The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.~Psalm 34:7

Loud pounding African drums suddenly caught my attention. I was alone in a missionary’s home in Goma, Zaire. My sister, Charlene Larsen Andersen, and my brother-in-law, Floyd Andersen, both LLUSM class of 1968, were in charge of the 100-bed Songa Mission Hospital. I had traveled to Africa to help them. In gratitude for my visit, they planned a safari near Goma.

When I heard the drums, I grabbed my tape recorder and headed toward the rhythmic sound. I crossed the dirt road outside the house, and followed a narrow dirt path into the African jungle. The deeper I went into the jungle, the louder the drumming became, and the more intense my excitement. My reason for this pursuit was that I wanted to take a recording of African drums back to my Sabbath School class. 

The path abruptly stopped in the jungle at an opening about 50 feet around. There were three short African men vigorously pounding three large conical African drums about three feet high. They were base-chested and wearing only small loincloths. Near them, about 25 more African men, who had been drinking banana beer-also bare-chested and wearing loincloths-were throwing dirt into the air, dancing vigorously, lifting their legs high, and chanting.

I froze in my tracks. All thoughts of a recording for Sabbath School vanished. Immediately, as if from nowhere, a very tall pleasant looking African man, with a beaming smile, approached me. He said, in perfect English, “You should not be here.” I quickly said, “I know.” He said, “Go back this way,” pointing to a totally different trail he advised. I trusted him and never looked back.

My heart still pounding, I arrived safely at the mission home; my brain was racing as I pondered my plight. In contrast to the drummers and dancers, the man who guided me was very tall, spoke perfect English (not French or Swahili as normally spoken in Zaire), was wearing a clean white shirt, and had a radiant smile. I believe my Angel in Africa saved me.

“To His children today the Lord declares, ‘Be strong,… and work; for I am with you.’ The Christian always has a strong helper in the Lord. The way of the Lord’s helping we may not know; but this we do know: He will never fail those who put their trust in Him. Could Christians realize how many times the Lord has ordered their way, that the purposes of the enemy concerning them might not be accomplished, they would not stumble along complainingly. Their faith would be stayed on God, and no trial would have power to move them. They would acknowledge Him as their wisdom and efficiency, and He would bring to pass that which He desires to work out through them” (Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p.576).

God is constantly watching over us and for that I am most grateful.-Lauraine Larsen Kinney, LLUSM class of 1971, practices family and geriatric medicine in San Diego, California.