Long before he and his wife, Jenny, traveled to New Hebrides Islands to spread God's word, the Reverend Stewart G. Michel felt drawn toward mission work. He had completed his education and training, and finally in 1973, he and Jenny had boarded a series of airplanes and moved to the islands.

"Are you afraid, Stewart?" Jenny had whispered as they arrived at the thatched-roof, single-room dwelling where they were to live and work as missionaries for the next year.

Stewart smiled calmly. Jenny was more concerned than he about the obstacles they would certainly face on the islands. Disease, deadly animals, and fierce natives all figured to play a factor in their lives for the next year. But Stewart was not worried, and he gently took Jenny's hand in his.

"Sweetheart, you know we'll be fine here," he said softly. "God will protect us."

Jenny nodded, looking anxiously at their surroundings. Everything seemed so foreign, so completely different than anything she'd seen before. There were no supermarkets, no paved roads, nothing to offer the security she'd known all her life.

"You're worried, aren't you?" Stewart asked, squeezing her hand and looking into her deep blue eyes.

Jenny laughed nervously. "Is it that obvious?"

"Yes," Stewart replied, with empathy. "Listen, I understand, really. But we have prayed for God's protection, Jenny. Do you believe He hears us?"

Jenny nodded quickly. "Of course I believe."

"Well, then we have to trust. God brought us here for a reason, and He's going to see us through."

They had shared the conversation a hundred times during their preparation for this mission. But now, with their new home sitting just fifty feet away, there was something more real about the reassurance Jenny felt. She smiled and climbed out of their beat-up van, pulling Stewart along with her.

"OK, come on then," she had said, the hesitation gone from her voice. "We have a mission to run!"

That had been six months earlier. They had learned to deal with the disease, equipped as they were with various medicines and vaccines. And they had developed ways to stay clear from the wild animals that lived in the brush near their home. Best of all, they were finding ample opportunities to hold Bible studies throughout the area and to teach the local tribes about their faith. But there was one tribe--known for its fierce fighting techniques--which grew more hostile toward them with each passing day. For weeks they had threatened to attack the Michels and kill them because they had interfered with ancient tribal traditions and taught their people a new and strange way of thinking.

Finally, the hostile tribe made plans to carry out their threats. Late in the evening of June 23, the Michels lay in their small bed and listened to the sound of war cries growing louder and louder.

"They're coming for us, Stewart," a terrified Jenny whispered in the dark of their bungalow.

Stewart nodded. "Keep praying, Jenny. Keep praying."

Jenny squeezed her eyes tight, trying to force the frightening sounds from her mind. But they grew still closer until their shrill screams and chanting surrounded the Michels's dwelling.

Stewart began to pray aloud.

"Heavenly Father," he began, "you have told us to ask for anything in your means. We come before you now and ask you to protect us as you have in the past. Please deliver us from the danger we are in."

For nearly an hour the sounds continued outside the bungalow. At the end of the hour, the Michels could see dancing lights surrounding their home.

"Fire," Stewart whispered, holding Jenny tightly. "Keep praying. I think they might try to burn us out."

Jenny gasped and buried her face in Stewart's shoulder.

Another fifteen minutes passed while the Michels continued to pray for protection. Then, suddenly, the screaming began to lessen and grow gradually more distant. "They're leaving!" Jenny said, and her muscles began to relax.

The couple lay listening in the darkness as the tribesman moved farther and farther away. Finally their menacing sounds disappeared altogether.

"Thank you, Father," Stewart said aloud, gazing toward the sky. "Thank you for protecting us. Thank you for delivering us."

Three months went by and the Michels had no explanation for why the tribesmen chose not to kill them that terrifying night. Then, in a strange turn of events, the chief of that tribe contacted the Michels and began asking questions about their mission work and about Jesus Christ. Before the end of the year, the chief converted to Christianity. At that time Stewart Michel decided to ask the question that had burned in his mind for nearly a year.

"Why didn't you kill us that night?" he asked, staring gently into the chief's eyes.

The chief nodded. "We tried," he said. "But your guards wouldn't let us past."

Stewart's eyes narrowed in confusion. "What guards?"

The chief waved his arms dramatically. "Hundreds of guards, big men in shining clothes with swords drawn and torches," he said excitedly in broken English. But the missionary understood every word.

"Where did they come from?" he asked, baffled at the chief's story about what had taken place that awful night.

"Your guards," the chief repeated, as if the Michels should know where their protection came from. "Circled your hut, hundreds of them. Big men. Never seen anything like that before. We had no choice. We left."

Suddenly Michel thought he understood. Chills ran along his neck and down his arms. Hadn't they prayed for protection? Didn't God use angels as a way of taking care of his people? When Michel shared the story with Jenny, she agreed with him.

"God's protection came in the form of a hundred angels dressed like guards and stationed around our home," Jenny says when she talks of the event. "Who else could they have been but angels?"


From: ANGELS, MIRACLES AND ANSWERED PRAYERS. (There’s an angel on your shoulder: Angel encounters in everyday life) Vol 1. Kelsey Tyler. Angel encounters in everyday life and everyday lives touched by miracles. Pag. 67-70, Guideposts. New York 1994.