While recently visiting my friends in Narok, fellow missionaries Dave and Sue, I headed out for a walk. I wasn't interested in the busy and noisy town center or the highway through town, so I simply 'followed my nose'. Eventually I realized I had entered the town quarry. Left with only two choices - continue walking through the quarry or retrace my steps a short distance back to their house - I opted to continue in the same direction.
Because such places are often frequented by a 'rough' crowd, I whispered a prayer to God asking him to protect me. I wasn't at all fearful, but simply wanted to be vigilant.
Ever the adventurer, I very much enjoyed myself, following the various twists and turns on the footpaths. Every so often, I asked someone if I was headed in the right direction to get back to town. Everywhere there were guys - and ladies - cutting stone out of the ground. They used nothing but hand tools, grit, and the sweat of their brow. There were a few crudely-built shacks acting as 'hotelies', offering a cup of chai and something to bite.
A few people greeted me, but mostly they kept at their back-breaking work, trying to earn enough to feed their families. I continued my un-mapped and unplanned journey, continuing to confirm I was headed back in the eventual direction of town.
Eventually I came to the river and started hearing sounds of town. Soon I could see buildings and houses, a church or two, or a petrol station. I paused for a nice chat with a guy named Samson; after confirming I was going the right way, he said he hoped we might meet again some day.
Shortly after talking to him, another guy came along on the path. He greeted me and then asked, "Where is your friend? I responded, "I'm just out here alone, taking a walk."
"But I've seen two wazungu. Where's the other one?" He even turned around looking in the direction from where I had come, saying, "Where is he? There were two of you. I saw two white people walking together."
I informed him again, "But it's just me; I'm alone and now I'm talking to you." I subtly changed the subject, saying I wanted to continue my journey and we parted company.
As I continued on my way, going down a steep hill just near town and then forcing my way through a large herd of goats, it suddenly occurred to me that what the guy had seen was an angel walking with me. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but I firmly believe that is what had transpired.
Some have entertained angels unaware.
God does do that sort of thing, you know. There are so many instances in the Bible where God sends a message through an angel, sends an angel to fight our battles in the spiritual realm, or sends an whole army of angels to fight a physical battle and opens the eyes of a human so he could see them and believe.
When I got back to the house, I told Sue and her friend, Phoebe, my story. They both confirmed that the quarry can be a rough place, but also firmly believed that God indeed did send an angel.
I headed into the guestroom to work on my cross-stitch project and turned on my music playlist. A song from Psalm 91 came up, giving more confirmation. Please read it from the Message version and listen to the song on the YouTube video below.
Later that evening, I treated Dave and Sue to dinner at the local coffee house for their anniversary. When I told Dave the story, he had the exact same reaction - "Yeah, that quarry is a dangerous place. And I believe God did send an angel to walk alongside you."
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Psalm 91 (Message)
You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right - he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you - under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing - not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door.
He orders his angels to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path.
“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!”
After I got back to the house I looked on Google maps to see where I had been, as I had not carried my phone with me during the walk. Dave and Sue's house is at the small red square. From there, I followed the white road heading south. The arrow is where I realized I was walking into to a quarry and asked God to protect me. The squiggly line represents my meandering in the quarry, following various twisting footpaths. The star represents where I met the guy who had seen two of us walking.
[Note: Photos are from the internet.]