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November 4, 2021 12:00 am
Wisdom for the heart.
Stephen Devi begins a series introducing you to heroes of the Christian faith. One day a Swedish religious magazine is deposited in her mailbox. One photograph, grabbed her attention. It was a picture of a graveside small white cross in the on the cross was written the name today's broad cast were bringing you a series that's become our favorite and most requested teachings.
It's entitled legacies of light in it. Stephen Devi looks at several heroes of the Christian faith.
In many ways. You and I stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us and it's encouraging for us to know who they are and study their life and legacy today Stephen introduces you to David and survey a flood to have an amazing story.
It's the story of survey is endurance.
David's despair and our Savior's incredible mercy, please settle as Stephen begins his lesson for today. The fact that we have no record of Jesus Christ in the New Testament ever laughing your reader servants in his comment that he had a wonderful sense of humor and I'm sure that is with the size of his disciples often. In fact, his first miracle was at a wedding party but were never told that he laughed more than likely because we would assume that he would, but while we would assume that God the son might laugh, we would never and certainly in the first century. They would never assume that the son of God would cry, and so were told that he did on more than one occasion Jesus arrives at the tomb of Lazarus and he's been dead now for four days. According to verse 17 he stands near nearby told in verse 33 when Jesus saw her that Mary Lazarus sister weeping and the Jews would come with her also weeping. He was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. That is, Jesus was moved deeply when he saw the grief and observe the emotion of these who lost their loved ones.
He got the son was not apathetic.
Verse 35 Jesus wept as God cried is crying in a graveyard. By the way, if God can cry so can you in the garden Jesus Christ effectively surrenders.
Of course, to the will of the father. That's another incident where he will we. Matthews gospel account in chapter 26 verse 36 Jesus comes with them to a place called Gethsemane. Any said it was disciples here while I go over there and pray, Matthew chapter 26 in verse 37 were told that Jesus took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee and began to be sorrowful trouble this particular text refers to being surrounded by sorrow, Jesus normally cries over the death of a loved one, and the rebellion of a nation, but these crying over the suffering that that he will bear for the sake of a bilious world what it will mean Jesus Christ is about to go out weeping, but what a difference Sunday morning will make when he brings a harvest.
He is the firstfruits of that harvest translating into a harvest of joy. The seed of self-sacrifice similar to what we've seen demonstrated several times in the lives of believers, we studied believers who were surrounded by the sorrow of night we watched some of these heavenly great great trouble, then the tables turned, was a harvest of fruit, some of them only after they died.
Some of them while they were alive but the sorrow of night was replaced with the joy of the morning sewing with tears brought in a harvest with great joy in in this last biographical study in our series.
It remains to be one of the most touching demonstrations of self-sacrifice, death and sorrow and fruit in 1921 man by the name of David flood and his young wife survey and their little two-year-old son left Sweden for the interior of Africa. They traveled with another missionary couple from their church in Philadelphia.
Both couples sang in the choir so they are in fact was the leading soloist of the church, but they committed their lives to the field and left for unreached villages in Africa. They were filled with a sense of enthusiasm and optimism and courage and excitement in the you know they think they literally packed their way through the mountains. The mountainous region of the Congo to begin their ministry at yet and undetermined.
The lease at that point in time Philip just totally on their own. Going into the unreached. To their surprise sadness. One village after another them.
They were told by villagers that they couldn't come in because the missionaries with anger. Their village God and trouble so they wouldn't even let them it days of carrying their own supplies.
Their hungry their week there already stricken with with the oncoming effects of malaria they reach another village on the side of a hill small mountain and they would finally settle there, but the chief lease they hoped but the chief was even more hostile than than all of the other. He demanded that they lead their biography reads United for young adults, and a two-year-old boy packing their way through the jungle. They struggled to carry their supplies to the summit of that hill, putting up their tents. They knew they were too weary to set out again so they decided to clear the brush and build mud huts doing their best with these hostile during the next agonizing weeks, which stretched into agonizing months. David and survey and the Erickson struggled to learn Swahili.
They tried everything they could do to reach into the village, but they were turned away every time that the chief sibling tightened his grip on his villagers were even prohibited from visiting the missionaries. They were very curious about but one little boy was allowed to go up weakly and sell them a David was amazed that his wife's insistence that they might never reach that village and probably didn't look like it impact Africa, but maybe she could win this child for Jesus Christ. So every time the boy would visit the camp sheet she showered him with love and attention and she would teach and learn from him as well and and and sure enough the other missionaries watched one afternoon survey and dealt with this little boy and led him in a prayer of repentance and that we had to keep his decision for Christ secret of the village lusty not be allowed to return or maybe worse to the others. This mission was a failure. Eventually, the Erickson's decided to leave David and their little boy and and they return to establish mission post several miles away, flood family remain battling malaria desperately crude conditions.
