Name

Email

Choose Password

Retype Password

Close Menu

God at the Controls, Part One: Captured! In the village

POSTED ON Nov 01, 2014

Tim Cain and his wife Bunny were missionaries with New Tribes Mission in Colombia, South America. They lived with the Puinave people in a village in the jungle.

Tim knew their language very well because his parents had been missionaries and lived where there were Puinaves.

Now Tim was a missionary himself. He taught Bible stories night after night in the village, and the Puinaves loved the teaching. They were getting to know God better.

One day two of the village leaders, Alberto and Chicho, came to Tim and Bunny. They were very upset. "Don't go out of your house after dark tonight! There are guerrilla tracks around!" (Not gorillas, the big ape-like animals that live in the jungle, but GUERrillas, men who don't like the government, and don't believe in God.)

Tim and Bunny had never seen any guerrillas, although they had heard lots of things about them -- things that made people afraid of them. Every night the dogs in the village made a big racket, growling and barking because there were strangers nearby.

One day, when Tim and Bunny were gone, a bunch of guerrillas came into the village and started asking questions about the missionaries. Some of them even stayed there overnight and then left the next morning.

Several hours after all the guerrillas were gone, Tim and Bunny came back. A New Tribes Mission pilot flew them into the village. As soon as the plane landed, the Puinaves swarmed around it, talking loudly. They were upset about the guerrillas' visit and about the questions the guerrillas had asked about the missionaries.

When the pilot heard this news, he frowned with worry and turned to Tim and Bunny. "Don't you think it's getting too dangerous here?"

"No, I can't leave now! The church is growing. I know who the Christians are now, and even those who aren't Christians want to learn more about God. I'm sure God wants us to be here and that He will take care of us."

"Tim is right," Bunny agreed, "This is where we need to be." Together they waved good-bye as the pilot took off.

Several weeks later, Tim was feeling quite ill, so he was lying quietly in a hammock.

Bunny was in the next room, listening to Puinave words on a tape recorder, trying to memorize them. She needed a break so she stood up by the window and stretched, then almost crumpled in fear.

Outside were four guerrillas in camouflage uniforms running straight for the house! They had belts of huge bullets strapped around their waists and were carrying guns and hand grenades!

Bunny ran into the bedroom. "Tim! Guerrillas! What do we do?"

Tim was still not feeling well. "Go let them in," he said.

"What? No!! We don't want them in here!" Bunny exclaimed.

"Now take it easy. We don't even know what they want yet." He climbed out of the hammock slowly, making a face because of the pain in his legs.

BANG! BANG! BANG! The guerrillas pounded on the door.

"Let us in! Open the door!" they demanded. Tim opened the door.

"Hands up! And get outside!" ordered one of the guerrillas.

After a while, the guerrillas noticed Puinaves walking past the house slowly, looking really worried about Tim and Bunny. The guerrillas decided to move Tim and Bunny back inside the house, where they wouldn't attract so much attention.

As they took them into the house, one guerrilla announced proudly, "You have been captured."

Tim was not impressed."What does that mean?" he asked flatly.

"You'll see," replied the guard mysteriously. "You'll see."

Inside, the guerrillas made Tim and Bunny open all of their belongings and asked them lots and lots of questions.

If the guerrillas saw anything that they liked, such as the tape recorder, radio, food, or money, they just stuffed it in their pockets or put it aside to take with them later. They emptied every tin, every shelf, and every box in the house. What a mess!

Finally one of the guerrillas walked over to Tim and said, "Get on the radio and call for the mission plane. Say exactly what we tell you to say. If you change one word, you're dead! Tell them that you are very sick and need to get out."

As Tim sat there, thinking about all this, the guard spoke again, roughly this time: "Make that call now -- or we will feed you to the buzzards!"

Tim looked at the gun pointing at him. He got on the radio and called, asking the mission plane to come out the next day.

That evening one Bible verse meant more to Tim and Bunny than ever before: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28).

They said that verse over and over to themselves and to each other. Finally they declared, "We don't understand it, but we believe it. God is in control!"

They went to bed. Bunny shook and shook as she tried to relax and sleep. Finally she and Tim slept; not very well though, because every ten or 15 minutes a guerrilla shined his big flashlight right in their eyes to make sure they weren't trying to escape.

The next morning came. There was nothing to do but wait for the airplane to come and, at the same time, hope and pray that it would not land.

About ten minutes before the airplane was due to arrive four guerrillas took off down the path to the airstrip with all their guns and ammo.

Bunny and Tim looked at each other. What were the guerrillas planning? Were they going to try to get the plane? Did they want to take the pilot prisoner? Surely the plane would not land.