Aggie Hurst, Aggie: The Inspiring Story of A Girl Without A Country

A Touching True-Life Heart Warming Missionary Story:

A long but excellent read.

David and Svea Flood

In 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went with their two-year-old son David, from Sweden to the heart of Africa—to what was then called the Belgian Congo. They met up with another young Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, and the four of them sought God for direction. In those days of much tenderness and devotion and sacrifice, they felt led of the Lord to go out from the main mission station and take the gospel to a remote area.

This was a huge step of faith. At the remote village of N’dolera they were rebuffed by the chief, who would not let them enter his village for fear of alienating the local gods. The two couples opted to go half a mile up the slope and build their own mud huts.

They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but there was none. Their only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell them chickens and eggs twice a week. Svea Flood — a tiny woman missionary only four feet, eight inches tall, decided that if this was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead the boy to Jesus. And in fact, after many weeks of loving and witnessing to him, he trusted Christ as his Savior.

But there were no other encouragements. Meanwhile, malaria continued to strike one member of the little band after another. In time the Ericksons decided they had had enough suffering and left to return to the central mission station. David and Svea Flood remained near N’dolera to go on alone.

Then, of all things, Svea found herself pregnant in the middle of the primitive wilderness. When the time came for her to give birth (1923), the village chief softened enough to allow a midwife to help her. A little girl was born, whom they named Aina (A-ee-nah).

The delivery, however, was exhausting, and Svea Flood was already weak from bouts of malaria. The birth process was a heavy blow to her stamina. After seventeen desperate days of prayer and struggle, she died.

Inside David Flood, something snapped in that moment. His heart full of bitterness, he dug a crude grave, buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife and took his children back down the mountain to the mission station. Giving his newborn daughter to the Ericksons, he said, “I’m going back to Sweden. I’ve lost my wife, and I can’t take care of this baby. God has ruined my life.” With two year old David, he headed for the coast, rejecting not only his calling, but God himself.

Within eight months both the Ericksons were stricken with a mysterious illness (some believe they were poisoned by a local chief who hated the missionaries) and died within days of each other. The nine month old baby Aina was given to an American missionary couple named Berg, who adjusted her Swedish name to “Aggie” and eventually brought her back to the United States at age three.

The Bergs loved little Aggie but were afraid that if they tried to return to Africa, some legal obstacle might separate her from them since they had at that time, been unable to legally adopt her. So they decided to stay in the United States and switch from missionary work to pastoral ministry. And that is how Aggie grew up in South Dakota. As a young woman, she attended North Central Bible college in Minneapolis. There she met and married a young preacher named Dewey Hurst.

Years passed. The Hursts enjoyed a fruitful ministry. Aggie gave birth first to a daughter, then a son. In time her husband became president of a Christian college in the Seattle area, and Aggie was intrigued to find so much Scandinavian heritage there.

One day around 1963, a Swedish religious magazine appeared in her mailbox. She had no idea who sent it, and of course she couldn’t read the words. But as she turned the pages, all of a sudden a photo stopped her cold. There in a primitive setting in the heart of Africa was a grave with a white cross and on the cross was her mother’s name, SVEA FLOOD.

Aggie jumped in her car and drove straight to a college faculty member who, she knew, could translate the article. “What does this say?” she asked.

The instructor translated the story:

It tells about missionaries who went to N’dolera in the heart of the Belgian Congo in 1921… the birth of a white baby girl… the death of the young missionary mother… the one little African boy who had been led to Christ… and how, after the all whites had left, the little African boy grew up and persuaded the chief to let him build a school in the village.

The article told how that gradually the now grown up boy won all his students to Christ… the children led their parents to Christ… even the chief had become a Christian. Today (1963) there were six hundred Christian believers in that one village.

Because of the willingness of David and Svea Flood to answer God’s call to Africa, because they endured so much but were still faithful to witness and lead one little boy to trust Jesus, God had saved six hundred people. And the little boy, as a grown man, became head of the Pentacostal Church and leader of 110,000 Christians in Zaire (formerly the Belgian Congo).

At the time Svea Flood died, it appeared, to human reason, that God had led the young couple to Africa, only to desert them in their time of deepest need. It would be forty years before God’s amazing grace and His real plan for the village of N’dolera would be known.

For Rev. Dewey and Aggie Hurst’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, the college presented them with the gift of a vacation to Sweden. There Aggie met her biological father. An old man now, David Flood had remarried, fathered four more children, and generally dissipated his life with alcohol. He had recently suffered a stroke. Still bitter, he had one rule in his family: “Never mention the name of God because God took everything from me.”

After an emotional reunion with her half brothers and half sister, Aggie brought up the subject of seeing her father. The others hesitated. “You can talk to him,” they replied, “even though he’s very ill now. But you need to know that whenever he hears the name of God, he flies into a rage.”

Aggie could not be deterred. She walked into the squalid apartment, with liquor bottles everywhere, and approached the seventy-three-year-old man lying in a rumpled bed.

“Papa?” she said tentatively.

