Ark Porting Miracles
The past 30 years that I have been studying the sanctuary has been full of surprises. The more I studied this amazing theme, the more beauty I saw in the plan of salvation. Right now in the heavenly sanctuary the work which began in 1844 is almost completed. The door of mercy is soon to close. As I see this, there is a sense of urgency to share the light of the sanctuary with many who have never had the privilege of this light.
I wondered why I was so determined to port the solid wood ark down to Mexico in a little utility trailer behind my car and later the pickup. It seemed that was more important than all the items I wanted to take. I have never done it this way before and my team members wondered at this change. Many comments were made about the extra gasoline it took, the extra wear on the vehicle, and the extra costs as they charged double on all the toll roads in Mexico. There were times it cost 20 dollars to drive just 15 miles. When I was that far, I decided it was too late to change my mind. The trailer kept coming off the hitch. One time it nearly went over the edge of the road. The guard chains saved the day.
I decided that even though I ran out of the currency of the country and they were charging me too many American dollars to get through tolls, God would help me reach destination. They would not allow me to go forward without paying their demands. Then they laughed at me as they grinned at the pocket money they acquired.
At the same time as all these toll problems, not being able to exchange money on Sunday during travel, the truck began overheating. I had to buy coolant with American dollars at more high prices. After prayer this problem resolved. I had added coolant about five times.
It was God's mission project. He would provide all I needed not just part of it. But at times I was questioning my own wisdom in trying to get this ark down there and back. Customs was another point at which all had to be unwrapped. They were so curious what I would take such a thing for.
On the way home just as I pulled out of the motel, the trailer bounced off. Quick as a flash the hotel manager was there to reattach it. I was glad I looked in my rear view mirror just before I planned to drag the trailer by its guard chains out of the line of oncoming traffic. He could have been hurt as he was between the trailer and the truck. Forgetting all danger to himself, he was there to help me.
One time the electric lights cord pulled out of the adapter on the end of God's elephante. The fact was not known to me for about 15 kilometers. At the next stop as I checked the tightness of the hitch I discovered the torn up connector dangling under the trailer tongue. A peg was missing and it was totally non functioning.
It was dangerous to drive without lights. God provided a remedy. As I pulled into the next town, right on the left, across from a giant statue of a man working with oranges, was a sign for an electrical mechanic. I was so distracted by the amazing statue that I almost missed the sign for the mechanic's shop. In five minutes, he had found an old connector plug still taped on the tongue of the trailer from a past system that had stopped functioning. I kept intending to clean it off with scissors but never could find the scissors at the right time. It was the only possible solution for it was not possible to find another in that area.
So what special good was in this ark for the program that it was worth that much for taking it? Was it too much trouble for what it provided? Can the value of a soul have a price placed on it? Jesus was willing to give His life so we could be saved. Did the ark bring any to a walk with Jesus that would not otherwise have had the experience needed? I cannot say this for sure but I do know it helped stimulate a reformation. It brought people to meeting who otherwise would not have come.
It made an impressive scene as it was reverently ported outside all the churches and up the main isle a total of at least 40 times in three different series. I watched a drunk man start smiling and follow the procession in and sit down. This was the father of one of the children in Jenny's children's meetings. This little boy had asked us to pray for his father. He came in and sat down. In his drunken state, it is not known how much the Holy Spirit could speak to his heart. With God all things are possible. We still need to pray for Jose's father.
It is true that some took the service lightly and clowned as they ported the ark but others took it very serious. Perhaps they thought about Uzza and his mistake.
The two in the front of the ark in this picture took the job so seriously they helped carry the ark at the second series of meetings also. The one on the left is a fisherman. He wanted to leave with us to the island and help us. He did not return in time from his fishing trip to go but the one on the right, Evasio, did. He ported the ark for all three series of meetings. I think he ported it at least 40 times. He wants to be a preacher now. He is a new believer and was moved strongly to do more for Jesus. He polished up the truck, and looked for ways to help. Brothers in the church took care of his needs for food and lodging. He slept in the back of the church.
One ark porter requested that all the meetings be recorded and sold to enable those who missed sessions to hear the truth. He pleaded that many churches are tiny and need the message also. He and his sons set up the recordings and each night from midway through we spent an extra hour and a half recording the first half of the series. By the end we lacked a few so spent Sunday after the last meeting recording them. The recording system was needed by brother Ricardo Sosa in another village so we quit lacking only one lecture of completing the 40 hours. This man is so determined to make a whole set of digital audio CDs. It seems his participation opened his eyes to the importance and beauty of the sanctuary message. It was hoped we could also video it but complications of graphics copyright made me draw back from the idea of making DVD's.
This recording will be a blessing to any future translator of mine who needs to study ahead for the presentations.
On the island I observed serious heart searching prayer in the back of the church before the men would pick up the ark and enter the service procession. I heard a special story from one who carried the ark. He had a conviction on his heart one night that he needed to clear something with a brother in the church before he could port the ark that night. He asked a prayer warrior to go with him to the brothers home to make peace before he would return to bear the ark.
On the day I explained the Feast of Tabernacles and it's point of prophecy regarding the glories of heaven, there was added excitement as the audience watched the ark proceed up the isle under palm branches. It was simply exhilarating to walk under the flower covered palms and dream of that triumphal entry into our heaven home. God has promised to give each of us a palm branch. We will shout for joy that we have victory. There will be no more sorrow, pain, crime, death.
There will be joy unspeakable as we fellowship with Jesus. The tears He will wipe away will be over the friends and family who do not want to live forever with Jesus; over those who get too busy to get ready, and those who simply hate God.
The golden vessel ceremony is a symbol of the crown of rejoicing it brings to share the gospel story with the world. As the story is received with joy, the joy floods our own hearts. There is celebrating going on in heaven over this last mission trip. It was not too much work or trouble to port the sacred symbol of HIS PRESENCE.