I was unsuccessful in holding back the tears I as read this at the coffee shop this afternoon. I felt compelled to share this story of Rev. Carlos C. Grant, missionary to the Philippines. Here is an excerpt from his book, “The History of the Philippine Church”:
Arriving in the Philippines
We arrived on August 15, 1957, at approximately nine o’clock in the morning, in a torrential rain, a monsoon. It never stopped for days. As there had been no funds received by us from the United Pentecostal headquarters, we were very low, and facing we knew not what. $108.00 is not very much money.
Well to make it short, the custom officials took it all and left me with not a cent to use, and we set foot on the shore. We finished up our custom and immigration clearance, and stepped ashore at approximately eleven o’clock in the morning the same day. As we drew near the great Dewey Boulevard along the shore of Manila Bay, I looked at such a large city, knowing in my heart a part of the vast area was to be our particular vineyard to labor in.
I could only stand and tremble at the task ahead. In my soul I cried, “I am not big enough for this job.” Then the promise made in Menlo, Park, California on that eventful night when we were in despair came to me! I will never leave you or forsake you.” Many times that has been my only life-line to remember when the hours were darkest in trials and persecutions which later came so very cruel.
As I stood there with fifteen pieces of baggage, my wife and three-year old daughter, Sis. Grant looked at me and said, “Now, what do we do?” I answered her, ”I do not know.” Our daughter began to cry, since she grew very wet with no umbrella, as we had none. All we could do was cry in our souls, “Oh, Lord, Lord, why, why? How can we manage?”
After a time we were approached by a Filipino man, who asked where we were going. And I told him I did not know. “What are you?” he asked. We said we were missionaries for the name of Jesus Christ. He wanted to know if we wished him to take us to a good hotel, and when I answered, We have not a penny to our name,” he shook his head and laughed. Not at our calamity, but at the absurdity of an American being in the country with no money. Because in the eyes of the Asians and foreigners, all Americans are rich.
He said he knew the manager of the Bay view Hotel very well, and he will help us. So we agreed to go. There was not much else we could do. This man paid our taxi fare and spoke to the manager for us. We registered and got into our room everything we had. So wet we were about ready to cry, and so frustrated we hardly knew which way to turn. By evening, we were about dried out and were now more comfortable. But we had no money to buy food to eat. How do you explain to a three-year-old child that Jesus promised to supply every need?
There are just no words or ways to explain against an empty stomach. Finally, we made ready for bed, prayed, and tried to comfort her. I told Sis. Grant that the next morning I would go on the street and sell our personal things to feed the baby. We could fast and hold out.
About ten o’clock in the evening, just as we were all set for the night, there came a knock on our door. What now? What could this be? No one knew us. No one was expecting us. Could this be the manager to question us or put us out? In fear and anxiety I opened the door. There was a lady standing there. She was a passenger on the same boat we had sailed on, and was one of the passengers who caught the chicken pox from our daughter, who had taken them following her bout with the measles.
She smiled and said, “You are Rev. Grant?” I said yes and invited her to come in. She entered, Sis. Grant arose and came into the room. We could not figure why the lady had come because we hardly saw her on the boat and then not to visit with. Yet God keeps His promises. Praise His Name!
After a short time, she brought forth the reason for her late visit to us. Knowing nothing about us, she had been on the boat bound for a missionary home for Presbyterians, as she was a returning missionary teacher, located in Marawi City in Mindanao. Going to bed she became troubled and grew worse and worse until she prayed, “Lord, what Is wrong?” She told us that God spoke to her. “My servants, Carlos Grant and family are in need. Go help him.” She could not understand. She kept trying to lay it aside, yet finally “Lord, I don’t even know where they are. What can I do?” He impressed her, “The Bayview Hotel, Go. Go.”
She arose, dressed, took a taxi, came and asked for us. She was bewildered as we were. Now she wanted to know what we needed. Have you ever been faced with such a situation? You are ashamed to let anyone know of your circumstances, so I at first answered, “We are fine and we do appreciate your concern.” But she came back at me. “Then if you are alright and everything’s fine, why has God got me out of bed and sent me across Manila tonight to help you?”
I could only look at her and shake my head. “Woman, we need help of any kind. Forgive me for what I said, I am ashamed to receive help from you as we are almost strangers.” Nevertheless, she took out a cheque book, wrote a cheque for $200.00 and said, “This will help you.”
Well, what would your answer be? Mine was the same. “Surely we appreciate it and will return it to you as soon as we can get in touch with our home office.” After a short while and we in tears, she left. And from that day till now, we have never seen her again. Later we wrote and sent her money, and we received an answer of thanks. But I do know that somewhere, God’s reward will be great.
The angels of the Lord encampeth about them who love him. Surely she was an angel sent by the Lord to help us. Taking the cheque to the manager’s office for security, I was able to get food for all of us and we had a good night’s rest, after a time of worship and thanks to the ONE WHO can never fail.