He turned and began to cry. “Aina,” he said, “I never meant to give you away.”

“It’s all right Papa,” she replied, taking him gently in her arms. “God took care of me.”

The man instantly stiffened. The tears stopped.

“God forgot all of us. Our lives have been like this because of Him.” He turned his face back to the wall.
Aggie stroked his face and then continued, undaunted.

“Papa, I’ve got a little story to tell you, and it’s a true one.

You didn’t go to Africa in vain. Mama didn’t die in vain. The little boy you both won to the Lord grew up to win that whole village to Jesus Christ. The one seed you planted just kept growing and growing. Today (about 1964) there are six hundred African people serving the Lord because you and Momma were faithful to the call of God on your life.”

“Papa, Jesus loves you. He has never hated you.” The old man turned back to look into his daughter’s eyes. His body relaxed. He began to talk. And by the end of the afternoon, he had come back to the God he had resented for so many decades.

Over the next few days, father and daughter enjoyed warm moments together. Aggie and her husband soon had to return to America—and within a few weeks, David Flood had gone into eternity.

A few years later, the Hursts were attending a high-level evangelism conference in London, England, where a report was given from the nation of Zaire (the former Belgian Congo). The superintendent of the national church, representing some 110,000 baptized believers, spoke eloquently of the gospel’s spread in his nation. Aggie could not help going up afterward to ask him if he had ever heard of David and Svea Flood. “I am their daughter.” The man began to weep. “Yes, madam,” the man replied in French, his words then being translated into English.

“It was Svea Flood who led me to Jesus Christ. I was the boy who brought food to your parents before you were born. In fact, to this day your mother’s grave and her memory are honored by all of us.” 

He embraced her in a long, sobbing hug. Then he continued, “You must come to Africa to see, because your mother is the most famous person in our history.”

In time that is exactly what Aggie Hurst and her husband did. They were welcomed by cheering throngs of villagers. She even met the man who so many years before, when she was less than a month old, had been hired by her father to carry her down the mountain in a soft bark hammock. 

The most dramatic moment, of course, was when the pastor escorted Aggie to see her mother’s grave, marked with a white cross, for herself. She knelt in the soil of Africa, the place of her birth, to pray and give thanks. 

Later that day, in the church service, the pastor read from John 12:24:

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

He then followed with Psalm 126:5: “They who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

(An excerpt from Aggie Hurst, Aggie: The Inspiring Story of A Girl Without A Country [Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1986].)

I came across this story and thought to share it with you because it made a great impact on me.

