While visiting missions in Africa, the writer met a member of an old missionary family, who told of experiences that her grandfather had in Pondoland, the region near the coast where the borders of Natal and the Cape Province meet. Her grandfather was Mr. Tainton, of Bristol, one of the pioneer missionaries of South Africa. Mrs. Blaine said: “There was a terrible drouth. Chief Faku said: ‘You say there is a God in heaven, a great God. Then why don’t you ask Him to send us rain?’

“ ‘You are a chief of the Pondos,’ the missionary replied. ‘If the chief wants rain, I think he ought to come with all his people and humble themselves before God, repenting of evil deeds.’

“ ‘I will do it,’ said Faku; ‘what day shall I come?’

“The day was set. Faku came to the mission, with a great company of his men. For three days there was instruction and partial fasting; and much prayer was offered before God, especially on the last day of the meeting. When the prayer season was closed, Mr. Tainton said, ‘Look there! Faku, what do you see?’

“ ‘I see a little black cloud.’

“ ‘Well, you must hurry home as fast as you can, or you will be drenched.’

“ ‘I don’t care if I am,’ said Faku.

“Before the people got halfway to their homes, the rain was pouring down; and sure enough, they were all drenched. Faku said: ‘There is a God in heaven.’

And he later confessed himself a believer in Christ.

“After these times, a tribe from Natal came down into Pondoland to ‘eat them all up.’ Faku came to my grandfather in deep distress.

“ ‘We are not prepared for war,’ he said. ‘What are we to do? We shall be wiped off the earth.’

“ ‘Faku,’ said the missionary, ‘do you remember what God did when you prayed for rain?’

“ ‘Yes,’ said the chief.

“ ‘Well, come again with your people; and humble yourselves, and ask the Lord to save you out of the hands of the enemy. The Lord who saved His people from the hands of the Assyrians, may be implored to save you now. What He did for Israel He can do for you, if it is to His glory.’

“So they came up to the mission; and they fasted and prayed for deliverance.

“ ‘They are now but two days’ journey from our villages,’ said Faku to the missionary, as messengers came in with the news.

“But you have prayed to God to save you,’ said the missionary.

“After two days, Mr. Tainton said to Faku: ‘Where are your enemies? Two days have passed, and we hear nothing of them.’

“So Faku sent out some men to search for the enemy. After several days’ searching, they found their enemies, a large impi of warriors, lying dead in their camp in a forest. Some disease, it was decided, had broken out suddenly among them; and they had perished together. But however it was, Faku thanked God that He had heard the cry of His people and sent deliverance.”




The Hand that Intervenes