God Is In Control
Severe weather conditions you have encountered while travelling or during a missions trip. In Africa, the weather can be very diverse and unpredictable. I remember one day preaching to many children and teachers at an orphanage. It was hot and calm outside. All of a sudden, there was a horrendous sound that was deafening. A violent hurricane force wind seemed to come out of nowhere and began to shake the building. The metal roof was pounding; debris was flying, the Africans unshaken. Just as fast as it came, the wind was gone. The weather can change very quickly in Africa. Malvory and I stayed in one small village in Malawi where there was a huge mountain. There; in the middle of town, was a monument remembering all the lost people who died from a freak storm. As I read the plaque, I was amazed to find out what had happened. A major cloud bank pushed up against this huge mountain outside of town, stalled, and unloaded a massive amount of rain in a very short time. Without any warning, an enormous torrent of water came rushing down the mountain and over 100 Africans were swept away to their deaths. It was so tragic; so sad. One of the most dangerous shipping areas in the world is at the southern point of Africa near Cape Town. There the warm waters of the Indian Ocean meet the cooler Atlantic Ocean. One can visibly see a line where these large bodies of water converge. Many have lost their lives in this tumultuous area. This area can be very cold and rainy in the winter months and snow can be found in some of the mountains. It is also the home of “air-jaws”; where some of the largest great white sharks come flying out of the water ambushing helpless and unsuspecting seals. The farther north you go towards the equator, the warmer it gets. The warmer it gets, the higher the incidence of mosquitoes resulting in higher cases of malaria. This deadly sickness kills millions of people every year in Africa. Fortunately, mosquitoes in South Africa don’t affect people as much there as they do in the northern countries. I remember on my first trip to Africa, we were out in the country and I was playing around, acting like Steve Erwin. “Crocky” I said, “This is one of the most deadly snakes in the world” as I joked around sticking my hand in a hole. Suddenly, an old timer said with great concern, “Ahhhhhh…I wouldn’t do that again if I were you!” “How come” I said with a sheepish grin on my face. This native African said, “Because we recently cleared off the brush around this lake and have killed over 100 death adders and they live in holes just like the one you stuck your arm into.” Gulp! It was then I realized, “we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.” What a wake-up call. Africa is home to some of the deadliest snakes in the world, including the black mamba which can kill a person very quickly. An African once told me that you have to be very careful walking down a trail at night because often what appears to be an innocent stick lying across a path can turn out to be a deadly snake that is warming itself on the warm sand. If you step over it, it could be fatal. As in any place on the mission field, it’s important to be wise and most importantly be prayerful. There is no safer place to be than in the center of God’s will! When you’re on the mission field sharing Jesus; there’s no need to fear, for you are right in the center of God’s will. It was Jesus that said in the context of witnessing, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20) What an exciting adventure to be a pioneer with Jesus!