​THE PASTOR WHO TAUGHT THE MARRIED ABOUT PRAYER

Benson and his wife don’t sit next to each other during Church services.
Even when going to Church services, they go in different vehicles; and when they travel in the same car, it is usually a very quiet and uncomfortable ride.
Benson sat at his usual spot in the Church service; the fourth line on the far left row. His wife sat on the center row.
The Pastor took to the podium.
*”Husbands, stop wasting your time praying”* the Pastor began.
The congregants got alarmed. No one expects to hear a pastor saying prayer is a waste of time.
I am not here to discourage you to pray, but to encourage you to pray right.
Husbands, stop wasting your time praying if you are not treating your wives well.
The Word says that when you treat your wife badly, it hinders your prayers. Men, you claim to be prayerful.
You come to church driving your expensive cars, giving your offerings and tithes, active in Church, some of you are Church leaders; but how are you treating your wife?
You may look good to us Church members, but it is your wife and children that know who you truly are” said the Pastor.
Benson turned to face his wife. She looked at him. Benson could see her eyes.
Her left eye swollen from the blow he gave her last week when she confronted him about his alcoholism, pornography use and mischievous behavior.
People couldn’t tell she had a black eye because of the make up she had on, so well done.
The Pastor continued, “People have perfected the art of cover up. Here in Church, so many are hurting but you wouldn’t know.
People come here wearing their nice clothes, shiny smiles, they are active in ministry but hurting a lot in their marriage. 
“We have become numb and plastic, brushing things under the carpet. But today we shall heal; and shall address those wounds we hide.”
The Pastor cleared his throat and continued, “Many of those who are hurting their spouses are using the church to hide. 
They think that because they give offering s and tithes, because they make public prayers, because they read the Word or because they hold a Church leadership position that they are right with God. God is also interested in what you do in your marriage and in your family. 
“Your first ministry is your home. Stop trying to blackmail God with your service in Church yet you are mean and hurtful towards your spouse.”
Many of the members of the congregation got restless and unsettled.
The Pastor continued, “Many of those who are being hurt by their spouse hide their pain and want to project an image that all is well to validate that they are blessed and in control.
Some of you are active in Church to run away from the pain in your marriages”.
The congregation was silent. Some straightening their ties, others fidgeting with their Bibles, adjusting their sitting position. 
This pastor was preaching truth and it was uncomfortable.
The Pastor continued, “The husbands are not the only ones guilty here… Wives, don’t you know the Word says when your husband found you he found good virtuous woman and you brought favour? 
Then why are you the source of your husband’s headache and stress? Have you been so toxic that you have turned your prayerful husband into a prayer-less one? 
Do you make him regret marrying you because you bring more complications than he had before marrying you?
How you treat your husband can be a stumbling block in his walk with God or an environment that encourages growth. 
Many of you wives married your individual husbands primarily because of their relationship with God, so why are you now destroying their relationship with God instead of celebrating and nurturing it? 
Why are you being a burden to your husband emotionally, spiritually, socially, sexually and financially instead of being one who brings favour?”
Benson’s wife looked at her husband. Benson looked at her, and she looked away.
The Pastor paused to drink his glass of water.
The Pastor continued, “When I am thirsty, I drink a glass of water.
When your spouse gets thirsty, will you allow God to use you to bless your spouse? 
You’ve been told many sermons that focus on you as an individual, that God will make you prosper as an individual.
I am here to tell you your blessings are tied to people, you are blessed to be a blessing to others. Our God is not an individualistic God.
Your blessing is tied to your marriage, your family. It’s not about you; it is about Jesus and Jesus is about love. 
What good is it to prosper and be successful when you have no love? It is all vanity.
God cares about your family, how you treat your spouse and children”
Silence.
“Yes, we pray. But what kind of prayers does your spouse pray because of you?
When your spouse prays, is it largely to cry to God because of the hurt you bring?
Is it to plead with God to change you from the monster you’ve become? 
Is it to plead for grace to deal with how difficult you are? Or is to give thanks for you?”
Silence.
“Are you really prayerful? Do you really value prayer?
Then why is it that many of you find it easy to come to us pastors for us to pray with you as an individual, you find it is easy to pray in public, in a Church service or Bible study, but find it so hard to pray with your spouse? 
Isn’t that telling of what is going on in your marriage? Don’t you know that the more you pray with your spouse the stronger your marriage will be? 
But how can you find it easy to pray with a spouse you hurt or who hurts you?”
The Pastor paused and looked at the congregation. Eyes staring at him.
“I challenge you. I challenge you to pray with your spouse and to treat your spouse well.
Husbands, you are the head of the home. I challenge you to stand up and go to where your wife is and pray with her as a start of a more prayerful chapter in your marriage.
Don’t do it because I asked you to but because you want to. Your choice”
One by one, the husbands present stood up.
Benson stood up too. 
Benson walked to where his wife was. 
The face of Benson’s wife overwhelmed with love, she looked on as her husband walked to her. 
She almost stood up but he gave hand gestures at her to stay seated.
Benson reached where she sat. Their eyes met.
Benson knelt down. He stared at her then kissed her swollen left eye.
“I am sorry” he said.
“Can I pray with you?” He asked.
She got up from her seat and knelt down too.
There, on the floor as the Church service was still ongoing, husbands prayed with their wives. 
Benson prayed kneeling with his wife.
They prayed for forgiveness, for thanksgiving, for love, for renewal, for peace, for direction; for their marriage.
Marriages were healed. 
I wished someone is blessed by message and that  marriage at the verge of being breaking is saved.

I came across this story and thought to share it with you.

#randomstories

​Father’s Day: The Father Won’t Let Go.

Father’s Day: The Father Won’t Let Go


Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house.  In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out of the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went.  He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.
His father working in the yard saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could.  Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a u-turn to swim to his father.
It was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. An incredible tug-of-war between the two began. The alligator was much stronger than the father but the father was much too passionate to let go, and dug his nails into the little boy’s arms.
A farmer driving by heard the screams of the child, and after retrieving a rifle from his truck, raced to the water’s edge and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks in the hospital, the little boy recovered.
The local newspaper reporter interviewing the boy after the trauma asked if he would show him his scars.  The little boy lifted his pant legs and said, “These are the scars from where the alligator tried to pull me under the water.”  Then, he rolled up his shirt sleeves and said, “Now look at my arms.  These are the scars where my father wouldn’t let me go.”
Each of us is marked.  Yes, there are scars we bear in our lives because of poor choices we have made.  But if we look closely, there are other marks we have incurred, where a loving sovereign God has refused to let us go.  At the time, His grip of grace may seem painful, but it is all for our protection, so that we may be preserved to live, and testify of His tender mercies that He reveals to us with each new day.

John 10:28  “. . . neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

I came across this story and decided to share it because it blessed me.

#randomstories

Fathers in Heaven and on Earth

I went to visit a friend, Foluke Ajanaku Udeh, very many years ago when school was out. I saw a small framed statement in the living room and it stayed with me since then, 

“A father is someone you can look up to, no matter how tall you grow.”

My Dad fulfilled these words till he left to be with our heavenly father. I remember him fondly and with deep respect.

Happy father’s day to all fathers past, present and future and to the women who love them.

​Our Weakness Can Be Our Strength

Our Weakness Can Be Our Strength

 

A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training, the master had taught him only one move.   “Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”

 

“This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.  Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

 

Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.

 

This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. “No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”

 

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: He dropped his guard.  Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

 

On the way home, the boy and the sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.  “Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”

 

“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.

 

The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I encountered this story and I thought it was worth sharing.