"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Real Story of Survivors in Gabon, Africa


My fifteen year old son sent in his application for his summer mission work today, and he is praying about the country where he hopes to spend several weeks sharing Christ and starting churches. I shared with him the following story when he sent off his application as an encouragement to take every decision and every need before his Lord in prayer. Walker Moore, President of Awe Star Ministries, shared with me this story while we visited during last week's Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

It seems that a group of young people and adults from America went to Gabon, Africa a few summers ago to share the gospel of Jesus Christ among the native Africans. The Lord moved in powerful ways and over three hundred people placed their faith in Christ. A church was planted with a native Gabon believer serving as the church's pastor. Shortly before the missions team was due to leave Africa to come home to the States, Muslim extremists, upset with the number of conversions to Christianity in the community where the team was ministering, broke into the place where the American teenagers and their sponsors were staying. The thieves stole all 20 of the American's passports, all the cash the team was carrying, and their yellow fever cards.

When the robbery was discovered, the teenagers, having been taught in their training that God is in control of every event, and that the first response of every need is to pray, gathered in the courtyard of where they were staying and began to pray. They worshipped, they sang, they prayed. The kids all acknowledged that they were helpless, but they knew their heavenly Father knew who stole the passports and money, and they asked Him to simply see to it that their valuable possessions were returned. A passport in Gabon is worth $5,000 on the black market, but the kids didn't consider the impossibilities, only that with God nothing is impossible.

They were praying and worshipping into the wee hours of the morning, when one of the teenagers noticed a sack being thrown over the wall. At first he thought the Muslims were throwing things at them, but then he went over and opened the package he found every single one of the 20 passports, every single dollar that had been stolen, and every single yellow card. The native African Christians who had been praying with the American teenagers began to dance and rejoice.

Within days, word of the event had spread throughout the country and many came inquiring about the power of this "God of the passports." The Gabon church continues to grow to this day because some American Christian teenagers and their sponsors were able to take God at His word. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or think.

What are you praying for today? CBS may announce the winner of Survivor Gabon in a few weeks, but in my opinion, the real survivors from Gabon are those kids who displayed their faith in the power of their mighty God and His Son Jesus Christ.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

33 comments:

Gary Snowden said...

Wade,

Thanks for sharing a great testimony of the power of answered prayer--especially by a group of teenagers.

debbiekaufman said...

Wow!

Anonymous said...

Hey Wade,

I needed that. I'm going to London as a sponsor for the iGo Team from Falls Creek next summer, and have been feeling somewhat anxious about it. I'll be flying overseas for the first time, as well as leaving behind a 3 month old (Amanda is due in March). However, I can't wait to go to the "land of Sprugeon" on my first trip and see God's work first hand. So this story helped. Thanks, and no, I'm staying out of trouble (as far as I know)! :)

Grace,
Jeff in Thomas

Anonymous said...

Wade asks:

What are you praying for today?

An eleven year old boy with leukemia was shown on a news broadcast and he is dying now. He has relapsed and they have stopped all chemo.

He was on his way to the hospital and passed a homeless tent camp. He was worried that they did not have much to live on. He said he wanted to feed them because 'they were probably starving'.

Since he cannot walk anymore, friends have purchased food and are feeding the homeless there for him: and he is now peaceful.

I am praying for all of us who can still walk, that we will have his compassion for others. Who is worse off? This dying child. so full of love for the homeless or we, who are insensitive to what really matters in this world?

I am praying for the Lord to take this boy home peacefully. I am praying that sometime, before I die, I may have a fraction of his love for others.

Our children are wiser than we know. I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

Great story Wade. It makes me wonder if certain new believers in the village heard about the theft and put "pressure" on the thieves to return the items to the one's who brought the gospel to them?

I could see that happening.

One of the greatest blessings of serving in foreign missions is the access to so many stories just like this. Either living them myself or hearing about them from others.

SL1M

Stanley L. Stepleton said...

Wade, Grace and peace from one who is always reading and praying for the needs you write about. We are presently in Panama working on a special project with three Deaf leaders from the Dominican Republic. This past Sunday we invited all the Deaf from Panama to come to a special meeting to meet the Deaf from the DR and see their story of what God is doing in the DR and what we feel He wants to see happen in Panama. At the time of the meeting it came a deluge of rain and only one Deaf 11 year old boy came. We believe and are praying that Joshua will be used greatly of God to see the Deaf in Panama come to salvation. We ask your prayers for the Deaf in Panama, as we continue to meet Deaf in the streets and workplaces, to open their hearts to His Salvation.
Stanley Stepleton IMB, SBC Missionary working with the Deaf in Central America

Ken Coffee said...

What a great story and what a tewrrific itness those younbg people had!

Anonymous said...

STANLEY STEPLETON wrote:

"At the time of the meeting it came a deluge of rain and only one Deaf 11 year old boy came. We believe and are praying that Joshua will be used greatly of God to see the Deaf in Panama come to salvation."

. . . 'JOSHUA will be used greatly of God to see the Deaf in Panama come to SALVATION.'


"What does the name "Joshua" mean?

