A heartwarming lesson from one of our Zulu Pastors in South Africa.
A great grandson of King Bothelesi of the Zulu, who are mostly Christians because the King accepted Christ, told me an amazing story of a young Zulu man. He had received a gift of Christian books from a missionary about to come back to America.
As the Zulu read books of Kenneth Hagin, E.W.Kenyon, Oral Roberts and T.L. Osborn, his heart flooded with faith. He visited his village elder and asked permission to travel all over Zulu-land and preach these amazing faith sermons.
The elder opened up a zebra skin pouch and handed the young man a Bible and insisted that he take it with him to preach and evangelize. He gave the preacher this advice, “As you travel for the Lord, you may come upon hard times. Whenever you get in trouble, whenever you are hungry, whenever you have needs… LOOK IN THE BOOK.”
It was a simple old family Bible, very heavy, but a good Zulu honors his elders and so he faithfully carried the heavy book with him. When he got up to preach with all the passion of a great evangelist. He preached from the sermons of the American evangelists.
After 9 years, he realized he had failed as an evangelist. Hungry, barefoot, and ragged he trudged home with his head held down. He had even sold all his evangelist books to have pennies to eat on. As he returned to his village, his only possession was the heavy Bible in the zebra skin pouch.
His plan was to return it to his village elder but discovered that alas, he had died of great age in the years he was gone. He was young no more himself, yet he sat down and wept for the elder, the ministry and more than anything, he wept because of his failure as an evangelist. He had great visions but it was gone.
He sat for days outside the elder’s kraal and finally remembering his elder’s advice. “Whenever you get in trouble, you’re hungry, or have needs… LOOK IN THE BOOK.” There was nothing else to read, so he opened the first page and a 100 Rand note (about $120.00) fell out. As he began to turn the pages of the Bible he found 100 Rand notes in every chapter. He had been carrying around nearly two hundred thousand dollars in the old Bible. All he needed to do was look in the book.
The Zulu sat and cried for hours. Turning the pages of the Bible, there were scriptures circled with small handwritten notes that said things like, “Preach this when you are lonely.” Or “Preach this when you need God to provide.” Each circled scripture had a 100 Rand note in the chapter.
Oh, if he had only looked in the book. Is there a lesson for us? I believe if you have a need today, “Whenever you get in trouble, whenever you’re hungry, whenever you have needs, LOOK IN THE BOOK.”
As he finished the story, I told him how wonderful it was, but come on, did you make up this story as so often people do? He said, “No, I did not make it up, and I know for a fact it is true. The reason I know it is true is because I was that young Zulu preacher. I only carry one book with me today as I go preach, and here it is.”
It was the old family Bible that had seen many years and many miles, worn and tattered with those scriptures circled and notes in the margin.
Look in the book for yourself and make your own notes, and when you get in trouble… LOOK IN THE BOOK.
Love and Prayers,
Pastor Ross Collette