World Cruise 1996
Milan & Memory Repression
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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!
World Cruise 1996
Milan & Memory Repression