Earlier in the week I had the opportunity to meet two very special ladies. Eva and Emily are 85 and 90 years old and have been working together as missionaries in this area (eastern Angola and western Zambia) since 1948 and 1954 respectively! They live and work in a very remote and isolated area of Zambia where they are still active in their nursing and evangelistic work. They flew in to Chitokoloki on the little airplane (piloted by my friend Phil) for an overnight stay to see some friends. They flew out the next morning, hopped in their Land Rover and drove themselves back to their mission station and to their ministry.
I had the opportunity to have a brief lunch with them and it was really incredible to listen to these dear ladies tell a few of the stories of their time here in Africa. The thing that impressed me about them both was they were so alert and bright and energetic. Their minds were sharp and their memories (even for small details) very clear. And they were full of a contagious joy.
As the meal was ending, I asked them, “Were you afraid during the years you were in Angola during the war?” Eva answered without hesitation, with a broad confident smile on her face, “Oh, no!” she said. “You see Jesus promises to never leave us or forsake us. He holds our hand as we walk along the way. He goes before us and leads us and guides us. His presence overshadows us. His strong arms are beneath us. His goodness and mercy always follows us. Why should we be afraid?”
As the meal ended, I thought about how Eva and Emily really distilled the Christian faith down to the very basics—just trust Jesus. We are in the palm of His hand. He is well able to take care of us. Just like He had been taking care of Eva and Emily for the last 60 years here in the remote hills of central Africa.