Monday, September 17, 2012

Providential shark: And God appointed a w... er, shark!

Man adrift on ocean led to rescuers by a shark

A pretty neat story of Providence, fresh off the newswires:

A man who survived while adrift in the Pacific for 106 days is crediting a shark for helping to save his life.

Toakai Teitoi, 41, a policeman from the Central Pacific island nation of Kiribati, had been traveling with his brother-in-law on what was supposed to be a short voyage, beginning May 27, from the Kiribati capital of Tarawa to his home island of Maiana. But the mariners decided to fish along the way, and fell asleep during the night.

When they awoke they were far at sea and adrift in their 15-foot wooden vessel. They soon ran out of fuel, and were short on water. "We had food, but the problem was we had nothing to drink," Teitoi told Agence France-Presse news service.

Dehydration was severe. Falaile, the 52-year-old brother-in-law, died on July 4. That night, Teitoi slept next to him, "like at a funeral," before an emotional burial at sea the next morning.

Teitoi shared scant details of the ordeal after arriving in Majuro, in the Marshall Islands, on Saturday. He said he prayed the night Falaile died, and the next day a storm arrived and, over the next several days, he was able to fill two five-gallon containers with fresh water. Days and weeks passed, however, and Teitoi, a father of six, did not know whether he'd live or die.

He subsisted mostly on fish and protected himself against the searing tropical sun by curling up in a small, covered portion of the bow.

It was on the afternoon of Sept. 11 that he awoke to the sound of scratching against his boat. A six-foot shark was circling the boat and, Teitoi said, bumping against its hull. 

The shark woke him and alerted him to a passing boat! So awesome... of course, we have to credit God for sending the rain in answer to Toakai's prayers. But little did he know that he would need a shark to wake him up and point him in the right direction! So, God answered his prayers with a storm and also with a wild animal -- a rather dangerous one, too, lol.

It reminds me of a story where wild lions protected a little girl, in Africa -- frightening off her kidnappers and then surrounding her until help came.

A group of lions rescued a girl of 12 from her kidnappers in Ethiopia.

The abductors wanted to force the girl into marriage. While kidnappers were transporting the girl to a different village, a group of lions crossed their road, chased them off and protected her until Ethiopian police rescued her.

The men had held the girl for a week in the remote south-west of the country, repeatedly beating her, before the lions chased them away. "They stood guard [for half a day] until [police and family] found her and then they just left her like a gift," police officer said.


It also reminds  me of the Book of Jonah, where the theme of the book is Providence.

The recurring meme of Jonah is the faithful appointment of God -- from great to small. God appoints a massive storm, a great fish... and then a little worm. Lesson: The heavenly Father is in the macroscale -- in the storm -- and in the microscale -- the little worm. And Abba is at work in things that take away the comfort of Jonah: Storm, whale and worm were all irritants to him, but they played a faithful part. :-)

Be encouraged! Trust God, even while on the ocean for many days... needing water, needing intervention, needing things not even known. He knows, though. And He cares!


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