Monday, December 18, 2017

No Room at Mission House on Christmas Eve

December 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles, Testimonies

~ This testimony was given to JournEzine by a missionary who has long witnessed God move in mighty ways in foreign lands.  Their identity is not being disclosed so they may may freely continue their mission work. ~

Here is the missionary’s story, as told to JournEzine testimonies editor, Mary Ellen Shedron:

What memories!

It was Christmas Eve, the day my missionary husband and I arrived in Ecuador. Nobody was at the airport to meet us. Communication apparently was lost as to who was to meet us at the airport in the capital City of Quito.

When we arrived, we realized we had no Ecuadorian coins. Neither did we have the phone number of the radio station where were headed. We thought we had made ever necessary preparation. How could this have happened?

My husband walked over to the bank of telephones and began marching, from one end to the other, in front of those phones. He was praying for God’s wisdom in this dilemma.

In the meantime, I was standing in a corner surrounded by our baggage and in my arms I held our crying, 4-week-old son, John. He was hot and hungry and I tried rocking him to sleep, to no avail. As my husband marched and prayed by the phones, I was in the corner praying furiously for God’s help to appear.

Suddenly, an Ecuadorian approached my husband and asked him if he needed help.

“Si, senior.” My husband surely did need help! He explained the situation and the man smiled, inserted coins into the telephone box and dialed the radio station number. God heard our prayers. Soon, a missionary came to the airport and rescued us. God heard AND answered our desperate prayers.

While driving to the radio station, the missionary told us the Mission Guest House was closed for the holidays, but there were beds available at an empty apartment of missionaries who had left on furlough. We had a place to stay after all.

The kind missionary also told us one of the ladies from the Mission House was asking us to join her for Christmas dinner the next day at her apartment. We were so very thankful for her invitation. As it was Christmas Eve, all stores had closed and we had no food provisions with us.

After being fed a light supper, we were taken to our sleeping quarters. The rooms were dark and dusty. No one had anticipated us staying there and consequently, no preparations had been made. However, the beds were clean and, much to our delight, comfortable. Since by now the hour was late and were were weary from our long travels, we prepared to get into those beds.

As it was Christmas Eve, we opened our Bible to Luke 1:26-56 and Luke 2:1-20 and together, we read the beautiful account of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

We read about Mary, a young Jewess who was engaged to be married to Joseph, as she received a visit from the angel Gabriel. I tried to imagine how this young girl reacted as she was told by Gabriel our God had chosen Mary to be the mother of the Son of God. I certainly know I would’ve protested and Mary did as well, vigorously. Gabriel ceased her protests, saying, “For with God, nothing will be impossible.”

Joseph took Mary on an exhausting journey to Bethlehem to be registered, according to a decree by Caesar Augustus. When they finally arrived in the city, Joseph could find no accommodations. There was nary a room at the village inn. But the couple, about to become a trio, would be allowed to sleep in a stable. As Holy Scripture reveals, when Jesus was born, they gently laid Him in a manger.

baby

The first people to be notified of Jesus’ birth were the shepherds. The angel gave the announcement and the choir of angels burst into song, singing praises to God. Shepherds went quickly to find Mary, Joseph and, lying in the manger, the Christ Child. Oh, what a most beautiful present, a gift, from God.

We gently closed our Bible.

Our hearts were warmed. We thanked God for sending His Son to this earth and extending to all the gift of salvation. We thanked Him for protecting us while on our own long journey to Quito and for calling us to serve Him.

For the next 30 years, like the Christmas angel chorus, we were privileged to herald the Gospel through the air waves from that radio station to a whole world of people to whom the gift of salvation was extended.

We joined the angels in saying, “Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth, peace to men on whom His favor rests.”

Indeed, that is one Christmas Eve I shall never forget.

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