One of the remarkable joys of preaching at The Donelson Fellowship and elsewhere on the topic of angels is hearing the many “mysterious stranger” stories that people share with me.
Betty Henderson told me of a story that comes from the files of the Gideons International. It was about a Gideon worker named Don Gleaves was assigned to take a trip to the Ukraine, in 1994. A local Gideon was taking Don to an area about three or four hours away. Out in the middle of nowhere their car broke down. It was distributor cap that had broken apart. There was no way to put it back together. Don and the driver stood on the side of the road praying and a car passed them and pulled over. A man got out and walked back to them and without saying a word handed them a distributor cap. It fit perfectly. The man wouldn’t take any money; he just turned around and left.
Here’s the second story. James Forlines came up to me after church two weeks ago and told me about two friends of his, Chris and Jackie Leggett, who are missionaries in Mauritania. They were going to a conference in Senegal, and because of the congestion at the main border crossing, they took another route using largely deserted back roads through the Sahara. They had been driving on this very rough, unmaintained road for many hours and hadn’t seen any other vehicle or person. Suddenly their front tire detached from the vehicle and went rolling down the road in front of them, and the vehicle came to a sudden stop. They retrieved the tire, but didn’t way of securing it back onto the car. They didn’t have any lug nuts. Jackie and the children got out of their car and began walking back down the road to try to find their missing lug nuts. Suddenly a shiny black, very new-looking and very clean SUV passed them, stopped, reversed, and pulled alongside Chris. Jackie said this was odd for several reasons: They were in the poorest country in the world where no one could have afforded that kind of vehicle, and they had been on that road for hours without seeing any other vehicles and were out in the middle of no where, so where did this car come from? Well, the man in the car asked Chris what the problem was, and when he told him, the man reached over and gave Chris five golden-colored lug nuts out of a bag full of them! Then he drove off. Jackie said, “Now who carries around a bag of lug nuts, much less gold-colored ones?”
It sounds to me like it might have been the same angel—or the same “mysterious stranger.”
If this intrigues you, check out my new book: Angels: True Stories. Remember — God’s children have the encamping angels around us (Psalm 34:7).