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I used to think of angels as celestial beings, who had little relevance to us mortals here on earth. That changed the Sunday in 1990 that Claudia Wegley related an experience she had in Singapore. Claudia has a simple, uncluttered faith that allows God to work in ways that others might just scoff at.

Claudia was on a trip to the Orient and was entering Singapore, carrying a very heavy backpack. It was the end of a long, hard day and she was exhausted. The immigration lines seemed endless and Claudia just didn't have the strength to stand in line with that heavy pack on her back, so she went off to the side and set her pack down in despair. To her surprise an official approached her and said, "Come with me." He didn't open up a new line, but he took Claudia through, stamped her passport and said, "Your burden looked so heavy." Claudia looked at him and asked, "Are you an angel?" The man just looked her directly in the eyes and said, "Yes, now go!" Claudia picked up her pack, turned around to thank him, but he was gone.

I had goose bumps listening to her. The simple story impressed me. Does God use angels in human form to come to our physical aid in this day and age?

A short time later I took Wayne and Maccine Scammon, with daughters Jody and Rae Lynn to Europe. Their daughter, Shandra, had been in Bucharest, Romania for the past nine months as a missionary and we ventured there to see her. This was the year following the overthrow of the brutal dictator, Ceaucescu, and Romania was a desolate place. It was so bad, that Shandra had prayed for weeks that God would let her show her family just one nice thing during their visit. It was depressing walking around the capital. Stores were barren, restaurants offered little, buildings were drab and crumbling, and there were no smiles on the faces of the citizens. We stopped at the tourist office to enquire about a folklore show with dinner and were told there was one that evening for about $20 per person. That was out of our budget, but later we decided to go directly to the place that evening to see if we could get in.

Two taxis took us deep into a large park and dropped us at the door of a nice looking restaurant, Peskarusc. We were greeted by a big, jolly headwaiter, who noticed Wayne's cowboy hat and said, "Oh! Cowboy! Come right this way!" I noticed a sign on the door in Romanian, which indicated there were no tables available for the show, so before letting the taxis go, I asked if they had space for the six of us. "Yes, of course! We have your table all ready for you!" Shandra and I exchanged glances, "You do?" He marched us to the best table in the house, right in front of the stage, and it was set for six with a reserved sign on it. He carefully took Wayne's cowboy hat, pulled up another chair, and placed the hat upside down on it (how many Americans know that's the proper way to place a cowboy hat?) He said his father was a cowboy in Texas!

We were offered a choice of beverages, more than Shandra had seen in her nine months in Romania, and the waiter and his assistant kept our glasses full, always with a smile. There was even fish on the menu, another first for Shandra. For someone who did not experience Romania in those years, it's impossible to understand how totally out of character the impeccable service was. The room filled up and there was not a vacant table anywhere. A party of obviously wealthy Arabs had a table towards the back and one of them offered the waiter a $100 bill (several months' salary in Romania) to get a better table, but to no avail. It was full. We enjoyed a beautiful show and a delicious meal, but Shandra and I began to wonder about the cost. I wondered if they weren't going to make us pay for it in US dollars at the artificial (bad) exchange rate. That would make for an expensive evening. Shandra was sure we could pay in lei, so we bet an ice cream cone (in Vienna) that it would be over/under $2 per person (yes, $2!). When we got the bill it came to $1.97 each and we were allowed to pay in lei.

With all these minor miracles happening, I related Claudia's angel story to them and asked, jokingly, if they supposed our waiter was an angel. We laughed and enjoyed the last few minutes of our meal. On the way out we thanked the waiter profusely and he was beaming his big smile. Maccine was the last in line and when she shook his hand, she looked him in the eyes and asked, "Are you an angel?" He looked right back, squeezed her hand and simply said, "Yes!" Wayne and Jody were still standing there and caught the exchange. Wayne said chills ran all the way up and down his spine.

All the way home we marveled at our evening. We told Shandra's teammates about it and they couldn't believe what we had experienced. Later, they tried to find the restaurant, but never did. (Yes, I bought Shandra her ice cream in Vienna!)

Naturally I shared this experience with family and friends back home. Not long after, my brother-in-law Craig was at a high school basketball tournament game at the MSU Fieldhouse with his one-and-a-half-year-old son, Josh. They had to leave at halftime and Craig put Josh in the child seat in the car. He shut the door and went around the driver's side, only to find that his wallet and keys were on the floor by Josh and the doors were locked. There was no one in the parking lot and Craig was at a loss what to do. He didn't want to leave Josh alone and go for help and he checked and rechecked the doors. Suddenly a woman appeared and said she had seen what had happened. She asked if he would like her to stay there by the car while he went for help. He was hesitant, as she was a stranger, but he didn't have much choice, so he consented and went back into the Fieldhouse to try to get help. But no one answered the phone at home and he couldn't find anyone he knew, nor could he find a hanger to try to jimmy the locks. After about 10 minutes of futile attempts to find a solution, he began feeling nervous about the stranger at the car, thus he hurried back out to the parking lot. As he approached the row where the car was parked, his anxiety grew as he could see the windshield of the car, but could not see Josh. As he got to the vehicle, he could plainly see that Josh was not in his car seat! Just before total panic set in, and to his amazement, he noticed the woman standing near the rear fender of the car with Josh in her arms!! She said she had tried some of her keys while he was gone and one of her safety deposit box keys had opened the door! Craig was incredulous and made sure Josh was all right. He rebuckled him into his car seat, and then his thoughts went to his wallet, so he checked quickly to make sure all was well there. It was. He turned around to thank the woman, but she was gone! No sign of her in the entire, huge parking lot.

In the summer of 1996 Julie Hisey took her eight year old son to Geyser Park in Bozeman to enjoy the go-carts. At one point, Ben was sitting on the curb next to the track with another young fellow and Julie asked Ben to move back just in case a go-cart went out of control. Shortly after, a go-cart crashed into the edge where the other boy was still sitting and in the process severed the boy's foot at the ankle, leaving it attached only by the tendon.

Julie was the only adult there (the employees were high school students) so she immediately tried to help the boy while someone called 911. Julie normally passes out at the sight of blood, so she was praying the whole time that God would help her through. She pressed the foot against the leg and wrapped it in her coat. When the boy was later flown to Salt Lake City, the doctors were amazed to find the foot fully vasculated and the boy himself had no blood loss whatsoever. Instead of having to amputate, as they expected, they were able to re-attach the foot, which recovered to full health.

Several months later Julie met with the boy and his mother. After thanking Julie the boy asked, "Who was the other lady with you?" Julie told him there was no other lady, that she was the only adult around. The boy insisted that another lady was there helping Julie the whole time!

Kent Kauffman

February 2004


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