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Deep mud, long night lead 2 men to joy in the morning


MULANJE, Malawi (BP)–It might just be the muckiest way
on record to win new believers in Jesus Christ.
Dwayne Mitchell, a missionary to Malawi with the
Southern Baptist International Mission Board, needed to
drive to an isolated village in the east African nation. The
rains had been heavy, and the roads were getting “more
uncooperative by the week,” according to Mitchell, from
Hooks, Texas.
But, after all, he had a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Mitchell and a Malawian pastor, Collins Mauluka,
reached the village with no major problems. It was dark when
they started back.
“I came to a place where the wheels spun and the car
sank until the left-side tires were buried under mud and the
car was leaning at about a 40-degree angle,” Mitchell
recounts. “I started the winch and the car was inching
forward. Then the cable broke.”
By that time they had a “very entertained audience” of
about 20 onlookers from a village near the road. The
travelers’ dilemma presented a profit opportunity, so the
entire audience offered to lift the vehicle out of the mire
— for $3 each.
It took five hours, but by 3 a.m. Mitchell and Mauluka
were on the road again. The missionary didn’t have enough
money with him to pay the whole group, so two of the helpers
agreed to ride home with him and return with payment for the
others.
Just five miles down the road, the car stalled in a
shallow stream. This time no audience appeared.
“The only way I could fix it was to lie in the stream
and crawl under the car,” Mitchell says. “For two hours I
lay there in that running water and fought swarms of
mosquitoes. I could hear Collins and the two men talking and
could tell their conversation had turned to the Lord.”
He finally got the car running again, and after another
two hours the bedraggled Baptists finally got home —
accompanied by two brand new believers in Christ.
“Most of that night seemed a total loss in human
terms,” Mitchell recounts. “Almost nothing I did was part of
my job description or work goals. But God saw fit to use it
all to bring those two men into his kingdom.”