"The choices we make change
the story of our life." ©

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

 

From African Prince to Missionary

DAY THREE — W. Terry Whalin, Writer/ Editor

God Allows U-Turns Guest Blogger

It marked one of the more unusual stories that I’ve written about people. Samuel Morris lived from 1873 to 1893. It wasn’t like some of the contemporary novels I’ve written where I could interview the subject and people around them. This biography was written from the few books and documents around on Samuel Morris. Over a month ago, I wrote about the transformation of this book since it first released ten years ago.

Born the son of a tribal chieftain in Africa, as a young man, Samuel Morris was known as Kaboo, an African Prince. He escaped death from an enemy tribe and came to America. In fact, he studied at Taylor University where a building is named in his honor. Here’s one short U-Turn story from the life of Samuel Morris (affectionately called Sammy) when he was a student at Taylor:

“One day, Sammy was shocked when a confirmed atheist visited his room. Even the most savage pagan and idolaters in Kru land (his home in Africa) believed in some kind of god. Sammy had never met anyone who said, “There is no God,” and called himself an atheist.

But there was an atheist on campus who heard all about Sammy. He was not satisfied with what was said in favor of Samuel Morris.

“Oh, I can put that unlearned black to shame,” he boasted. “I know every argument and the answer to every scripture.” He asked a friend of Sammy’s to take him to Sammy and witness his downfall.

Sammy’s friend laughed. “Remember Proverbs 25:14” ‘Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.’”

When the pair arrived at Sammy’s room, he was praying, so they waited in the hall for him. After a long time passed, Sammy opened his door to the friend and the atheist.

After the introductions, Sammy said, “Please read the Bible where the last person marked.” He handed the Bible to the atheist, but the student threw it down on the table, scoffing, “I do not read that book anymore. It is full of love affairs, wars, and a lot of big fish stories. I don’t believe a word of it.”

Sammy sat still and listened to the atheist talk. Then he rose to his feet and spoke with compassion for the fellow student, “My dear brother, your Father speaks to you, and you do not believe Him? Your Brother speaks, and you do not believe Him? The sun shines and you do not believe it?”

Sammy paused, then continued, “God wishes to be your Father, Christ is your Brother, the Holy Ghost is your Sun.” Extending his hand on the atheist’s shoulder, he insisted, “Kneel down, and I will pray for you.”

The atheist sank down as though his life had crumbled within. But he resisted Sammy’s prayers and would not open his mouth. When the prayer was over, he stumbled to the door. Suddenly he felt a stab of pain in his heart, and he fled to his room.

Daily, Sammy, Aman, and many of their friends prayed for the atheist. Near the end of the semester, the atheist returned to Sammy’s room. Sammy smiled and put his hands on both shoulders of the young man, saying, “You are a Christian? That’s what you have come to tell me?”

“Yes,” the atheist agreed. “I have not been able to eat or sleep or study properly. All I could think of was Jesus dying on the cross for me. My Brother, who loved me that much.”

Together they knelt, and this one-time scoffer prayed from his heart to his heavenly Father. That student became a preacher and then a bishop.”

This biography is filled with dramatic U-turns in life. I’m grateful for the on-going ministry of these life-changing stories to help people. It’s been a thrilling part of my writing life.

This is Terry Whalin signing off for today. Tomorrow I’ll tell another U-Turn story in the life of a baseball player turned evangelist.

Allison
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