Feature

He Encamps Around Me

Foundations

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One night my rest was disturbed by what I thought were rats. I could hear them moving around the living room, in the dining room, and along the halls. I tried to ignore them with a promise: “I’ll get you tomorrow.” But when I heard a book fall to the floor, that did it. I jumped up, shook my roommate’s bed, and called, “Margaret, grab your robe. We’ll light the lamps and have another go at the rats. I’ve been hearing them from one end of the house to the other.”

foundations-aug-2016
C&MA missionary Darlene Rose meets the first Kapaukus near Enarotali.

When I pulled the bedroom door open, I saw someone swish past me. I thought it was Dr. Robert Jaffray, in whose house I was staying in Indonesia, and was perplexed at his strange behavior in the middle of the night. When I stepped into the hall to get a better look, I found myself face to face with a Boegis bandit.

He was wearing a black sarong that he swooped over his shoulder to free his machete. With one fluid movement, he extricated the knife from his belt and held it up in striking position. I’m really quite a coward, and why I rushed at him, I have no idea. Perhaps it was the element of surprise, but he was a bigger coward than I, for he turned and fled down the hall, through the bathroom, across the porch, and down over the mountainside with me hot on his heels—until I saw others emerge from the jungle. He yelled something in their language, and together they fled. I stopped dead. “Lord,” I whispered, “what a stupid thing for me to do!”

Immediately He answered, The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them (Ps. 34:7).

I went back to the house and reached to pull shut the door that was standing wide open. There was no doorknob, no lock or key; instead, I pulled the door toward me to find a porthole the intruder had carved in the door with his long knife.

From that night on, we slept with a club at the foot of our bed and a small milk can-squawker under our pillow, but we never had to use them. We heard bandits return several nights after that, but they never again entered the house. It wasn’t until after the war that I learned why.

I had suspected the Jaffrays’ gardener; he was Boegis, and he knew the layout of the house. When I asked him why they had never entered the house again, he answered incredulously, “Because of those people you had there—those people in white who stood around the house.” The Lord had put His angels around us. He had delivered.

—From Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II. © 1988 by Darlene Rose. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers.

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