A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan:
“While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point.
On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine, and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.
Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord.
I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.
Two weeks later I repeated my journey.
Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, ‘Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs.
But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.’
At this, I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that jungle campsite.
The young man pressed the point, however, and said, ‘No, sir, I was not the only person to see the guards, my friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.’”
At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened.
The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story:
“On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?”
The men who had met together to pray that day stood up.
The missionary wasn’t concerned with who they were, he was too busy counting how many men he saw.
There were 26.