A new follower of Jesus lives on a small island nicknamed Paradise. Abraham* harvests coconuts by using a long reap hook that can reach the coconut clusters 20 to 60 feet high up in the trees. As Abraham balances the reap hook, he keeps his gaze focused upward while moving from coconut clump to coconut clump, working carefully.
Recently, as Abraham’s attention was focused up in the trees, he stepped on a deadly Cobra snake buried in the sand. He immediately dropped the reap hook, which shattered as it hit the ground. He leaped and tried to run away, but the Cobra was still able to get his fangs squarely into Abraham’s foot. He hurried home to his wife and seven children as his foot and leg began to swell. Everyone on the island expected Abraham to die that day because, in the past, all of the islanders who had been bitten by Cobras had died within just a few hours. But, Abraham remembered how Jesus healed different kinds of sicknesses in the Bible. He prayed that Jesus would let him live. God chose to answer, “Yes!” All of the people on the island who heard Abraham’s story were amazed at how powerful Abraham’s God is to have been able to save him.
Within two weeks of being bitten by the Cobra, Abraham’s only cow got sick and had to be slaughtered. The islanders believed that meant Abraham was cursed. Usually, when someone on the island has to slaughter an animal, they sell the meat. But Abraham chose instead to call his neighbors together for a feast where he served the meat. He used what people on the island believed to be evil to bless them with a meal in order to show them God’s love.
God is doing a powerful work in Abraham’s life, and as he continues to grow in his faith, he hopes to have many opportunities to lift up Jesus so that his neighbors would long to know his God of love.
-Written by a worker in the Philippines
*not his real name