Saturday Morning short: Rescue

June 23, 2012
I recently attended a Sacrament meeting in Utah. It was the monthly “testimony” meeting, where members of the congregation map relate experiences or share testimony of Jesus Christ. One woman stood to tell an inspiring story.
She had recently made what seemed to be an annual visit to Ghana. My son explained that she teaches at BYU and likely went on some sort of humanitarian project. I had the impression that they return annually to the same area.
This year, they went during the monsoon season. The river on which their village is built sustained damage to it’s bed and as a result, nearby villages flooded. The water rose 18 feet and many of the villagers were stranded. 
The branch president made the rounds to the members of his branch and assured himself that all had made it to safety.
The branch also has a missionary “mentor” couple (the Daltons) who live there to train the leadership and to help organize the branches properly.When Elder Dalton heard that the members were all safe, he suggested that the branch president and he go out to look for others that might be in need of assistance. 
As the branch president, (a native of Ghana) and  Elder Dalton surveyed the flood, they noticed a woman with her baby, clinging to a tree, far out in the stream. Elder Dalton said, “We better rescue her.” The branch president agreed, and they set out into the flood. 
Before too long, Elder Dalton realized that the branch president was no longer swimming along beside him, so he grabbed a tree and yelled for him.
“I am coming” the young man replied. “Wait for me! I’m three trees back.”
Before long, the branch president splashed into view and they proceeded together to the stranded mother and child.
The branch president held the baby while Elder Dalton helped her mother to safety and then returned for the baby. Once safe, the woman scampered away to her friends. Elder Dalton stood on the banks, waiting for the branch president to appear.
At last he saw him, struggling through the flood.
“Why didn’t you tell me that you didn’t know how to swim?” Elder Dalton asked.
The young branch president shrugged. “You are my leader. If the Lord tells you that we must rescue, then we must rescue. The fact that I don’t know how to swim is not important.”
I don’t have that much faith. But I want it and I am grateful to a young branch president.

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