I hope this story of God's faithfulness through the sacrifice of missionary couple David and Svea Flood will inspire you.
I've been thinking of it in context of a big book I'm writing on the problem of evil and suffering. How many times has God had a purpose in events that seemed senseless at the time they happened? How many things that seem pointless now will later be seen to have a divine point?
Consider Joseph and his brothers who horribly betrayed him and sold him as a slave: "You intended it for evil, but God intended it for good" (Genesis 50:20).
Hope you enjoy this story. Randy
In 1921, missionaries David and Svea Flood went to the Belgian Congo. They and another young couple, the Ericksons, felt led by God to take the gospel to a remote area called N’dolera.
Because the chief would not let them enter, their only contact was the young boy who sold them food. Svea led the boy to Jesus.
Malaria struck and the Ericksons returned to the central mission station. The Floods remained near N'dolera alone.
Svea died within days of giving birth to a little girl.
David dug a crude grave, buried his young wife, gave baby Aina to the Ericksons and returned to Sweden, saying God ruined his life.
Within eight months, both the Ericksons died. American missionaries adjusted “Aina” to "Aggie" and brought her to the United States.
One day a Swedish religious magazine appeared in Aggie’s mailbox, unexpected. A photo inside shocked her—a grave with a white cross marked “SVEA FLOOD.”
A college faculty member translated the article for Aggie: Missionaries came to N'dolera long ago...a white baby was born... the young mother died... one little African boy was led to Christ...and the boy grew up and built a school in the village. Gradually he won his students to Christ...the children led their parents to Christ...even the chief became a Christian.
After years of bitterness, the old and ill David got a visit from Aggie. She recounted the article. She said, “Today there are six hundred African people serving the Lord because you were faithful to the call of God in your life...”
David’s heart softened, and he returned to God. Weeks later, he met Him in eternity.
Aggie eventually met that African boy. He was superintendent of the national church in Zaire (former Belgian Congo), representing 110,000 baptized believers.
All because of the sacrifice of David and Svea Flood. A sacrifice that at the time appeared to have been cruel and pointless.
You can read a longer version of the story, taken from Aggie Hurst's book, Aggie: The Inspiring Story of a Girl without a Country, at the EPM website.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.