The kids always love it when Bro. Kendrick preaches in chapel. I love it when the they get home from a full day of school and practices and the first thing they want to tell me about is the chapel service from that morning. Today was one of those days.
Bro. Kendrick and his wife served in Africa as missionaries for many years. I don't know how old he is, but he is getting up there in years and yet he can still hold captive a group of teenagers.
Megan said his message today dealt with faith - he would tell stories from his years as a missionary and then end them with "and that strengthened my faith."
Tears ran down my cheeks as Megan retold one of the stories from Bro. Kendrick's message. I will do my best to retell it.
While Bro. Kendrick and his wife, Nina, were serving as missionaries in the jungles of Africa, their baby son developed a severe eye infection. There were no doctors around and no medicine either. They didn't even have any baby aspirin. Nina tried everything available to her - warm compresses and diluted aspirin.
Every night they would rock him to sleep. It was only with sleep that he would quit crying.
One night after the baby had been in bed for a little while, they heard a blood curdling scream coming from his room. Bro. Kendrick ran into the baby's room, ripped open the mosquito netting, and grabbed up the baby. As he looked at him, he couldn't believe what he saw.
In utter desperation to stop the pain, the baby had literally stuck his finger into his eye and his finger was entirely behind his eye ball. Pus and blood ran down the baby's check as he screamed uncontrollably.
Bro. Kendrick yelled for Nina to come quickly. They had no idea what to do, but Bro. Kendrick said he found himself feeling led to go outside with the baby. With the child in their arms, they ran out of the house into the dark of night.
The nearest hut on the compound belonged to an African pastor, and it was over one and a half football fields away. As they ran toward the house of this pastor, Bro. Kendrick was screaming for this man to come help them.
The Pastor ran to meet them outside. When he saw the baby's eye, he cried out that it was utterly destroyed. This Pastor then began to pray a loud and the Kendricks prayed - not just any prayer, but a prayer of desperation. The Pastor called out to God and beseeched him to heal this baby.
After several minutes of prayer, Bro. Kendrick felt the baby push against him and tug and pull at him - but they kept praying. After several more minutes, they responded to the pushing and pulling of the baby and held him up to look at him - they saw two perfectly healthy, normal eyes looking back at them.
Bro. Kendrick cried out in amazement that the baby's eye was healed. This African pastor calmly replied, what did you expect?
"That strengthened my faith," said Bro. Kendrick today.
I want faith like that. I want to pray expecting and anticipating God to intervene.
I want to pray for rain and bring my umbrella.