DEARMORE AND BLACK MAMBA IN CONGO
Cares For Us From Day To Day, Often In Ways Unknowable to
In the early days
when my husband, Jim, surrendered to go to the Mission Fields of
Africa we traveled to Wichita Falls to one of our churches to
speak, seeking missions support.
We (that is myself,
Georgia, and our three children, Jamie, Becky and John) did not
travel very much on long trips with my husband, because it cost
so much more to travel that way, and because the children needed
to be in School. But because we were not so far away I took the
children with me, and went with Jim on a speaking trip to
Wichita Falls, Texas.
Several of the
Ladies at the Church there asked me - "How can you take
these little children to the troubled country of Congo, Africa.
Are you really going to take these little children into that
dangerous part of the world?" I answered quickly and
plainly, "Yes, I am."
This was in the
days when there was much trouble in Africa . . . . especially
during the time when the memory of the Mau-Mau uprising in Kenya
was very strong. There was a lot of killing, burning houses,
mutilating domestic animals and mutilating white people in the
most horrible ways possible, assaulting women, pillaging, etc.
I replied to our
friends: "God has promised He would take care of us, even
our children. We and they, will be safer there in God's will,
than to stay in "safety" here in the USA, out of God's
will and way for our lives."
And with this
assurance and His leading, after Jim had finished deputation, we
were soon packed and flying across the Ocean to the shores of
Africa. We landed in Leopoldville, the Capital city of Congo, a
large city on the banks of the Congo River.
We spent the night
at the "Mission House" (which was a sort of
"boarding house" for missionaries traveling through,
and were later met by Roy with a truck, and soon after by MAF.
Fellowship is a specialist Bush Charter Flying Service for
missionaries in various parts of the world. They were very
helpful to us in the early days in Congo.
We flew over the
jungles and African bush, and the muddy rivers on our way to our
mission point out in the African bush. (Just the children and
Georgia flew out on the small plane to the bush, and Jim and Roy
followed a few days later in the "Power Wagon" truck
with a big load of supplies).
Most of this story
is about our youngest son, however. Both of our sons picked up
the language quickly and became friends with the young African
boys. John, our youngest soon became friends with the young boys
and was often out hunting with them for birds. They were not
"hunting for fun" but were hunting for food for the
This food for them
was very important, for they were always hungry, and were always
desperately short on protein in their diets. They often ate
rats, flying ants, caterpillars, palm tree grub worms, snakes,
and any kind of wild game they could trap or kill.
Once in a while
they would be able to kill or trap a small crocodile, or some
fish from the river, or an occasional monkey or porcupine, and
they ate birds of almost any kind they could kill or trap.
John and his
friends were walking single file down a trail through the bush,
hunting for meat for his little African friends. They had
spotted some birds in a tree off to the side of the trail, and
they were walking along on this little, narrow footpath slowly,
slowly, quietly trying to get closer to the birds, all the while
watching the birds in the tree, instead of watching the narrow
pathway they were creeping along, to get a shot at the birds
with a "slingshot."
along like this, and watching the bird he was hoping to shoot,
John stepped right on a deadly Black Mamba snake, one of the
most deadly snakes in the Bush. The Black Mamba was sometimes
called the "African Two-Step." It was so deadly
poisonous that sometimes just a few steps and you were down, or
so it seemed.
promises are true, and His loving care and protection of His own
is endless, and always sufficient. Just before John stepped on
the snake, the Lord had sent along a bush rat. God had also made
the snake hungry at the right time, and the snake had just
caught the rat and was slowly swallowing it when John stepped
directly on the deadly snake.
The rat was only
about half way down the snake's throat, and about half of the
rat was still hanging out of the snake's mouth, so that when the
snake reared up and struck our son John on his leg near the
knee, (the rat being still in the mouth of the snake) the snakes
fangs could not pierce our sons skin, and therefore our son was
John and his little
African friends quickly killed the snake, of course. And our son
was not harmed. So here in this true story, we have an example
of how God cares for his own, when they are in his will and
doing his work. (Of course, He also cares for us sometimes when
we are not in His perfect will as well, but that is for another
story, and another time!)
But now, just think
about what all was involved in saving John's life here with that
little bush rat in the mouth of the deadly Black Mamba snake,
far out in the remote African bush!
John had come along 5 minutes earlier than he did; the snake
might not have had the rat in his mouth, and could have struck
our son with his fangs, which would have been almost certain
if" the little rat had not come along when he did, so that
the snake would catch him, and have his fangs blocked by the rat
hanging out of his mouth when he struck John?
if" the snake had not been hungry and hunting when the rat
came along, therefore he did not take the rat, and would have
then been able to get his fangs into John's leg when he struck
if" the rat had come along much earlier, the snake had
taken him, and had already swallowed him before John came along,
and then the snake would again have been able to get his fangs
into John's leg?
What if -- what if
-- what if? But I'm so glad that our God even takes care of the
"what if's" in our lives!
When we finally
heard about this story from our son, John, my thoughts flew
across the ocean to the time in Wichita Falls, and I remembered
how God's promises and loving care are always sure and
The African tribal
life in the Bush is a very hard life, especially for the women
and the little girls. A three year old girl or even younger is
already taking care of the new babies, going down to the river
to wash their clay pots, carrying up wood for the fires and
washing their clothes on the rocks , always watching out for the
snakes and crocodiles.
They so loved
Sunday School, and my, how they could sing when we taught them
songs or choruses in their own languages.
One of their
favorite songs was: "Jesus Loves The Little Children."
The title of the song is "Yesu Zola Bana Fioti" in the
Kikongo language, and the song goes like this:
Yesu zola bana
Bana yonso ya ntoto,
Mbwaki, Ndombe, ye
Yesu zola bau yonso,
Yesu zola bana
fioti ya ntoto.
Then repeat the
words again a second time, all to the tune of "Jesus Loves
The Little Children."
Jesus truly does
love the little Children of the world, and freely gave His life
a ransom for many. He gave Himself, dying on the Cross of
Calvary, shedding His precious blood, in order that all who will
believe in Him, repent of their sins, and come to Him in simple,
child-like faith, can be saved and have eternal life in Him.
In the Kikongo
language, "Yandi kufwaka, nde beto tavanda na moyo mvu ya
mvu mu Yandi." In English, that means, "He died that
we might have eternal life in Him."
John 3:16 tells
of God's love for man when it says: "For God so loved the
world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting
To those who
read this story, I ask one question: "Do you know Jesus as
your Saviour and Lord?
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