How has the LORD gone before you? -- Higby Herald, March 2022
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. --Deut. 31:8
March 22, 2022
When we pray for God’s blessing over our travels, we don’t always get to see how the Lord works. I (Doug) am in Kenya for the annual Language Technology Consultant Training for English speaking African countries. One of the participants, Eliot Kengo, just shared with me a testimony of God’s intervention during his travel. Eliot supports Bible translators in Cameroon through computer repair, IT consulting, and services. He also specializes in language technology, which accelerates all of the steps needed to make God’s Word available in the 272 indigenous languages of Cameroon. Since the group hadn’t met last year due to COVID travel restrictions, Eliot was excited to fly to Kenya to meet colleagues and learn about new developments. A COVID test was required, so Eliot stopped at an outdoor testing site in Yaoundé, Cameroon the day before his flight. When told the results would take two days, he didn’t know what to do. Would he have to cancel and rebook his flight?
They directed him to a man nearby who could get him the results faster, but he needed to fill out more paperwork. Eliot sat down with him a few meters away to fill out additional forms and was told a blood draw was needed as well. Someone came up and offered him a small cup of strong tea, aptly named gunpowder tea– which is a common cultural gesture. He sipped about a tablespoon, but found it too bitter and drank no more. Suddenly he started to feel woozy as if he was drunk and the lines on the paper form started to blur. He was led away, supposedly to get blood drawn, and that is all he remembers. He came to hours later on a hard wooden bench outside a hospital, still feeling woozy. He had been drugged and robbed. His wallet and phone were gone from his pocket. Slowly, as the haze lifted, Eliot realized how God had protected him. His phone and emptied wallet were found nearby wrapped in the shirt of the guy who led him off. The money was missing ($500), but his passport and travel documents were all there. Even more amazing, his backpack was sitting beside him, zipped open, but with his laptop still inside. When he explained to sympathetic staff at the hospital what had happened, they marveled at what kind of thief would leave the most valuable possessions behind. They even waived the fee for a COVID test and he was able to get it in time for his flight. Although the devil tried his best to prevent Eliot from participating in this training through bodily harm, missing documentation, and a stolen laptop--he was thwarted on all accounts through divine intervention. In Eliot’s own words ...
“It was really a stressful experience. I truly give glory to Yahweh for His immersed Grace and will that I should attend this conference.”
These consultant training events are the backbone of our mission to harness technology to expedite the translation of God’s Word. I’ve always marveled on the first day of these events as to how everyone manages to show up despite the complexities of visas and travel. God gave us a glimpse of just how he’s been doing this all along. To Him be the glory!
P.J. wasn’t able to join me and we would appreciate your prayers as she is in a challenging place, especially while I’m gone. The health of her parents is declining, and she is much more involved in their care. At the same time she continues managing the digital publishing department. Visits from our grandkids continue to spark joy in the midst of all this, and we feel that we are in the place and time that God ordained for us. Pray that He will equip her with the strength that she needs for her daily workload/responsibilities.
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with the memo: "Doug & Priscilla Higby"
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Doug & Priscilla Higby are missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Both are serving SIL International: Doug is Language Technology Use Director, and Priscilla is Academic Publication Manager.
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