Without Theology Degree

     Chief Mayala, head of a tribe in the Congo, heard a little about a “Chief” of heaven and earth from some natives who had heard of it from some other natives who had heard it from some other natives.  This vague and minute, fourth-hand smattering of information made the difference between life and death for his son.

     Mayala’s son became strangely ill.  Mayala walked all the way to the mission station to secure help based entirely on the bit of understanding he had derived from the story told him from ignorant natives.  Finding the mission station was not an easy task in itself, but his love for his son drove him on.

     Describing the illness to the mission doctor, he asked for some medicine.  He took the medicine, traveled the great distance back with no sleep, and administered it to his son himself.

     There was no satisfactory results and it seemed as if the child would definitely die.  Some of his people came to him and begged him to take the child to the fetish house, but he refused.

     Still the child’s condition grew more and more grave.  Finally the people went to the medicine man, asking him to come and help the child.  When he arrived at the chief’s house, he refused to allow him to go through any of his rituals.  Mayala would not let him make or use any of his magical herbs.

     “I believe in the power of the Chief of chiefs, God.”

     “We would like to see this power of God, the people who had all congregated around Mayala’s house cried out in derision.

     Mayala, with no malice or boastfulness, replied, “You shall see it.”

     He shut the grass door after him, fell to his knees on the dirt floor, and began his prayer to the Chief of heaven and earth.  All alone in his hut, Mayala begged for this God to show His power, not for the chief’s sake, nor for the dying child, but to prove that God does exist.

     As Mayala prayed, the child was under the veranda outside the house.  The people recognized that the dying boy had fallen into a deep sleep.  They had seen it many times before as they watched the medicine man try all his tricks of the trade to revive other terminal cases.  The sincere chief heard the people talking to each other about the boy being very close to death.  He wrestled with God in prayer even more earnestly.  His desperation dictated his dedication and he plead for the child’s life.

     The people stood around talking about the amazing things taking place before them.  The child was dying and the father refused to let the medicine man come near him.  And, to their further wonderment, the chief was inside his hut all alone.

     A strange calmness came over Mayala with his knees buried in the pitch black sod floor.  It was as if there was no more alarm, nothing to be afraid of feeling as he never had before in his entire life, he rose to his feet, wiped the dirt off his knees, and went out to look at his son.

     The chattering and stirring people froze in their tracks.  There was absolute silence as Mayala walked over to his son.  But before he could place a hand on his son’s brow to check on his high fever, the child opened his eyes, turned his head, and spoke to his father as if he had just awakened from a good night’s sleep.

     The stunned tribe gasped!  All eyes were fixed on this most marvelous sight.  There was a shout when the lad sat up on the edge of the vine cot.  And pandemonium broke lose as the chief’s son walked around in perfect health.

     It was only a matter of minutes after the chief came out of his hut with the strange assurance that the son was all right when the boy was playing with other native children as if nothing had happened to him whatsoever.

     “There,” Mayala shouted to his overwhelmed people, “there’s the power of God I promised you.  That’s the power of the God of heaven and earth.  And all of you shall soon know more about Him as I am going to go and bring back someone to teach us all about the Chief of chiefs!”

     And all without a theology degree.