No connection to the village then survey announced she was expecting their second child. She was already weak with the battle. Malaria struggling. David feared the worst. It was too late to travel through the jungles of the Belgian Congo without risking her life and the life of their unborn child. The baby decided would be born in that mud on the mountain.
That little native boy carried good news that she was to deliver very soon and in the chief. Surprisingly graciously allowed midwife from the village to serve their so with survey a week with malaria when the African midwife arrived in fact she was groaning in pain and suffering from high fever and the little girl was born. Survey whispered that she should be called Irena one of the classical Swedish names for girls 17 days later survey a flood little girl live. I was able to find that little girl's autobiography and read it last week to fill in some of the David flood was filled with rage and hopelessness. The dog accrued grave for his 27-year-old wife and wondered how in the world was he going to care for two-year-old boy and a newborn girl who was very sickly without any system. Besides, it seemed in his mind he got it abandoned.
So he hired some young men from the village and with others took his children down the mountain and to that mission station miles away finally made it there he was finished with the ministry he was finished with the gospel. He was finished with God. As far as he was concerned God had taken the life of his faithful bride and their ministry had been nothing but total failure at the tragic waste of the problem still confronting him was that returning to Sweden was still this monumental trip. David knew that he had nobody that care for or feed is his daughter.
The Erickson's remember.
Then they're back at that mission station. They have been unable to have children. David offered them the opportunity to adopt i.e. not and they were thrilled with this opportunities to reduce they greet with that David took his little boy by the hand left that mission station, never to return again. In fact he never even looked, and he would never be before Irena turned one year old. Joel and Bertha Erickson, her adoptive parent for poison by unbelieving natives within days of each other, died excruciating.
I was once again without parents that she would soon, however, the claim by another missionary couple there at the station and raised as their own daughter and when she turned three. This couple decided to return to the states and they came back and and lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota for Swedish name was changed to Aggie if you try to find her autobiography, you have to look for Aggie Hearst Irena would later write that even as a young girl growing up in Minnesota.
She knew that she was different. She quickly became known as the daughter of a missionary who died on the mountain, rescued by missionaries were poisoned and as her biography title read. She was she was effectively a girl without a country. She felt terribly alone never fitting in, someone to be watched, stared, she did your life to the Lord and eventually attended North Central Bible College in Minneapolis affect married a young godly man who entered the ministry and in the years just kind of traveled along. She had absolutely no information about her father. She knew very little of her pasty did know her parents names. Of course in their homeland. Sweden something about the mission station in her mother's death.
She really had little time to think about of her husband, her own family there busy ministry life affect her husband duly Hearst became the president of a Bible college in Seattle Washington where they moved. Then one day unexpectedly.
This is one of those things God does can explain Swedish religious magazine is deposited in her mailbox. She wasn't on the mailing list. She had no idea who said it and she could read it.
She did know that you know the native tongue of her parents but she turned the pages of that magazine. One photograph, grabbed her attention. It was a picture of a graveside and and a small white cross planted in the and on the cross was written the name surveyor flood. She jumped in her car race to the home of a college professor who knew Swedish and she translated that she read to missionaries pushing through the African jungle camping at night, traveled by day came across a village in the Belgian Congo and and they came across this burial plot. They took a picture they began to inquire.
Found out that it was the missionary mother of the baby the death of the mother, but not before leading one African boy to Christ and how the father left her in the hands of fellow missionaries in severed and seems the article continued, sadly, surveyor flood didn't live long enough to learn that the little African boy they won to Christ on that mountaintop went on in time to gain permission from the village chief start and build the school gradually, now a young man teacher leader who taught the gospel of Christ. All the students came to trust in Jesus as well and they evangelize their parents, and even the chief became a Christian. And now that village has 600 believers in an active church professing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
All because of the sacrifice tears. David and primarily surveyor flood. Irena couldn't believe the news she began to cry and thank God for letting her learn the truth and end of this harvest for their 25th wedding anniversary. The Bible college gave Dewey and I paid vacation.
The sweep where, among other things, I get a good search for her father.
It wasn't difficult to find him.
David flood had remarried and had four children, but his wife and second wife had also died. Now, as an old man. He was wasting away is an alcoholic and a professed agnostic who dared anybody to mention God's presence after an emotional reunion at the chapter along with her half brothers and sister Irena brings up the subject of seeing their father and and the other grown kids are too optimistic about the idea he become deeply bitter. Of course, and had little to do with any of these. Most of all he hated God so they told her luck if you do go and see him will take you to his apartment. Don't talk about spiritual things.
