GOD CAN..........Years ago Stan Best thought it would be fun to plant a few rubber trees in his back yard. Sort of a conversation piece. I mean, do you know anyone that has a rubber tree in his back yard? One slashes it like a maple tree, the sap drips into a cup, only it makes rubber instead of syrup.
Now the trees are 100 feet tall and Stan's back yard is part of the seminary campus. Rubber tree wood is sort of weak and termites can eat it. We had a bad one right next to the seminary's outside wall on the east side of the property. It was cracked about halfway up and creaked when the wind blew. The tree was leaning outward towards the wall, and it if fell, would take out our wall, the wall across the street, the neighbor's house, and the power lines. A few months ago we decided to take it down. Tied a good half inch nylon rope to a point about forty feet up, and another for safety, a two inch hemp rope, to another rubber tree to the west. It was a day of mild winds and gusts. With Ray and Tony pulling on the nylon rope, I took the chainsaw (donated by Rocky Mountain Motor Service of Dupuyer, Montana) and cut a wedge out in the direction we wanted the tree to fall (away from the wall). With the wedge out, I started the cut at the backside of the tree. All of a sudden the saw got stuck and I knew something had gone wrong. The wind had gusted, the weakened tree tilted more toward the street, the two inch rope snapped, and we were on the verge of losing it.
On the other side of the wall, neighbors were in the street yelling. Ray and Tony were still hanging on to the nylon rope for dear life, the only thing keeping it from going over the wrong way toward expensive ignominy. They started to pray. The wind stopped.
I jumped in the truck, and F-550 Ford, and headed out to buy more rope. Rounding the corner a half mile away by our church, I started to pray. Funny how panic keeps you from doing the obvious. Another half mile away the hardware store had 300 feet of new two inch nylon rope. Cost me $185.00, who cares at this point.
Headed back to seminary, did the wind come back?, did the tree fall down while I have been away for almost a half hour?, I really want to see that tree still up. Lord.
Yep, there it still is. A skinny neighbor volunteered to go up a wood ladder placed right up against the tree, held at the bottom by other guys, and put the new rope around the tree and back on the other side, about 40 feet up , over the tops of some branches. We tied one rope end to the right rear of the truck and the other end to the left side. But the truck wouldn't pull it. The tires slipped in the grass and went backwards and the tree ALMOST went down the wrong way. I took up the slack, emergency brake cable has been broken for a year, with low gear. Our seminary director Roberto came out. His wife suggested pulling the truck with their Nissan 4X4 pickup. So I cut the new rope, there was over 50 feet left over, with my X2 Voyager pocket knife,(donated by Cold Steel of Ventura, California). Tied the two trucks together. The director's wife Alice drove, Robert has bad eyesight, she put it in compound 4X4, and this time it worked. The tree came our way and fell in back of us, huge noise, 105 feet tall. Victory. Thank you Lord. Then the wind started blowing again.
I've had a few experiences where God has answered prayer immediately and definitely in times of crisis. For Ray and Tony, the day the Lord stopped the wind will always be The Day.
WEB SITES......Ours is rickgaylemclain.com, Evandro and Erica's is evanericasilva.com
IT NEVER GETS OLD........I do but IT doesn't, it being Basic Missionary Work. Stories of people being saved lately will have to wait until our forthcoming prayer letter. Gayle is working on it now.
Your missionary, Rick McLain