Sunday Morning Worship Service

Sunday, Feb. 19             

There are a lot of other Biblical accounts of God using animal life to do his bidding.  He used a raven and a dove to let Noah know when to leave the ark (Gen. 8:6-12). He used locusts, flies, gnats, and frogs against the Egyptians (Ex. 8-9).  He used quails to feed Israel in the desert.  He used deadly snakes (Num. 21:6-9) as a disciplinary measure He used two bears to kill Elisha’s mockers (2 Kings 2:23-25).  He used ravens to feed Elijah (1 Kings 17:1-6).  He kept the lions from devouring Daniel (Dan. 6).  He used a school of fish to encourage his disciples (John 21).   And God’s use of animals is not limited to the Bible.  In October 1984, four New Tribes Missionaries working with the Puinave tribe in Colombia were kidnapped by F.A.R.C. guerillas who had two prime goals—to confiscate the plane and to hold the four missionaries for ransom.  Paul Dye, missionary pilot, was forced to fly NTM’s Cesna plane to a remote airstrip in the jungle.  The other three, Tim and Bunny Cain and Steve Estelle were taken to another jungle camp where they were held under stressful conditions for weeks.  The story of these four people is marvelously described in the book, “God at the Controls” written by Jean Dye Johnson.  It held me spell bound for six hours.  I could not put the book down.  But I just want to recount one of the many miracles that are recorded in this book.  Tim, Bunny, and Steve each had heart searching encounters with God, wanting to trust God, but sometimes, hopeful, sometimes in despair.  On one occasion, Tim appealed to God for a sign that He was with them.  Two days later, early on a Sunday morning, the entire camp was surrounded by birds, birds of at least twelve different species, including a turkey buzzard.  The birds were on the limbs of the nearby trees, all of them looking directly at the missionaries and nodding their heads as they sang and croaked out their various melodies.  They stayed the whole morning and left at noon.  This was no accident.  No birds for the next six days, but they came back the following Sunday morning with even more species of birds—26 varieties in all.  Again, they stayed until noon and then flew off.  Tim’s plea was heard and answered!  God is still using His people to do His bidding.  In this case, they were willing to go; they just needed some encouragement.

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