
Debbie W. Wilson
By permission adapted from To the Ends of the Earth Timbuktu – the setting for a young American’s strangest adventure, by Steve Saint www.itecusa.org/document_ends_of_the_earth.html.