JOSHUA. Gender: Male. Origin: Hebrew. Meaning: Jehovah Saves"

JOSHUA: JEHOVAH SAVES

Sometimes, the name of a child is prophetic.

Never discount the blessings brought into this world as God uses the challenged among our children.

What is the power of one person in the world?
What is the power of one eleven-year-old who cannot 'hear' but who responded to His call?
And he showed up for the meeting coming through a deluge?

Pray.
And then watch
the mighty hand of the Lord
work through this child.

Rick said...

Excellent story! To God be the Glory!

greg.w.h said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
greg.w.h said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
greg.w.h said...

I note a common theme in these stories:

When the robbery was discovered, the teenagers, having been taught in their training that God is in control of every event, and that the first response of every need is to pray, gathered in the courtyard of where they were staying and began to pray.

I would also add that in nations where the presence of the Adversary is strong, God seems very willing--perhaps even more able--to work in visible ways. My speculation is that when the persecution is more tangible, our need for prayer is more real to us and we make those prayers more real to God.

We can never forget WHY he delivered the Hebrews out of Egypt:

Exodus 3:7 The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."

Greg Harvey
p.s. Third time's a charm!!

Anonymous said...

Wade ... I'm wondering if you have read, and if you have any thoughts on Ramon Alemon's article in the BGCO's magazine "Equipping Church and Family" entitled "Is it about God or man?" If you haven't read it, I encourage you to, and share your thoughts.

Jerald said...

What a great testimony to always pray and not give up - whether you're in Africa or the US - in ALL things, depend on a mighty God to save - not only our souls but, sometimes, our passports too.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

It's a funny thing, but most of the times I hear of God moving in such an overt way, and most particularly in the times I've personally witnessed Him moving that way, it's normally been outside regular church programs and locales. And outside the USA in many of the cases.

I hope the church in general hasn't gotten to the point where it doesn't have to depend on God for the miraculous.

Anonymous said...

Gary Snowden said

'Wade,

Thanks for sharing a great testimony of the power of answered prayer--especially by a group of teenagers.'

God answers the prayers of His children, no matter what their ages. :)

Gary Snowden said...

Last anonymous who quoted me,

I appreciate the spirit of your comment and hope you didn't interpret my comment as expressing surprise or amazement that God would hear the prayers of teenagers. Quite the opposite is the case! I was merely commending these fine young people for their faith and obvious commitment to prayer in a time of need.

Anonymous said...

To Gary,

I'm sorry. I am thrilled about the story. I am just thinking about the 'child' in all of us.

Something about the faith of the young is INSPIRATIONAL to all of us, including apparently those that took the passports and returned them.

Wonderful story!

Deborah said...

Great story! As a returning m, I have seen God work in much the same way in our lives over the years. God has truly been faithful, protected us, done the miraculous, and guided us. We expect Him to continue on now that we have returned to the States.

We serve an awesome God!

Anonymous said...

PRAISE THE LORD... God always honors faith in prayer.
Those teens were truly an example in word and deed to us all.

Oh for a faith that will not shrink.

Dr. Paul W. Foltz

Anonymous said...

A sin: theft of the passports
A prayer: unceasing before the Lord
A redemption: the thief repents
A reconciliation:passports returned

How the Father looks after His children when they call upon Him in their need! :)

Thy Peace said...

Thank you Pastor Wade for this post and the previous post on B.J.Higgins. I have learnt much about missions and tried to immerse myself in BJ's blog, through which I came to know their family.

We hear in the Bible, that Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed often, going to solitary places to pray to Our Father in Heaven. I have always wondered if there were any scientific studies done on the effectiveness of prayer for believers and non-believers. I am certain, it's dependent on Faith, and simplicity of the direct communion with God. I do not know, how one can test this objectively.

But from personal experiences, though limited, and from examples like this post, we all the know the efficacy of prayer to "move mountains" or "do miracles". For me, at least the miracles seem to be within. I find prayer to be cleansing and I feel refreshed after prayer.

Prayer seems to me as a form of communication with God.

To me all this is so powerful, because we have a powerful God from whom we draw strength from.
-----------------------------------
John 15:1-17
1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.

-----------------------------------
Please feel free to correct me, if I am drawing "wrong" or "incorrect" conclusions from the Bible. I freely admit, I am a new Christian. I am always willing to learn.

I give praise to Our Lord Jesus Christ, for these young missionaries, for their faith and prayer and who are a true examples of Christians in Gabon. God bless the missionaries.

Anonymous said...

Darkest Harvest

I would not go, O Lord, across the sea
to preach Thy Word to foreigners unknown,
but how I reap now that which I have sown
because the nations all have come to me
to rob my house, my land, my future, free
to take of all which I have built and grown,
which are not mine, but Thine, for all I own
would be forsaken, had I gone for Thee.
Now earthly riches other nations steal,
yet I will preach Thy Gospel to the thieves;
and set before them drink and kneaded meal
out of my poverty, which thieving leaves;
and turn to set my hand to plow, and heal,
and bring of darkest harvest whitest sheaves.

~ by Michael Rew

Anonymous said...

