We get to meet some very interesting people during our mission trips. The longer we work in an area, the more we develop some great friendships. Today I want to tell you the story of one such person that we met.
Our work in Kenya spanned 10 years. During that period we would spend time visiting in the homes of local people. We became friends with a man named Mr Samuel. I have attached a couple of photos of him below. You will notice that I spelled it Mr Samwel on the photos and in the rest of the story because that is how he pronounced his name. Mr Samwel never finished school and was poor even by rural Kenyan standards. He did not have a car and did not how to drive when we first met him. He did eventually get a motorcycle and learned to drive it. He loved driving it all around the area. He taught himself English over the years and he loved the Lord. He loved to bring a smile to everyone he met and did it as often as possible. There are so many things I could say about him, but the main thing is that he is a wonderful man of God.
Since Mr Samwel taught himself English, he struggled with the tenses of English words. This always provided us with much laughter. My Samwel understood this fact about himself and would join in the laughter once he realized his mistake. One day, when we ran into him at the market, he invited us over to his home for dinner. The invitation was stating as follows: “Please come to my house so I can dead a cuckoo for you.” Translated – come over for a chicken dinner. My husband and I will still use this saying on occasion when we are having chicken for dinner and we say it to honor of Mr Samwel.
We also learned that Mr Samwel could pray long prayers. Not that I think praying for a long time should ever be a issue but if you needed to be somewhere quickly, you did not ask Mr Samwel to pray. Grace at his house could last 10 minutes. It was usually said in Swahili because it was easier for him to speak in his native tongue. Someone would translated it for us. His prayers were always beautiful. He had such a deep understanding of what was important in life. He would thank the Lord for the food, and everything that had happened that day. He was very eloquent. If we had a team with us, he would mention each person in his prayer. He would pray for the work we were doing, for the community at large and for his country. When he was finished praying, the meal was served. Since he did not have much money, our dinner consisted of a little bit of chicken, along with some ground nuts (Kenyan peanuts) and popcorn. Dinner was followed by a cup of Kenyan tea, made with Masala spices. I still try to make Kenyan tea on occasion as it brings back such warm memories.
My fondest memory of Mr Samwel is from a story he shared with us. Mr Samwel was married with several children. One day, his daughter was injured as she walked home from school. He could hear her crying nearby and went running to help. The daughter had been clipped by a car and fell down an embankment. He could not drive so Mr Samwel knew he needed to wait for someone to drive by and take his daughter to the hospital. It was a hot day, so he decided to move his daughter down the hill and into the house for shade. He would then go back and wait by the road for a car to pass. This might take a while because in rural parts of Western Kenya not many people have cars. As he was waiting, a thought occurred to Mr Samwel that he had not prayed for the Lord’s help with his daughter first thing. He almost panicked at this thought. How could he forget to pray? Christ was the center of his life and now in an emergency he forgot about Him. So Mr Samwel did the only thing he could think of to fix the situation. He went to the house and got his daughter. He took the daughter back up to the roadway and set her down on the spot where he had found her. Then he knelt down and prayed over her. He also prayed for the Lord to provide them with someone driving by quickly. Once he was finished praying, a car approached. The car did stop and the driver agreed to take both of them to the hospital. The daughter was treated and soon healed completely. But what an amazing story of a prayer warrior in action.
James 5:15 “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.”
I wish I could say I always turned to prayer first but I don’t. Sometimes the crisis is almost over before I remember to pray about it. I am working on to get better about this and Mr Samwel is my shining example. I will try to model his behavior. May God continue to bless him always.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”