GOD KEPT ANDY FROM HARM
Juliaty Surja — Jakarta, Indonesia
Over the years, God has
watched over me as I grew in His love in the True Jesus Church. He gave me a
wonderful brother-in-Christ in marriage, and together we are blessed with two
sons and two daughters: Steven, Linny, Andy, and Venny.
As a family, we went
through many things together. I’d like to take this opportunity to impart one
of God’s many blessings to glorify the Lord’s name, and to share how it really
strengthened our faith.
A FAMILY GETAWAY
In December 1990, my
husband suggested that we take a family vacation at beach Pelabuhan Ratu, in Sukabumi.
Pelabuhan Ratu is a well-known tourist attraction. We had never taken our
children there before, and my father also recommended the place because he had
been there when he was younger and thought it was a great place to take the
At that time, Steven
was eleven, Linny was seven, Andy was six, and Venny was five years old. We
packed up our bags and arrived at our destination in the afternoon. The
children were so happy and they were impatient to get into the water for a
swim. Since it was raining, we told them to take a rest at the hotel and wait
for the rain to stop.
Early the next
morning, Steven, Linny, and Andy woke up and were very excited to go to the
beach. Consequently my father took them to rent swimsuits and accompanied them
while they played in the water.
When Venny woke up,
I took her with me to join the rest of the troop, leaving my husband who will
come later. Venny swam in the hotel’s pool while Linny and I played by the sand
at the seashore. We had a good view of the boys who
were swimming at the sea not far from us. Everyone was happily enjoying their
who is an energetic boy, would often walk back and forth from the sea to the
swimming pool, to see on what everyone is doing.
Around in the morning, Steven came up to
me and asked, “Mom, did you see Andy?” To which I replied, “Wasn’t he playing
with all of you by the water?” I told him to look for Andy by the pool.
Pretty soon, we were
looking all around. My husband and father also noticed the commotion and they
came over to see what had happened. When my husband realized we could not find our
child, he told me that he had asked Andy to stop playing by the water but did
not see Andy after he walked off the seashore.
By now, I was
panicking because Andy was lost! Helplessly surveying the shoreline, I cried
out to the Lord, “Lord, please help Andy!”
A CRY FOR HELP
Realizing we have to
look for Andy immediately, everyone split up in different directions to find
our little boy, but we returned empty- handed. When we saw the swimming float
we rented for him was washed up to the shore, we thought that Andy could have
been swept away by the great waves.
At this point, I I
knew that I had to pray to God and ask for His help. A verse in the Bible came
into my mind: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”
My husband asked me
to go back to the hotel and pray, while he and Steven went to the hotel’s
security staff to report a missing child and to ask for assistance in the
On the way back to
the hotel with Linny, Venny, and my father, I kept praying to the Lord but my
father was pessimistic. He was not a believer at that time and his immediate
reaction was hopelessness. He kept saying, “It’s over, it’s over!” thinking
that Andy was probably dead.
When we got back to
the hotel, my father stood on the porch and bleakly looked out to the sea. I
gave Venny and Linny their baths and I asked them to pray with me. With tears
flowing down my face, I said to the Lord:
Lord, please forgive us because we
didn’t take good care of the son You gave us. Now Andy
is gone and we don’t know what has happened to him. But we are convinced that You are the almighty and living God, and You are ever
merciful. You know what happened to Andy. If it Your
will to let Andy live, we believe that You will save him. However, if it is Your will to take Andy away from us, God, please let us fing
Andy’s body so that we can give him a proper burial. We pray that You would grant us a steadfast and strong heart to face
whatever reality is before us. Lord, we put our hope in You
and we entrust Andy’s life into Your hand. Please listen to our prayers and do according
to Your will. May Your name
be glorified always. Hallelujah, Amen.
After I poured the
burden of my heart in prayer and put Andy’s life in God’s hand, I felt much
peace and I felt the weight of the burden lifted from me. I felt stronger to
accept whatever came next.
HE IS ALIVE!
Not long after, a
hotel security staff called us to confirm that we were the family whose son was
missing. I gave the staff a description of Andy and humbly asked that the
security guards do their best to find my son.
Steven and my
husband finally came back to the hotel. After they cleaned up, all of us knelt
down as a family and prayed for God’s help. Since none of us had eaten all
morning, we brought the children downstairs to have breakfast.
We left our hotel
room and just when the elevator door opened at the lobby, a security staff saw
us and put down his phone and asked if we were the family of the missing child.
When he realized we were he said, “Come on, hurry up and follow me!”
My husband turned
towards me and told me to go back into the hotel room to get our car keys, just
in case we might need it. So I turned on my heels to get the keys; all the
while praying in my heart for some good news.
When I finally got
downstairs and the elevator doors opened, I saw my husband enter the hotel
lobby carrying Andy, who was still alive. Praise the Lord!
From the puffiness
in his eyes we knew he had been crying. We took him back to the hotel room and
gave him a bath. Then we knelt down again to pray and give thanks for God’s
help. My father, who doesn’t pray because of his unbelief, naturally knelt down
for the first time to pray. Thank God!
After breakfast and
when Andy finally calmed down, we asked him where he had been. He told us that
he had walked off the seashore as his dad told him. And even though he had
walked back and forth between from the beach beforehand, for some reason he
couldn’t see us.
While he was
searching for us, he dropped his goggles twice. He had picked it up the first
time but the second time it was washed into the sea. He kept walking until he
saw a bridge. When he stepped onto the bridge, he realized that the foundation
of the bridge was loose and it rocked back and forth.
Andy was scared he
might fall through the bridge so he turned back but by then he was completely
lost, and he had wandered into a deserted place. Frightened and lost, he
started to cry. Some people heard his sobs and found him, and they took him to
the hotel to report a lost child.
I really thank God
for watching over Andy and keeping him from any harm. I also thank God for reuniting our family.
Through this ordeal,
we were strengthened in our faith and we were convinced that the God we worship
is the almighty God and we have to trust in the Lord—to rely on Him to give us
peace so that we will not fear when we are faced with trials. As long as we cry
out to Him, He will surely help us.
May all the praise,
thanksgiving, and honor be given to our glorious Lord! Amen.