It rarely rains in Spain’. But when it does, it’s a nail-biting time as it can mean a flash flood is on its way!
It was mid January 1971, when we first arrived as missionaries in Spain’s Southern deep. After leaving the lush green pastures of England, it was more than a shock arriving to a dusty, barren, and undeveloped wilderness. But even the poverty and wide open scruffy barrenness wasn’t the worst shock – it was the unrelenting unbearable stifling heat that I never knew existed! And there wasn’t one tree for shade.
So once we had finished building Centro Cristiano I was determined to plant some trees. But all we could find were tiny match-stick cuttings of pine trees. But the earth was like solid rock and Chris had to borrow a huge pick axe to make even the tiniest hole. After a hard days work planting the seedlings there were just two left over, but Chris had only dug one hole. So wanting to get out of the sun, I just popped the last two into the one hole. But Chris objected saying that no-matter how small a seedling you never put two into one hole. But the heat was on my side, so the two seedlings remained in the one hole.
Year after year, we watched those two seedlings fusing at the base and growing into a V shape tree with Chris keep reminding me how two seedlings should never be be put in one hole! He was right, as it was obvious that one day half of the tree would need to be sawn off as they were both pushing out sideways against each other.
Years later while we were out-of-town, one of Spain’s frightening downpours occurred. When we got back home it had been a serious flash flood and it was chaos. We were later told the incredible story of how two German girls were driving down the only road that goes past Centro Cristiano and had got caught up in the flash flood, their vehicle rapidly being swept along by a raging torrent towards the sea. Suddenly, with the flood water building higher their car came to an abrupt thump as it got wedged in the V shape of our now fully grown tree!! The girls were able to open the door of their vehicle and clamber out clinging onto the branches of our tree. Their vehicle dropped down with a thud and they watched in horror as it was swept away like a toy car hurtling to utter destruction into the sea!
My two matchstick seedlings that I had planted twenty-five years earlier had saved two lives! The young women had been able to stay clinging onto that tree until the flash flood had passed through and help came!
That was the end of my husbands twenty-five year reminder that two trees shouldn’t have been put into one hole!
My dear husband said, ‘Perhaps it was the Lord after all how you insisted that those two seedlings stay in that one hole Christine.’ ‘Oh really?’ I said.
God bless. Christine.
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