Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Common sense vs. Faith

Our chaplain here, Barry, has more than 40 years of experience on the mission field and he has been telling us stories. One really jumped out at me yesterday and I want to retell it. In the early 1970’s he was in North Vietnam with his wife working at an orphanage. For those, like me, who don’t know their world history as well as we should, there was a war going on in North Vietnam at the time. This man and his wife were in an isolated place that was most easily reached by a 20 minute boat ride and they had to wait often for transport. Their mission director was there to visit when the Viet Cong came threateningly near. Their director returned back to the states and soon after sent $2,000 for them to purchase their own boat. Barry looked at the doctor and asked him what he knew about boats. “Nothing.” Me neither. So they prayed that God would show them which boat He wanted them to have. Then when it came time for Barry’s wife to give birth to their first child they headed into the city. Barry and the doctor took that opportunity to look for the boat they were going to buy so took a translator with them and headed down to the wharf. The first boat they came to was for sale! Barry sat down in the bow and the doctor sat down on the stern.  Barry knew right away that this was the boat they were supposed to purchase. The doctor expressed the same. Their translator interrupted them and reminded them that they didn’t need to purchase the first boat they saw. They should look around more. He told them there was a bigger boat down the dock a little that as also for sale. They went to see it and discussed that bigger would allow them to carry more supplies and people. They found out that it had a nice new motor. It was a really nice looking boat. And it was only $1,100 and they had two thousand to spend. Perfect! So they bought the boat. Barry went up to the hospital to collect his wife and newborn and happily told them they would be going back in their new boat. I’m going to cut out some of the story for the sake of length but picture Barry, his wife and newborn, the doctor and months’ worth of supplies headed out to sea having no idea what they were doing. Prayer finally brought them back to their home beach but a typhoon was coming.  They called the children from the orphanage down to the beach and all tried and tried to get the boat up above the tide line. After long struggles and to the point that the storm was so bad they had to get the children inside they still had not been successful. They only owned the boat one day before it was destroyed. The next time they went into the city the first boat they had seen was still for sale. It was $900 so with their remaining money they bought it. They saw that it was the biggest boat they could still successfully pull up the beach during storm season. Their common sense said bigger is better. But God said I told you which one you should have! 

No comments: