Every now and then there comes a moment when a story you’ve heard your entire life starts to make sense in a whole new light. That’s been my story over the past few weeks. I’ve been working on editing footage from the ECYC mission to Newfoundland last summer. The final result will be a film called “The Other Missionaries,” which focuses on the importance of recognizing our own homelands as mission fields.
One of the perils of working as a video producer is that it requires massive amounts of storage. In the fall of 2012, I was able to fit all the footage on a 1TB hard drive. The drive began to malfunction, and, only by a miracle, we were able to save the Newfoundland and Philippine mission footage. I transferred it all to a 2TB hard drive and later sent the defective drive, which was under warranty, to be replaced. Crisis averted!
Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. I arrived in Ohio, where the replacement drive had been shipped. Thursday night, I started a transfer to the new hard drive, to be able to have two backups of all the data at all times. The next morning when I awakened, the transfer had failed, and the 2TB hard drive was unresponsive. Over the next week I investigated and attempted a host of means of recovery, but it was all to no avail. My last attempt was replacing the circuit board from the dead drive with a board from an identical drive. Replacing the board showed that the board was indeed defective, but that this was not the only problem with the drive.
At the very moment I began working on switching the circuit boards, an overpowering headache began to seize me. Within an hour, it turned into a full-blown fever. Now, I don’t know how well some of you know me, but I’ve always prided myself as being someone who never gets sick. It’s a rare case for me to fall ill, and if I do, I always bounce back withing 24-48 hours. I thought to myself, “This will be just like the rest of the time.” I immediately started my sure-fire regimen that has always brought an immediate cure. The fever was broken quickly, but within 6 hours, it had returned, full strength. Yet again, I repeated the regimen. Again, the fever was broken. This process repeated another six times over the next 4 days. My wife faithfully stayed by my side, trying remedy after remedy. By Friday, having seen no relief from the recurring malady, she insisted we go to the Emergency Room.
After being examined, the physicians concluded that my symptoms matched influenza and that there was nothing they could do for me. Their final declaration was, “Wait it out,” which yielded a complete confirmation to me of the general uselessness of medical assistance in my life. What still could not be accounted for was how I contracted this alleged virus. I had been in contact with almost no one for a number of days, and anyone I had been in contact with, my wife and sister had also been in contact with and had contracted no illness (this is a very striking fact because my wife is notorious for getting sick easily), my immune system was high, and most strangely, the illness came at a time directly connecting to an already clearly spiritual war over the recovery of mission footage. My only reasonable conclusion from the entire dilemma was that both the loss of the hard drive and the loss of my health were part of an onslaught from Satan.
Each day as hard drive recovery techniques failed, and finally my own health recovery daily failed, the story of Job burned deeper and deeper into my mind. Each day it became clearer and clearer that the loss of the hard drive was not apparently natural and neither was the loss of my health. As I was finally confined to bed, I recalled faithful Job, sitting upon a pile of ashes. All his circumstances seemed to point to the conclusion that he must have been forsaken of God.
Job said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (Job 1:21, 22)
That last line burned into my memory. I asked myself again, “Can I say that? Have I sinned against God? Have I charged Him foolishly?” With hope in my heart each night, I was able to say, along with Job, that “when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Each day, the suffering grew worse. Only one other time in my life has physical pain been so great that I despaired of life. And yet, there was always hope. Every day I wrestled with understanding why all of this was happening to me, but I was able to conclude that for all intents and purposes, I knew how God had led me up until this point, and that if this was the case, I could be certain that He would see everything through, and even if this ended in death, “Though He slay me,” I would still trust in Him.
My health has slowly returned. The fever is gone. I’m not coughing up blood. The excruciating joint pain has ended. At the same time, I also have hope for the lost projects. The faith God gave in this trial pushed me to act on my belief that He had ordained the inception of “The Other Missionaries” and “Forgotten Souls” projects, that He had led the recording and the organization, and that His intent was what it had always been–to reach countless thousands of souls through the global broadcasting of the inspiring mission stories. With that confidence I searched and finally entrusted the drive to hardware recovery professionals.
Right now, the projects are in their hands. They believe they will be able to save everything. They have projected the final bill to be $2,400. That is $2,400 that I don’t have, but the faith I have tells me that it doesn’t matter. We’ve started a fundraiser and many of you have contributed to this “Mission Rescue Mission.”
Thank you so much to all of you who have lifted me up in prayer over these past few weeks. Without you, I have no idea where I would be. And thank you to all of you who have pledged and given funds to save God’s mission projects. You are all answers to my prayers.
If any of you have not yet heard about the rescue mission, and would like to contribute to help save the footage from the missions, you may do so HERE.
May God ever be our Companion, our Hope, and our Salvation, no matter what we face. Keep your eyes on Him, and move forward based on what you know. We’ll always have questions and uncertainties in life, but we can always know what we need to do.