Faith test in a foreign land

Reflections by Gladys Ikeme

Many of you must have heard or read of the Gulf War that commenced in January 1991.
Although my motive was to get a better life, I was caught up in that war. It was a real  blood bath but God helped me to get through it alive and praising.
I was recruited in London by an agency in 1990 to work at the Armed Forces Cantonment Hospital in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia as a Senior Staff Nurse. I flew into London  on the 31st December 1990, got my papers completed and flew into Saudi Arabia two  weeks later. The hospital in Tabuk is very large.
Three days after my arrival the Gulf War started. My passport, Bible and crucifix were  taken away from me. There was nothing I could do, not even run away!
We were not supposed to be seen with any Christian literature, there were to be no  prayer meetings, no wearing of any crucifix nor any gatherings of over two people. I thank God that I still had my brain and memory. I used Bible passages and prayers that I remembered from my youth.
Some of us were chosen to go and help move wound soldiers from the war front. I knew there was no way that I could have escaped the bullets. Missiles were sent into our cantonment intermittently. We wore black cylindrical masks against dangerous gas. We were also shown how to take cover. I was mercifully spared, but it was horrendous.

I worked an extra day a week in another ward to help out, so had only one day a week off. I was spied on by telephone calls asking where I was, but used to reply, ” Just resting indoors” when in fact I was praying silently in my room with the curtains drawn.
Life was unbearable.
However, I believed in Isaiah 54:17, which says that no weapon formed against (me) will  prosper. I could hear God saying, ” Don’t fear for I am always with you”.

I escaped when I went on my annual leave to London. I wrote to say that I was having  medical treatment for my eyes and never went back. I lost everything I had, but God helped me come out alive. I know that money is not important, as it can not buy happiness. Thank God I’m a free child of God!
When I encounter troubling circumstances or events, I let my faith in God help me. My life gets straightened out when I thank God for my blessings. Here is the refrain from my favourite song:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done

Gladys Ikeme