Last week Aaron wrote about a missionary family who gave up everything for Jesus and nearly lost their faith when hardship came. Read part two of his post to hear how God redeemed what seemed to be a failed ministry and transformed it into a fruitful mission.
David and Svea Flood were missionaries in the Belgian Congo, but when Svea died shortly after childbirth, David thought God had failed him. Giving up his newborn daughter to another missionary couple, David returned to his homeland, embittered and distraught. His daughter Aina, who was renamed Aggie, grew up and eventually made her way to the U.S., where she was married. When she was quite grown, she stumbled across an article in a missionary magazine written in a foreign language that had a picture of a tombstone on it. Upon the tombstone was the name “Svea Flood.” Aggie knew this was her mother, so she did more research and found that the article was describing a famous missionary who had brought the gospel to an area in the Belgian Congo that now had over 600 believers. When she heard this news, she set out to find her father, whom she hadn’t been able to speak with for over forty years, and tell him of what God did through his and Svea’s lives.
Aggie and her husband purchased tickets bound for Sweden and set out on their journey. Along the way the couple found themselves in London for a few days. As they walked the streets of the city they stumbled upon a missions convention being held by a Christian church. On the stage was a young black preacher testifying of the great works God was doing in the Belgian Congo!
After the meeting Aggie approached the preacher and asked if he had ever heard of David and Svea Flood. He answered, “Yes, Svea led me to the Lord when I was just a small boy.” Aggie said, “She was my mother!” He then embraced her, weeping with joy, and told her of the impact her mother had had upon his life. He had grown up to be a missionary to his own country, and there were now over 110,000 Christians, 32 missions stations, several Bible schools, and a 120-bed hospital.
Soon after the meeting, Aggie and her husband found her father lying in a hospital bed … his body shriveled up from years of alcohol abuse and heartache. She told him of the preacher she had met and of the great work God had done through that small village boy to whom Svea had faithfully ministered in the most difficult of circumstances. David wept and sought the Lord in his tears once again. His faith was restored after many years of embittered living, and shortly afterward he went to be with the Lord.*
This story always rocked me. It so clearly displays the faithfulness of God over our present situation. And it reminds me of the need to make the most of every opportunity we have to disciple even the “one” that God leads into our path. As my father has shared with me many times, “Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed.”
May we never be found as David Flood: embittered at the “fruitlessness” we seem to see as we minister to the children God leads our way. Instead, may we be found faithful to give of our lives to see the gospel brought to the children of this next generation. Svea not only shared the gospel with her words, but also with her actions. May we always be found faithfully following Christ as we call others to do the same.
For resources to equip you for faithful Christian ministry, take our Online Leader Training Course HERE and gain insight into principles and mindsets that will build a thriving ministry and strengthen your walk with Jesus.
*Adapted from a devotional given by David Wilkerson called “Are You Mad at God?” and from the book Aggie by Aggie Hurst.