Deliverance From The
Some Christian missionaries were in South Africa at the time when there was a warlike uprising amongst the Kafirs. For days they had been sharpening their assagais, which was a sign of a raid. The missionaries could speak and understand the Kafir language, and they knew that their lives were in danger. Friendly Kafirs told them to flee to safety, because they could not protect the Mission from the raiders. They told them that there was a friendly chief beyond the river, who would give them temporary refuge until they could travel further on to greater safety. All they had was an oxcart drawn by slow-moving oxen. They set off immediately, without delay, but when they got to the river that they needed to cross, they found it to be in flood, after recent rains. The steep banks were full to the brim. Their native “boys” who had travelled with them said it was no use – they would never get across the swollen river. It was still raining, and night was approaching. There they were, in the rain and gathering darkness, with the Kafirs on the warpath behind them, and the torrent of waters closing the way of their escape. The native boys were in terror, and the bullocks were nearly unmanageable. All they could do was pray to God to help them in their great and urgent need. Not long after they had prayed, two big black men approached them where they were, and one of them said, in a calm and forceful voice, “Do you want to cross over the river?” “Yes,” they said, “we must sleep at Umdushani’s kraal tonight. But the river is so full we cannot cross it.” “We will take you over,” said the men. Then these two men took charge, quietened the frightened oxen, and guided them into the river and across, and up the banks to safety on the other side. When the wagon stopped on the other side, the missionaries wanted to thank the men for what they had done – but they were gone. They had disappeared as suddenly as they had appeared at the critical time when they were needed. The native boys, who had come through on the wagon, had never seen these men before, and did not know where they could have come from, nor did they see them as they withdrew. Everything had happened so suddenly, so quietly, and so providentially, that the missionaries could only believe that it had been angels sent to help them, in answer to their prayers to God to deliver them from their peril and their danger.