Whenever he hears the name of God. They said he flies into array. Irena was determined to see finally made it to his little apartment door was answered by housekeeper. She writes insight is remember liquor bottles on every windowsill. The table was covered with even more bottles in the far corner was a small wrinkled old man lying on a rumpled bed. His head turned away diabetes, stroke, Further crippled him and he'd lived in this one room for the last three years. Irena writes in a run autobiography and let me just read the housekeeper bent down and said pump i.e. units here. He turned toward me and I took his hand, he began to weep.
Never wanted to give you was all right I said softly holding him in my arms. God took care of me. He stiffened. Suddenly the tears stopped God for God's all that our lives had been like this because of him I was in Africa all the time and only one little boy came to faith and that I lost, I got a little story to you did good African vein. Mama didn't dine little boy. You wonder the Lord grew up to win. That whole village to Christ today 40 years later there are now 600 people in that village serving the Lord, because you follow the call of God in your life turned slowly around until his eyes met mine hopeful longing to believe what I told longing for the turmoil of his life to be redeemed in some way. It's a well-known story we have a great God. Tears return. He began to talk. By the end of that afternoon, the kindness of God brought him back to repentance and forgiveness and restoration fellowship.
Irena and her husband eventually returned to America a few weeks later David flood went home to have Irena would learn that in the final hours of his life in his delirium he reverted back in big and speaking slightly now to be a great place to put it. But that isn't all this harvest to give you one addendum to this remarkable story. It would be a few years later that Irena and her husband would attend an evangelism conference in London and that there were several leaders back along the line she wrote representing denominations and associations of believing churches throughout Africa. There were there to give their report, one after another very briefly.
One, a report was given from the nation of Zaire by the superintendent of that national church Association represented 110,000 baptized believers and he in his brief time at the platform spoke eloquently about the spread of the gospel is country, said we have 32 mission stations where the hundred and 20 bed hospital. We have several large Christian schools are our churches now have more than 100,000 believers personal items rushes up to him after that service and she has one question for all of her speak from her autobiography circuit. Could you have possibly met a young missionary couple by the name of David and surveyor flood, they were on a mission station and all I know about it was that it was high on a hill yes ma'am ice to sell the chickens and it was surveyor flood. Let me Jesus Christ, and who are you I'm surveyor flood daughter and I was born on that mountaintop tears begin to run down his cheek. He embraced me and an African style help me and began swaying with sobbing from the depths of his soul. I've so often wondered. He cried whatever happened to that little girl's mother died for us. He said to me you got to travel back to our village mother is the most famous person in the history of our church. Irena agreed after months of planning, she and her husband made the long journey back to place a pervert. Imagine that. They eventually arrived at the outpost where she had been even by her father to the Eric's. She played as a toddler with the little African friends.
You learn the Swahili language. She visited the graves of her adopted parents. The Erickson thank God for. But eventually they drove several miles to the village.
Her parents, so desperately crave to reach only this time she arrived there were hundreds of villagers waiting and cheering as she came into view. They built arches and covered with flowers for her reception.
Irena writes eventually the pastor of the village church led me up the hill. All the people following at the top of the hill was a flat place beneath the grove of trees in the pastor pointed to it and said for your parents might house once stood. That's where you were born you then turned and pointed without a word of simple grave framed in cement over it stood a tall beautiful palm tree overlooking the entire valley below, and marking the grave was that small white cross. And on it written surveyor flood 1896 to 1923 Irena writes I was standing where my mother had stood declaring the gospel to one small boy. She writes, and now I knew the harvest of the seed she'd soon. The pastor opened his Bible. Crowding around were hundreds of believing villagers and he read a single line from the song they that sow in tears shall reap beloved God knows what it means to weep. God knows what it means to suffer loss Jesus Christ knows what it means to so see doesn't seem rude, but God knows the end is the tears of sorrow and frustration, pain, grief soon wiped away, replaced by indescribable joy and the fruit of the gospel scene, you and me and the fruit of your efforts which you have no I DO have no idea how they exist and along with thousands of villagers David flood all the others we been privileged to study. We we fruit of the seed of Christ so tears and the harvest of this come from our online will turn into this harvest of courage cannot even imagine.
By God's grace.
Thousands of people who come after us will be the beneficiaries of God's work through our lives today with this lesson here on wisdom for the hard Stephen Devi began a series called legacies of light.
I want to make you aware that Stephen has taken this entire series and turned it into a beautifully bound hardback book. Each chapter in this book highlights the life and ministry of a Christian hero who is gone before us.
Of course David and surveyor flood are featured. In addition to them. You'll learn about Oswald Chambers, Amy Carmichael and many more men and women.
We have a limited supply of this book, while supplies last week and get it to you in time for Christmas and it makes a great gift.
Call us today at 86 648 Bible and will give you information over the phone. That's 86 648 Bible will also find this resource on our website, you can visit us firstname.lastname@example.org while you're there, be sure and look around at all the other resources we have available once again, our web address is wisdom online.org.
Please join us next time. As we continue through this series here on wisdom