One July evening I invited a One Mission Society (OMS) missionary, Julie, to speak to some friends at my house after dinner. Julie spoke passionately about her ministry to homeless children in Mozambique and my friends, Phil and Pattie, listened with great interest. Julie showed some heart wrenching photos of these needy children who lived on a garbage heap and were covered with skin diseases. Phil did not see the photos. He is blind.
Three months later, after Julie had returned to Mozambique, Phil called my home. He was disturbed and said, “I don’t remember the name of that young missionary who spoke at your house, but I sense in my heart that something terrible has happened to her. Will you join me in praying for her?” I agreed, hung up the phone, went to my bedroom and lifted Julie to the Lord in prayer. After praying I thought, “I will call OMS headquarters to see if they’ve heard any news about Julie.
I phoned OMS and someone there said, “We got word just this morning that Julie has contracted cerebral malaria and has been flown to South Africa for treatment. Her situation is serious and she could die.” I passed that news along to Phil and Pattie so we all could pray more effectively for Julie.
Months later, as my own family prepared to go to the mission field (Philippines and Ireland respectively), God brought to mind the time when He reached across an ocean to alert a humble blind man who could not even remember Julie’s name, and Phil obeyed that prompting. We missionaries are appreciative of each one who prays for us.
Now for “the rest of the story.” Julie recovered fully, finished her assignment in Mozambique where she met a man from New York and is married with a happy growing family. She is living proof that tropical diseases are no match for the loving care of our Lord and the obedient prayer of a humble blind man.
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (NIV)