24 WALK IN THE SPIRIT, IN GOD’S SAFE KEEPING
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit…” (Galatians 5:16a) “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)
Back in the 1950s when I was a lad, we called them Mom and Pop Willey, a godly, hardworking Free Will Baptist missionary couple to Cuba. They were preaching the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ in Cuba in the late 1950s when Fidel Castro took control of Cuba by fighting a bloody revolution against the existing corrupt Cuban government and its army. After coming into power Castro’s communist regime allowed the Willeys to stay in Cuba several more months (or a year or more), before finally kicking Christian missionaries out of Cuba. .
As Castro’s regime executed his Cuban enemies, they allowed Pop Willey to visit condemned Cuban “ex-government” officials in prison in Havana before they were riddled with Fidel’s firing squad bullets. Brother Willey would witness to those condemned souls, pray with them, urge them to pray for forgiveness and salvation (some did), and finally watch several of them (one by one) fall before the firing squad’s hail of bullets. “It really drained him,” Mrs. Willey told a group of us missionaries in Japan in October 1974. (Pop Willey didn’t live very long after returning to the U.S. from Cuba soon after those traumatic stressful days in Castro’s Cuba communist “paradise”.)
In 1974 in Japan, Mom Willey told us missionaries of the Holy Spirit warning them of a deceptive trap set to imprison her in Cuba, that warning enabling them to escape from the snare of the fowlers. Mom and Pop Willey made the decision to return to the U.S. from dangerous and oppressive Cuba. She was to fly out of Cuba first while he stayed on for a brief period “tying up loose ends”.
As Mom is preparing to leave Cuba, an acquaintance of the Willeys comes to their house to talk to Pop. This Cuban man says that he needs to get some money to a family member living in Florida. Dictator Castro had strictly forbidden anyone to take any Cuban money out of that little country. Fidel’s lackeys forced this man to go to the Willeys to trick and trap them. Mrs. Willey and all her luggage will be thoroughly searched when she checks in at the Havana airport.
“I have carefully wrapped the money (paper bills) in this aluminum foil,” he said while showing that small “wad” to them. “Sister Willey can push this ‘wad’ down into her jar of cold cream, put the lid back onto that jar and the money will be safely hidden during the search.” (There were no electronic “scanners” in those ancient days.) With an honest sincere face, this deceiver tells the Willeys that story given to him by the communist oppressors. Mom and Pop agreed to honour his request. So he gave them the wad of Cuban money and left.
Immediately, a most heavy spirit came upon Pop Willey. Listening to his Precious Saviour’s Voice in his heart, Pop soon says to Mom. “I don’t feel it is safe to take that money.” Together, this godly couple prayerfully made the decision for Mom to not take the money to the airport with her, but they did not yet say anything about that decision to the deceiver who brought the money to them.
The communist guards at the airport who searched outgoing passengers had been well informed that Mrs. Willey would have that foil-wrapped wad of Cuban money hidden inside her large jar of cold cream. (In those days, ladies daily used “cold cream”, keeping a quite large jar of it handy.) In 1974 in Japan, I listened with keen interest to Mom Willey tell this story first hand.
“They opened my suitcases and slowly searched each article in detail. When the guard screwed the lid off my large jar of cold cream and rammed his finger down to the bottom of that jar, I almost fainted! I had to immediately sit down!”
(The Willeys’ God greatly disappointed that guard! Amen and Amen!)
“After thoroughly searching all my luggage in vain, women guards took me into a private room, made me take off my shoes and all my clothes, and thoroughly searched me and all my clothing, prying the heels off my shoes to search for the money hidden there. They made me take my long hair down (her long hair was ‘done up’) and they searched thru my hair looking for that money. Exhausting their searching but finding nothing, in frustration they rudely told me to take up my things and go. I more or less scrambled in desperation, hurriedly getting dressed, gathering up my scattered possessions and walking out to board the plane. As the plane taxied out, I broke down crying and sobbing from that horrible ordeal.”
Mom Willey flew on to safety in Florida. A few days later, Pop followed her back to U.S. of A..
“Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 124:6~8)
“Abba Father in Heaven, I beg Thee to teach me ever so thoroughly that Pop Willey was walking in the Spirit and that gave Thee free access to his heart to clearly speak that warning to him that likely saved him and Mom Willey from being put into prison in Castro’s Cuba. I now cry out to Thee, to please save me to the utmost. Please give me an intense desire to totally crucify my flesh and enable me to do exactly that. Help me to fully submit myself to Thee, to daily walk in the Spirit in order to have Thee effect my escape from each and every snare of the fowler, Satan. Please help Missionary Richard to daily walk in the Spirit to escape any snares and traps the Buddhist idol worshippers in Japan might lay for him. Save all us Christian believers to the utmost, I plead. Amen.”
Richard Yerby (Matsuida, Japan) www.Christ-is-all.us