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Over Night

She waited by the dock, wondering why he didn’t come. The boat was late... that wasn’t new. But the radio gave no response either. Deep inside, she knew something was very, very wrong. Concern grew, and she walked to the nearby police station. The CO and the rest were inebriated and unwilling to take a look at all. The Military branch refused to help at all. Out of options but still praying, she returned home.

He was riding along on the boat, relaxing in the sea breezes. He heard a scuffle and noise... and then a shot rang out. The driver crumpled behind the wheel, and the boat began to veer off. He jumped for the driver and the wheel. Another shot... and this one he felt. He sagged a bit. More shots. Bodies were hitting the water. He was thrown out into the water. More shots. The boat circled back, the men inside shooting at the survivors. Then the boat sped off.

Twilight deepened, and then night came, and with it unspeakable horror. There were life jackets, but the dying sank below the surface. One at a time, 6 of the wounded disappeared. The place was shark infested, and the wounded bled in the water. Fish came and bit at the flesh. There was no hope, no one to hear. Morning dawned, and only three remained afloat, untorn, and conscious. Blood loss was a problem, as were body temperature and thirst. The horrors of the night had taken their toll, and little hope remained.

Then the fisherman came. Hope, rescue, Life.

But for him, it was a little too late. Upon arrival at the hospital, the temperature was too low, and the pulse too weak. Hope was given up.

Until she came.

Women, attached to God, are a fearsome force to be reckoned with. Warned of God what was occurring, and given scant information that he had come to shore, she rushed to the hospital. Ignoring the hospital staff, she climbed up on him, giving body warmth and speaking, “ In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth......” Resurrected in spirit, 15 minutes later, he was awake, and alert, and the doctors were trying (unsuccessfully) to remove the bullet. It still sets off metal detectors today.

Some months ago, I was privileged to meet these precious servants of God, who have in their lives led so many to Christ and given their entire adult life n service in Central America. Last week, they showed up at a conference in Willow Street, PA. The good people at the conference, upon hearing their story, took up a collection and paid their trip up here, plus extra. Yours touched our lives.

To all who came and gathered around them, and prayed... to all who gave... to all who gave them a hello or a hug, Thank You. Your love went very deep. For most of their lives, their contribution to the Kingdom has been despised and disregarded. Thank you for pouring oil and wine upon the wounds.

Thanks to Martha and Ervin Barkman for hosting these old friends of yours ... to James Yoder for setting it up... and may God bless you Larry and Karol Smith! May God bring healing in your lives over the night and over any abandonment you felt there.

Stephen Stutzman

Written a few years ago.

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