The stranger at the door



Dark-eyed Suzy Ware walked over to her husband Kenneth. "I need money to buy food," she said.

Sadly, Kenneth looked down at his petite Jewish wife. "I have none to give you," he answered.

A few minutes later, Kenneth heard Suzy praying. Her voice sounded as if she was talking to a close, trusted friend.

"Jesus," she said simply, "I need five pounds of potatoes, apples, peas, a cauliflower, carrots, veal cutlets for today and beef for tomorrow." She even named a particular brand of flour she wanted. When she finished with her list, she said, "Thank you, Jesus."

That Saturday morning, in 1943, war raged fiercely throughout France. Jewish people were being snatched by Adolph Hitler's Nazis and carried off to concentration camps or killed in gas chambers in Poland and Germany.

For the past year, Kenneth had been helping Jewish people in France escape to safety in Switzerland and Spain. Eventually, the Nazis learned of his efforts and set out to capture him. Through a series of miracles, he, Suzy and their young son escaped to Lausanne, Switzerland. They found an apartment they could afford, but no money was left for food.

Later that morning, someone knocked at the Wares' apartment door. When Suzy answered, she saw a man holding a basket of groceries.

"If I should ever see this man again," she said later, "I would recognize him. He was between 30 and 40 years old, a little more than six feet tall, with very light hair and blue eyes. He was strong, with a radiant countenance. Over his work clothes he wore a long, blue apron, as the custom was for someone delivering groceries. His voice was sweet and low."

"Mrs. Ware," the man said in French, "here are the things you asked for."

"There must be some mistake," Suzy said. "I didn't order anything." Yet the man had called her by name!

"Sir," said Kenneth, "perhaps these items are for someone else. The building has 25 apartments."

"Mrs. Ware," the man repeated firmly, "here are the things you asked for."

As he emptied the basket, Suzy and Kenneth stared in surprise. The items he placed on the table were exactly what Suzy listed in her prayer! The flour was even the very brand she had requested.

Suzy went with the man to the door. Kenneth went to the window. The apartment building had only one exit. Kenneth waited to see in which direction he went.

But the man never walked past the window. Suzy opened the door and looked down the hallway. The stranger had disappeared.

A sense of holy awe fell upon the Wares. God had sent His personal messenger to answer Suzy's prayer.

Five years passed before Kenneth and Suzy returned to France. Through their ministry, many people came to Christ. The Wares helped establish a strong work among the Gypsies, and Kenneth prepared a French translation of the Bible, a concordance, and other printed pieces to strengthen the church in France. But he and Suzy never forgot the kind stranger who met their need in response to a simple prayer.



(Note: Information for this story was taken from a chapter on Kenneth Ware included in the book Heroes of the Faith.)