Pathways through Lent

Keeping Faith in the Darkest Hours


When my sons, Cal and William, were twelve and ten, they thought they would be killed by pirates.

We were in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 750 miles from Australia. In the wee dawn hours, my husband Jim was steering. I woke to the sound of men screaming. Jim told me to hide and asked the boys to come on deck to help.

Our biggest fear was realized in this moment. Men were trying to jump from a dilapidated wooden boat onto our boat. We were beyond scared, but we kept them from boarding us. Even so, seven men were in the water, and we had a seaman’s obligation to help. We were in crisis.

As moments passed, fear gave way to understanding. They were not pirates. This was a boat of refugees, and they were sinking. Even so, this fact did not necessarily lessen the danger. We called on our satellite phone for help and stayed close enough to keep them calm.

Three hours later a warship came to the rescue — theirs and ours — and 150 lives were saved.

In the time of my deepest fear, my Lord was with me. He comforted my family, and I believe he calmed the refugees. We later learned that they had intended to take control of our boat, but once alongside, they changed their plan. Storm gave way to calm.

Matthew 8: 23-27.

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.

24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.

25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

-Heather Wilson





1 thought on “Keeping Faith in the Darkest Hours”

  1. What an amazing story Heather! You and Jim put yourselves into uncertainty and possible danger for strangers in need. Oh – that I might have the courage to do the same in the face of such a temptation. Your example will last forever for your boys. And now me too. Thank you for sharing.

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