By Tempest And Meteorite




     Twice over, after having established a mission station in the wilds of what is now western British East Africa, Mr. Stuart Watt and his family experienced deliverances through the providential overruling of the elements of nature.

     Mrs. Watt tells her story in her book, "In the Heart of Savagedom." They were among the fierce Akamba, who were continually warring with neighboring tribes, Mrs. Watt says:

     "One evening a vast multitude of warriors, who had determined to wipe out the white man from their country, were on their way to our station from a distant district, under the chieftainship of a very active and influential native, named Mwana Muka.

     "By sundown large numbers of these armed men, dresses in full war paint, had reached the base of the neighboring hills, from which point they were to make an onslought on our station. Mwana Muka had told his warriors that they need not fear the white man, for he had made medicine to overcome all his powers."

     The night came on. Mrs. Watt says they put the children to bed with clothing and boots on, ready for instant flight. "We had brought that matter of our position before the Lord."

     She adds, "and were assured that, if it pleased Him, He would in His own way bring us deliverance."

     As the darkness drew on, and the armed host of natives bided their time of darkness, with torches prepared with which to set fire to the mission buildings, the missionaries saw the signal deliverance for which they had prayed. Rain came on. The heavens were lighted up with jagged lightning. Mrs. Watt says:

     "As the earth was illumined by the flashes, we could see that, even where the ground sloped at an angle of 45 degrees, it was covered with a flowing sheet of water several inches deep, so copious was the fall. The two quiet, silent streams which daily wended their way on either side of the elevation on which our station was built, were turned into deep torrents, which roared as if the bases of the hills were being laid bare, and rushed through the valleys with such vehement impetuosity that huge trees were born up by the roots and carried out into the distant plains. During the space of half an hour the heavens were let loose on such a manner as I have never seen since or before in that land of tropical downpours.

     "We could not but see the mighty hand of God in this wonderful deliverance. Not only were the multitude of resolute warriors enfeebled by the drenching torrents, but their sinewy bowstrings were thereby rendered useless in discharging the poisoned shafts. Realizing that the elements, and probably God Himself, were fighting against them, they slunk back in a half-dying condition to their booths in the brush."

     Again, at a later time, after a British protectorate had been declared over this region, the hostile Akamba were on the warpath. A government post, near the mission, had been overwhelmed. The officials at the nearest fort urged the missionaries to flee to it for safety. They felt, however, that to flee would leave the mission to be destroyed, and all the moral gains of past efforts would be lost. So Mr. Watt and his family again put themselves under the protection of divine Providence. Mrs. Watt says of the crisis:

     "That night was a time of inexpressible tension and painful suspense. The two infant children were fast asleep, and although the others had been put to bed in their clothing, they were kept awake by the excitement of the hour and the perturbed expression, which we tried to hide, but which they readily detected.

     "Every possible preparation had been made by my husband, with the few men at his disposal, to combat any attack upon our station. . . . Having done all that lay within our power to enable us to make a momentary show of resistance to the angry natives, we threw ourselves upon God, and prayed that it might please Him to defeat and confound the plans of these fierce, relentless warriors, and send us deliverance.

     "While thus occupied, we heard an unearthly detonating sound overhead, and springing to the door to see what was the matter, we found the heavens ablaze with light, and our eyes caught a sight of a white-hot aerolite of immense proportions shooting across the firmament over our station. The gigantic fiery ball whizzed through the atmosphere with terrific velocity, illuminating the whole country with a lustrous, dazzling glow, and leaving behind it a great trail of fire as it disappeared, striking a mountain thirty miles distant.

     "The huge meteorite had swept directly over the heads of the multitude of warriors, who were struck with such terror and mortal dread that they rushed panic-stricken to their homes among the hills.

     Thereafter a great change was seen in the attitude of the people toward the mission. The victory had been won.