Poisoned Cheese, Protected Christians


Once I was preaching in Guatemala in a certain area of strong traditional belief. There was intense pressure against believers-so much so that no evangelical was allowed into the area to preach. We were often attacked with stones and expelled from the areas where we preached, but we kept returning to tell them the Good News of Jesus.

One day my family and I went to hold a worship service there. My wife and our eight children accompanied me. I went on a bit farther to another little village while my family remained at this particular place. A couple known to my wife gave her homemade cheese. She gave a piece to each child, and they all ate. Very shortly thereafter they were all convulsing from stomach pain because the cheese had been intentionally contaminated with rat poison! Even the baby, who was still breastfeeding, became ill.

Meanwhile I was preaching the Gospel in another village, with no idea of what had happened to my family. Stones were often thrown at us while we preached but we were never hit. Suddenly, someone came up and gave us the news that my children were all dying! We took them to the doctor, who said they had been poisoned. That night my house was like a hospital.

The following day was a Sunday, and Holy Communion was planned for the worship service. I have no idea how I managed to get through it, because my mind was on my dying family at home. The doctor gave us no hope that they would live.

But guess what? No one died, because the Lord rescued them!

I wanted to take the perpetrators to court, but some pastors persuaded me that forgiveness was the better way, so I left vengeance to the Lord.

Two weeks later my whole family had totally recovered.

We have often returned to preach at that place, and we purchased the exact piece of land on which my family was poisoned. We have built a church on that land at great personal sacrifice, and presently more than one thousand people worship Jesus there regularly.

What about the people who poisoned my family? They have all come to Christ, later confessing that they had been pressured by a traditionalist group to do the awful deed.

About 28 percent of the people there are believers now, and although there are still traditional groups as well as satanic groups in the area, they don't attack or threaten us.

Open Doors, Brother Andrew with John & Elizabeth Sherrill, The Narrow Road, Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2001, p. 60,62.

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