~Eight Souls and a MIRACLE~
TOO OFTEN we take for granted that the Lord Jesus Christ is sovereign over our lives. How intimately He knows us all! He directs our coming and going, and leads us even when we are blind to His guidance. I think it is a most wonderful blessing to not only see God's sovereignty in our own lives but to recognize it in the lives of others.
Recently, we here at ACMTC were privileged to see another tremendous miracle performed by our loving Savior. The following is a brief account on the extraordinary events that took place.
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WITHOUT QUESTION, the sovereignty of God was working in the lives of eight Mexicans--a father, mother, four kids, and two other relatives--who were making their way south through New Mexico on a foggy winter Sunday morning. They chose an unusual route, which took them right past our idyllic ACMTC Headquarters. As they drove by, the father glanced at our sign that reads "Shim Ra Na, Ekklesia." He drove on. Very shortly down the icy road, in the midst of a foggy haze, and as the father's tired eyes began to close,--SMASH! Somehow, a black cow had wandered from its fenced-in home onto the rural road. The family's small mini-van slid and crashed head-on into the cow's chest...the cow spun horizontally to the right, and the side of its body slammed hard against the middle of the passengers' side, crunching against the van and causing the two back windows to explode inwardly. Cow dung and blood splattered everywhere. Glass shards, mixed with cow dung, sprayed into the vehicle over the entire family. One of the daughters smashed the side of her right eye on the window during the collision, and her eyebrow split open and swelled up. Incredibly, she was the only one who was noticeably, physically hurt.
They needed desperate help, but their car could barely move. Our sign came into the father's mind. More than this, something (Someone) caused him to feel that he may find help if he turned back, and though he could not read our sign, he felt strongly that we might be Christians.
We heard an unexpected knock on our door. Two men, the father and one of the other relatives, were standing outside in the freezing cold. Of course, we invited them in. Now what made matters more interesting was that neither of them could speak English. However, a couple of us know a little Spanish and we began talking with the men to find out what had happened. It wasn't long before the father began speaking about his family members who were stranded out in the freezing, idle car. General James and I, along with the General's grandsons, quickly ran down the long driveway to find the car and bring the distressed women and children inside. When we arrived at the vehicle, a teenage boy starred out the window at me. He looked stunned, almost scared, as if he wasn't quite sure whether his circumstances were real or not. Everyone looked like they were still in shock. We told them they could come inside where it was warm, and they gladly accepted the invitation.
We arrived back at the house and provided the family with seats and something warm to drink. Philemon, one of our faithful ACMTC soldiers, speaks fluent Spanish, and so she was called down to the house to help with communications. When she arrived, General Deborah urged that she first present the Gospel to these eight souls, for General Deborah sensed God's great burden for their salvation. Philemon began witnessing of God's miracle-working power. It was only too obvious, she testified, that God had spared each member of their family by performing an incredible Act of the Spirit. God showed mercy to glorify Himself and allow each soul a chance to receive the truth of Jesus Christ, Philemon explained.
God's presence was strong in the room. The women cried. The men soberly bowed their heads. By God's direction, seeing the openness and clear opportunity, Philemon asked these eight Mexicans to pray in order to receive salvation in the Lord Jesus. All eight souls--men, women, and children--sincerely prayed and accepted Jesus Christ into their lives. I can scarcely describe how wonderful it was to be in that room. Sweet...sweet is one word that fits. I know I am not the only one who would say that God's presence was so incredible that it brought tears to the eyes and made the heart peacefully warm. We were all so thankful to see those souls praying in our home that day.
One of the two accompanying relatives, a younger woman, was clearly broken by the merciful power of God. After praying, she explained how her mother-in-law had been trying to tell her about Jesus Christ, but she had not taken her mother-in-law's words too seriously. Now she knew, she said, that she must serve God. "I am going to give my life to God. I am going to serve Him. And when I return to Mexico, I will find my mother-in-law and tell her," she stated, so firmly and surely, with tears in her eyes.
It wasn't long after we had made the family a "tract pack" that one of the young girls asked if we had anything for them to read. Of course! We gladly gave them a large packet of free materials, all Spanish translations, including a brand new Santa Biblia (Holy Bible). And here is another part of the miracle, for that Santa Biblia was donated and had just arrived in the mail the day before (i.e., Saturday); furthermore, since we had recently sent a shipment of Bibles to Mexico, it happened to be the only Spanish Bible we had that was available to give away. Again, God was showing His perfect timing. Upon receiving the materials, their faces lighted up with thanksgiving. By grace, God was already working in their hearts to desire more of His truth.
Glass chunks were still tangled in their hair and their clothes were stained with cow dung, but their countenances were shining. We gave them some new jackets, sweaters, and hats, and we took some of their soiled clothes in order to wash them. Philemon continued witnessing to them about living for Jesus, Heaven and Hell, Life and Death. Everyone sat quietly, listening intently. Everyone knew God was working miracles and had worked a mighty one that day.
Soon one of our soldiers was ready to take these newly born-again souls to their destination, which was about 130 miles away. With smiles and thanksgivings, this family of eight walked out our front door and happily stepped into the bus. Off they went, waving cheerful goodbyes as the bus slowly rode down the snow-covered gravel driveway.
The entire event was a divinely arranged miracle. Just think about it--the timing; the unusual, back-road way they chose to travel; the circumstances of ice, fog, the tired driver, and the cow in the road; the type of collision and extent of the damage, particularly in reference to the fact that no one was seriously hurt or killed; the sovereign guidance of God and the impressions He gave the father, which led him to turn around and come back to our driveway instead of taking the easier way to a closer driveway; the readiness of their hearts to receive Jesus Christ . . . and on and on it could go. How amazing to realize that 30 seconds sooner, or 30 seconds later, the accident may not have happened, and eight lost souls would have naturally continued on their way to Hell! There is no such thing as "coincidence." God is sovereign, and thankfully, He desires for all men to come to repentance. This course of events was just one more proof that God is still working miracles in our day.
Acts of the Spirit happen everywhere, every day. It is exciting to live for God! What an incredible privilege to know that we may be a part of God's sovereign moving on the earth and see our God do mighty miracles! It is so good to be a true Christian. It is so good to be with the people of God who are led by His Spirit.
~Master Sgt. Amos River
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