The voice said "turn to the left"



Jacob Chamberlain, working in India, was to make a trip overland for several miles through the heavy jungles. Before he left on the trip with two or three native assistants, he knelt down and prayed God for protection,. for the jungle road was dangerous. Many missionaries and natives had lost their lives from the wild animals that infested the region. The missionary was to take with him two cartloads of Bibles for distribution, and during the long journey of two and one-half months he knew there were many dangers which .he faced. while he was praying, the Voice said to him,

"Lo, I am with you..."

Standing upon this promise, Chamberlain started through the jungles. After several days they came to a section that was flooded everywhere. The river was thirty feet higher than usual and consequently out of its banks. There was literally no way to turn.

The missionary realized that only a miracle would Save his life and the lives of his companions; so he talked to God, and the Voice Said, "I will be with thee."

Said the missionary to the guides, "If we press on to a small, near-by river, we can make a raft and get over the stream before dark."

But the natives told him that there were no dry trees, and that green trees would sink in the water. Then the missionary said:

"Keep marching on. I will consider what to do."

Already they could hear the fierce, hungry roar of the tigers in the rattan jungle at their right. when the missionary was unable to give any advice to his fellow travelers, he turned to God. As his horse tramped on over the marshy trail, his heart went up to the Master, and he claimed the promised Divine Presence. He said:

"Master, was it not for Thy sake we came here? Have we not covenanted with Thee for the journey? Have we not faithfully preached Thy name? Have we shirked any danger? Didst Thou not promise, 'I will be with thee'? Now we need Thee. We are in the blackest danger. Only Thou canst save us from this jungle, these tigers, and this flood. O Master, show me what to do."

A Voice, the missionary said, not audible, but distinct as though spoken in his ear . by a human friend, said, "Turn to the left to the Godavery River and you will find rescue." when he inquired about this river and asked if there was a village on its banks, the guides told him there were no villages for many miles. He asked if there were .high ground where they could camp for the night. The guides told him, "No, it is all low and flat." while in the midst of these quibblings the missionary again heard the Voice say, "Turn to the left to the Godavery and you will find rescue."

When asked if there were any boat, or any place where they could pitch their tent and camp in safety, the word always came back, "There is none closer than the cataracts." The missionary was told by the guides that it would take them more than six hours to cut a way through to the bluff, all during darkness. And when the natives asked, "What shall we do?" the missionary replied, "I do not know, but my Heavenly Father does."

Again the missionary stopped and prayed, and for the third time he heard the Voice say, "Turn to the left to the Godavery and you will find rescue.

Immediately the missionary said to the natives: "I know that God has answered my prayers. I cannot doubt Him, and this Voice urges me to turn to the left." Halting the group, he added to the men, "Turn sharply to the left. Guides, show us the shortest way to the Godavery and be quick about it."

The guides remonstrated stoutly, feeling they would be worse off in that direction and at the river mentioned than they were. Nevertheless, the preacher said, "March forward. I am master here and intend to be obeyed."

The native preachers said, "He has . heard of some help at the river." And they inquired among themselves or of the preacher about it, but all he could say was, "There is rescue at the river."

When he arrived at the river, there right under his feet was a large, flat boat fastened to the shore, with two men on it trying to keep it afloat in the rising and falling current.

On inquiry the men said that they were laboring under the British government.

"We were caring for the boat as usual when a huge, rolling wave came down the river and sent the boat into the current. We have fought all day to keep it from coming here, but it seemed as if a supernatural power was driving the boat on. So an hour or so ago we gave up and let it float in here and tied it in safety to this tree."

Immediately the missionary recognized that this was God's answer to his prayers, for many times he had heard that Voice say, "I will be with thee." And three times God had said, "Turn to the left to the Godavery and you will find rescue."

"I bowed my head in amazed reverence and thanked God for this special answer to our pleading prayers.


From: ANSWERED PRAYER IN MISSIONARY SERVICE By Basil William Miller, Beacon Hill Press, Kansas City, Missouri. First Printing, April 1951 Second Printing, July 1951 Printed in United States of America