ImageThat evening we were given a room at the Baptist mission house. We laid, shell-shocked, on the bed. The 2 boys, 7 and 5 years old were on one bed and Jerry and I had the baby in between us. We thought of events of the day and looked down at this innocent little baby, and the two boys peacefully sleeping, without a care in the word, and we thanked God that we had our lives and that no one was hurt. That’s all that mattered. A few minutes into that priceless moment, the phone rang. It was a call for Jerry from our father in the faith, (and father of Joel Osteen), Pastor John Osteen, who is in heaven now. I was watching Jerry, and the sound of his Pastor’s voice brought tears to his eyes. Pastor Osteen told Jerry that they were going to get us home and, “did we want a one way or a round trip ticket?” Were we gonna come back or call it quits? We could easily wave our missionary flag and say we had done our bit and go back to living in the comforts of America. But Jerry said, oh Pastor, a round trip ticket for sure! We have not finished yet, we have only just begun!”

With that, Pastor John Osteen told Jerry, “I know this may not seem like the best time to hear a story, but I am going to tell you one anyway.” He said, “ there was a man who was ship wrecked and stranded on a desert island. He managed to muster up enough sticks to build him a little shelter from the sun. Not long after that, a storm came and lightning came and struck the shelter causing it to catch fire. Then the unexpected happened, a ship in the distance came his direction, blowing the horn and waving, “Ahoy there”. When they arrived on the shore they said, “ We’ve come to rescue you!” The man said, But how did you find me?” The captain replied, “We saw the smoke from your fire!” Brother Osteen said to Jerry, “The Lord has seen the smoke from your fire and has come to rescue you. Come on back home, sit on the front row, let God build your faith and get you strong again, then you can go back and carry on with what the Lord has put before you to do.”

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