Dear THY PEACE,

You wrote: " I have always wondered if there were any scientific studies done on the effectiveness of prayer for believers and non-believers.
I am certain, it's dependent on Faith, and simplicity of the direct communion with God. I do not know, how one can test this objectively."

This story was told about a relative of a faculty member where I worked. This incident was witnessed by hospital staff, although there was no 'controlled' experiment in progress:

The patient, a middle-aged woman was unconscious with extremely rapid heart-beat and pulse. Family had been called in because her condition has worsened. The family gathered around her hospital bed and, in the presence of medical staff, joined hands and began to pray without ceasing to the Lord for the sake of this unconscious woman.

As they prayed, her heart rate slowly returned to normal and she stabilized. She was unconscious during this event. Only days later did she regain consciousness.

Did she receive His divine intervention?
Was it 'miraculous'?
Or did she, surrounded by prayer, just happen, coincidentally, to begin to respond to medical treatment?

Do we need to know?
For some, a single heart-beat is a miracle: a single moment of life is miraculous.
For too many, all is taken for granted.

Was her improvement a coincidence or miraculous or both?
WHO gave the doctors the gifts of knowing how to heal?
WHO cares for all of our needs?


Who arranged for all the events, whatever they were, to occur in exactly the order in which they did to benefit this woman?
Can we not see His Hand in ALL that blesses us?


By whatever method the Great Physician chooses, we are healed. Physically, emotionally and spiritually, it is by His Hand:

" . . but only say the Words,
and I shall be healed." :)




The mission teenagers were in the care of the Good Lord. They knew that He would turn their trouble into blessing. They believed. They trusted. And He cared for them, as a gentle Father for His children. :)


As for controlled scientific studies, I'm all for it. I will ask my brother who is both a medical doctor AND a Methodist Sunday School teacher about experiments he has heard of and I will pass on what I find out. L's

In the meantime, all I can give you are these words from my relgious tradition:


"To one with faith, no explanation is necessary;

To one without faith, no explanation is possible."

St. Thomas Aquinas

Anonymous said...

FOR THAT 'DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL'


Abide With Me; t'is Eventide


Abide with me; 'tis eventide.
The day is past and gone;
The shadows of the evening fall;
The night is coming on.
Within my heart a welcome guest,
Within my home abide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.

Abide with me; 'tis eventide,
And lone will be the night
If I cannot commune with thee,
Nor find in thee my light.
The darkness of the world, I fear,
Would in my home abide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.

Abide with me; 'tis eventide.
Thy walk today with me
Has made my heart within me burn,
As I communed with thee.
Thy earnest words have filled my soul
And kept me near thy side.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide.

Anonymous said...

The hymn,
'Abide With Me; t'is Eventide' was written by
the Rev. Henry Francis Lyte.
He did suffer from 'the dark night of the soul' and sought relief in prayer. His poems are world-famous. He was known to have a special love for birds and animals. During his life-time, he gave many sermons, but not many are completely written down.

Anonymous said...

"I would also add that in nations where the presence of the Adversary is strong, God seems very willing--perhaps even more able--to work in visible ways. "

Greg, I was thinking the same way. Some missionary friends of mine (not SBC) experienced such things in Afghanistan. They believe that it is because only God gets the glory. There is no other explanation in such an environment.


Lydia

WTJeff said...

This is just further testimony of what God is doing among the youth and college students of this generation. They are far less materialistic and more willing to believe God is in control than my generation. My youngest daughter will spend this summer overseas (destination tbd). She will be the last of my three children to serve the Lord in this way. (she spent most of the last two summers in Mexico) The impact of these trips will continue to effect my kids for the rest of their lives.

Thanks for showing what God is doing in the younger generations.

Grace,

Jeff

Anonymous said...

The real miracle is that American passports were stolen by Muslim terrorists and RETURNED.

I hope that the incident was reported to State Department officials anyway, as passports in the hands of Islamic terrorists might be 'copied' before being returned. Our government should know about the incident.

Anonymous said...

POEM FOR THE MISSION CHILDREN


Partaking not of selfish aims, withholding not

The Word that strengthens
and the hand that helps;

Who waits and sympathizes
with the pettiest of life,

And loves all things,
and reaches up to God

With thanks and blessing:
he alone is living."




Excerpted from a poem of
John O'Reilly

Anonymous said...

FOR ALL MISSIONARIES

Gracious God,
Send us anywhere in this world You would have us go,
only go Thou with us.

Place upon us any burden You desire
only stand by us to sustain us.

Break any tie that binds us
except the tie that binds us to Thee.

And the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us now and for evermore.

bryan riley said...

I heard this story this past year while on the field. Fantastic. thanks for writing about it here for so many to see!

Lucky said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 感情挽回, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 挽回感情, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 捉姦, 徵信公司, 通姦, 通姦罪, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 捉姦, 監聽, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 外遇問題, 徵信, 捉姦, 女人徵信, 外遇問題, 女子徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信公司, 徵信網, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇蒐證, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 感情挽回, 挽回感情, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 感情挽回, 外遇沖開, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇蒐證, 外遇, 通姦, 通姦罪, 贍養費, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信公司, 女人徵信, 外遇, 外遇, 外遇, 外遇

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信網, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信