e’ll have to make a forced landing,” said the pilot to his helper, “and there is nothing but jungle and the enemy and dangerous natives below us.”
The plane came to a jolting halt in a little ravine. The men were badly shaken but not seriously hurt. They left their plane and began to creep through the jungle. The men were afraid. Surely someone had seen their crippled plane come down and would be out looking for them. Suddenly, the men saw before them a little opening in the jungle surrounding a small village. They did not know where to go to be safe, so they decided to remain hidden and watch the village. It was clean and neat, not like the villages on the other islands where the men had been stationed. The people who were in the village were clean, too.
Finally one of the men said, “Let’s go in and give ourselves up. We’ll die if we
stay in the jungle.”
When they walked into the village, the natives came to meet them, but not with clubs or guns. They came smiling. They greeted the fliers and took them to a clean house. They gave them food to eat, and then the natives showed the men the Book.
How happy the fliers were when they saw the Book! They were not afraid any more. They could trust these people who loved the Book. The natives were almost like brothers to the aviators, as they fed and cared for them. After days of planning and waiting, the natives helped them to reach their own forces again.
What was this wonderful Book that turned wild savages into kind people? It was a Book that is very precious; it is called the Bible. Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, even before Columbus discovered America, people loved this Book. At that time only a few people had a copy of the Bible, for it was all written by hand, copied letter by letter. There were so few copies of the Bible that only a small number of people ever had the opportunity to read it.
People paid a great deal just for the privilege of coming to the house of someone who owned
a Bible in order to read it.