Monday, July 25, 2016

Bunka Boats, Bailing Cans, and Prayer

While living in The Philippines in 1974-76, we went on a tour of Corregidor Island in Manila Bay, part of Luzon Island where Joel was stationed at Clark Air Base.  The island is famous for when America fought with Japan, and for being a fortified place of defense protecting the entrance of Manila Bay and the city of Manila.  Our tour included seeing the old mile long barracks, American and Japanese artillery guns, tunnels, and more.

Joel standing on the American artillery gun

Waiting to get on our small bunka boats with outriggers

Going across the ocean

In order to get to the island we had to take bunka boats across the ocean bay.  This was not my idea of fun, but Joel and I found ourselves seated in a boat with a small lawn mower size motor with a young boy no older than 16 in charge.  Several other boats were filled two by two with American military, then we set out across the water.  I was wearing a life jacket "just in case".  We laugh about it now because it was a child's life jacket and barely would have held up this girl!  Still it gave me some sense of security. The trip over was uneventful, but our trip home held a bit more excitement for us.

About half way back, our tiny little motor stopped working.  The young Filipino boy could not speak English, but we knew he was frantically trying to start the motor as we watched the other boats get farther and farther away.  In between trying to fix the motor, he was bailing water out of the boat.  It seems it had a major leak!  Joel kept reassuring me we were fine, but when the boy handed us both our own empty cans and motioned for us to start bailing, we decided it was time to pray.

I'm looking back here for help.......
(Remember there were no cell phones at this time.)

The whole time we prayed we scooped out small cans of water.  After about 10 minutes of bailing and praying out loud while waves rocked the boat, we noticed another bunka boat coming back for us!!  It seemed like it took forever to arrive, but in another 10 minutes or so, we were tied by a rope to the boat of God's "angel without wings" and we were able to get across the bay, while continuing to scoop water out of the bottom of the boat and thanking God for hearing our prayers.

Over the years I have thought about that day and applied it to our lives many times over.  We did what we could in a bad situation and prayed for God's intervention at the same time.  We were limited in what we could do, but God was not.  He never is.  So it stands today.  We do what we can, pray for God's help and rest in the knowledge that we may be limited in what we can do, but God is not!!!!  We trust Him to be with us, rescue us, restore us.

We will never forget that day.  It was scary at the time, but also a great adventure with God!  It built our trust in our God, while at the same time helped us realize we are strong and courageous because of who lives in us and is always with us.  Even in bunka boats on the sea!

1 comment:

Jan said...

As usual great story and testimony!