'A very present help in trouble'

Recent landslides have provided new opportunities to depend upon God as a refuge.

Sometimes Bible teaching from a tribal believer finds powerful application in the life of a missionary. Last Sunday morning, this was especially true for Gary and Esther Smith.

During Bible teaching time, a Dinangat Bible teacher, Felix, read and taught on Psalm 46:1-2: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”

That particular morning, Gary says that he and the rest of the people of the Dinangat village had in their recent memory some vivid insight into the significance of those verses. They were in fresh remembrance of their dependence upon God as a refuge.

Abundant rains have recently resulted in several significant landslides in their area.

The resulting damage has extensive. They have seen the destruction of essential gardens, fish ponds and even the missionaries’ water source, which not only supplies their homes with water, but also with electricity.

“So when Felix read these verses … we were all reminded of God’s wonderful protection of us,” Gary writes. “God did indeed help.”

For Gary, there are many clear glimpses into God’s help and care. He has provided wisdom and strength to work through the trials. And He has provided strength for the extensive clean-up and repair project that resulted from the landslides.

After several days of hard work digging out, the vital water source is now back in operation. Not only do the missionaries depend on this water source, but many in the village do as well. Gary shares, “We are back in business … we have fresh water in the village once again.”

Gary and Esther Smith are thankful for God’s protection and help during the landslides and in the time of cleanup and repairs. More powerfully than ever, they recognize the impact and truth of the words they heard Felix share that morning, “God is our refuge and strength.”