Illustration on trials

Back in 1921, a missionary couple named David Flood and his wife went from Sweden to the heart of Africa – Congo. They met up with another Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, & soon the 4 of them felt led by the Lord to move out of the central mission station in Congo and take the gospel to one of the more remote areas of Congo.

At the village of N’dolera they were refused by the chief, who would not let them enter his village for fear of alienating the local gods. So the two couples decided to go a little away from the village and built their own huts. They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but there was none. Their only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell them chicken & eggs twice a week.

Mrs. Flood decided that if this boy was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead him to Jesus. And in fact, over a period of time she succeeded. But there were no other encouragements. Meanwhile, malaria struck one member of their little group after another. In time the Ericksons decided they had had enough suffering & left for the relative security of the central mission station.

Then, in the middle of this primitive wilderness, Mrs. Flood found herself pregnant. When the time came for her to give birth, the village chief softened enough to allow a midwife to help her. A little girl was born, whom they named Aina. The delivery, however, was difficult, & Mrs. Flood was already weak from malaria. The birth process was a heavy blow to her stamina. She lasted only another 17 days.

David Flood was discouraged, he felt defeated and the whole world ending upon him. He dug a grave, buried his 27-year-old wife, & then took 17-day-old baby daughter, Aina back to the central mission station. Giving his newborn daughter to the Ericksons, he said, “I’m going back to Sweden. I’ve lost my wife, & I obviously can’t take care of this baby. God has ruined my life.” With that, he left, rejecting not only his calling, but God Himself.

Eight months later both of the Ericksons were stricken with an illness and died within days of each other. The baby was turned over to some American missionaries, who eventually took her with them back to America.

Aina Flood married a minister and settled in Seattle, Washington. One day a Swedish religious magazine appeared in her mailbox. As she turned the pages, all of a sudden a photo stopped her cold. There, in a primitive setting was a grave with a white cross and on the cross were the words “Svea Flood.”

The story of the picture was about missionaries who had come to Congo long ago, the birth of a baby, the death of the young mother, the one little African boy who had been led to Christ, and how all the missionaries left, after the whites had all left, the boy had grown up & finally persuaded the chief to let him build a school in the village.

The article said that gradually he won all his students to Christ and the children led their parents to Christ, even the chief had become a Christian. There were 600 Christian believers in that one village alone, all because of the sacrifice of David & Svea Flood.

But that is not the end of the story. After some time Aina got a sponsored vacation to Sweden. There she sought to find her real father. An old man now, David Flood had remarried, fathered 4 more children and dissipated his life with alcohol. When she finally met her father “Papa I am Aina Flood?” she said. He turned toward her & began to cry. “Aina,” he said. “I never meant to give you away.” “It’s all right, Papa,” she replied, taking him gently in her arms. “God took care of me.” The man instantly stiffened. The tears stopped. “God forgot all of us. Our lives have been like this because of Him.” He turned his face back to the wall.

Aina said “Papa, I have a story to tell you. You didn’t go to Africa in vain. Mama didn’t die in vain. The little boy you won to the Lord grew up to win that whole village to Jesus Christ. Today there are 600 African people serving the Lord because you were faithful to the call of God in your life ….”

“Papa, Jesus loves you. He has never hated you.” The old man turned back to look into his daughter’s eyes. He began to talk. And by the end of the afternoon, he had come back to the God he had resented for so many decades.

This boy later became the leader of an African church with more than 1,10000 members, all because one family went through trials.