Can you imagine being “eaten alive?”
We can choose how we will live our lives, but rarely do we get to choose how we die. Facing death can be scary, this is why the tourists on our trip could not believe the words uttered by the tour guide. “They ate every part of Thomas Baker and even tried cooking his leather sandals. The sandals proved to be inedible after several attempts to cook it,” he said. We were appalled and fascinated at the same time. We were also eager to find out who this Mr. Baker was, and why anyone wanted to eat him.
“Baker was the first missionary to Fiji. He was successful in converting some Fijians to Christianity,” the tour guide answered. “He visited the Nabutatau village in July 1867, with seven Fijian Christian workers.” Contrary to my assumption, Baker did not die because he was spreading the gospel to a cannibal nation. Based on folklore, he was killed after he touched the head of the village chief. His actions were considered disrespectful, and the penalty was death.
During this terrifying, yet tantalizing tale, the tour guide proudly proclaimed, “Now ninety percent of Fijians are Christians.” Those words rung over and over again in my ears. I couldn’t help contemplate God’s wondrous works despite Baker’s demise. God used this tragic situation to convert many Fijians. We may not have to die a gruesome death like Mr. Baker, but God can use us to draw others to Him.
Even on those days when we feel like life is eating us alive or we have no purpose, it’s important to remember Romans 8:28. It says, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
- Excerpt from the book, Remember (Chapter 3: Eaten Alive)