Halfway Across The World

     The fertile plains of central Czechoslovakia and the ragged hills of northern Tennessee have very little in common, except in the case of a prisoner in Prague and an escaping Methodist Episcopalian matron in Tennessee.

     Matthias Dolanscious was thrown into the Prague jail on the charge of heresy during the persecution days in Bohemia.  Due to the refusal to accept the national form of religion over and above his Christian faith, he had not only been placed in one of the filthiest and isolated prisons in existence.  He had almost completely been ignored.  His meager meals, brought to him once or twice a week, were of the quality he fed to his farm animals before his arrest.  His cruel neglect caused him to suffer tremendously.

     One day he discovered that the lack of regular or substantial meals was all part of a dastardly scheme being conducted by the prison guards.  To get proper nutrition and be allowed better sanitary privileges, a prisoner had to pay the guards.  Cruel as it was, it was the only way a man could possibly hope to survive.  But he did not have any money or any way of obtaining any, so he took it to the Lord in earnest prayer.

     Even though some of God’s people, through God’s overall plan of salvation, are allowed to bear witness through martyrdom, God still provides for safety and long life for others.  Apparently Dolanscious was to fit into the program whereby he would witness through a long and productive life.

     During the pioneer days in America, a raiding party of Indians, believed to be Cherokee, captured a certain Methodist Episcopalian lady and carried her far from her home.  She was treated very inhumanely

     One day the Indian braves found some liquor in a trading post which they later burned to the ground.  That night they drank all of the confiscated alcohol, staying up until the very early pre-dawn hours.  While they were all in a deep sleep, the Tennessee wife and mother slipped out of the camp and made her escape.  Walking as fast and long as she could before taking a break, she placed a great distance between the drunken Indians and herself.

     Sitting on the bare ground in a small clearing, she came to the horrible realization that she did not know how to get back home.  She felt that she was going in the right direction, but she knew that many people had died in the woods even though they felt they knew their way.

     She prayed a great deal to God for His intervention in her life.  She pleaded for Him to show her how to get back to her home and family and with trust in His provisions, she continued to walk onward.

     Late in the afternoon she came to a well-worn path.  She recognized it as the same one she had seen the Indians use as they dragged her mercilessly away from her farm.  The path led into two directions.  If she took the right one, she would be on her way home.  If she took the wrong one, she would wind up right back in the cruel hands of the savages.

     Both the man in prison and the escaping housewife got direct answers to their prayers.  God gave to one guidance and to the other gold.

     But both of them got their answers to prayers through the same type of heaven-sent instrument. 

     As Matthias petitioned the God of heaven for help, he was very explicit in his prayer.  “Please, Lord,” he pleaded.  “Send me some money so that I can not only get some food to eat, but so I can also get someone to help get me released.  I have so much to do for Your work, and I’ll do it harder and more effectively.  Please send me the money, please.”

     The Tennessee pioneer housewife also believed in coming straight to the point.  “Oh my God, You led the children of Israel all the way out of bondage to the promised land and I believe you can easily lead me to my family.  Please show me which way I‘m supposed  to take on this path.  Please, Lord, direct my steps.”

     Then, as Dolascious got off his knees as he had done many, many times before, all during the night and practically all the day, he saw an object sitting in the one tiny opening high up in the wall that was supposed to be a window.  He walked over below the window and stared at it to make sure he was not imagining it.  As he got close, it left.  But it left a small piece of cloth in the narrow ledge.

     As he stood on the small partially broken stool, he could just reach the ledge with the tip of his finger.  He finally was able to get the cloth and pull it off the ledge.  As he got it to the edge of the ledge, a piece of gold fell out of it!

     The stunned prisoner was able to bargain with the valuable gem and get his needed food as well as make contact with a friend who worked very diligently to get him released a few weeks later.

     The bewildered escapee stood on that Tennessee path pleading with her maker for directions.  As she pondered the life-and-death decision, her eyes were drawn downward.  There, near her feet, was a certain moving object.  It was the same kind of object that had brought the Prague prisoner his gold.

     She looked at it as it hesitated around her feet for a few seconds and then proceeded down the path to her right.  After about ten feet, it turned around, came back to her feet once again.

     Unable to make out the meaning of it all for a few moments, she just stood there, semi-paralyzed.  The object took off once again down the path to her right

     When she did not move this second time, the little object came back one more time!  This time it created quite a stir at her feet and slowly made its way down the path…in the same direction as before.

     Somehow she had not been able to grasp the significance of it all.  Then it came to her.  “Surely, this is the workings of God!” she said out loud,  “Praise His Holy Name!”

     And with this vocal expression of her confidence in God’s sustaining power, she took off down the path to her right.  But as she turned the first curve, in the same direction as that little tiny creature had gone, she was surprised that it had vanished!

     Within seven hours, the excited and confident lover of Christ was united with her loved ones.

     Two believers on two continents.

     Two separate miraculous deliverances by the one God of the universe.

     Two separate believers in two distant countries delivered by the God of heaven and earth through the same type of instrument…a small bird!