If your precious little child was lost in the woods late at night, how far would you go to make sure they got home? Would you expect a stranger to go out and find that little one?
When I was in the Fox 10 studio this Tuesday doing a cooking segment, I was privileged to be present when an amazing story was reported. Alexis Vance reported: "- A 4-year-old Payson boy has been found safe after he went missing overnight. Travis Mitchell was found by searchers on horseback in a steep canyon. He reportedly was playing with other children Sunday night when he disappeared in a wooded area in the northwest corner of Payson. Travis was transported to Phoenix Children's Hospital in Phoenix to be checked out for dehydration. He also had some cactus needles in his leg.Travis walked hand in hand with his mother Ginger outside the Phoenix Children's Hospital on Tuesday, reunited after the 4-year-old was lost in the woods near Payson for almost 24 hours.
On Monday, 50 Gila County Sheriff search and rescue members were looking for the boy along with 25 Payson police officers, four planes, 2 helicopters and 30 community volunteers.
It was one of those volunteers, Wyman Kendall, who found little Travis and brought him to safety."Sometimes this world gives you an opportunity to make a difference and we had angels on our shoulders," said Kendall.
Travis says he sat under a bush alone most of the night and when he finally saw his mother, he tried to comfort her. "I said don't worry, but she was crying..she was happy."
Watch an interview with Wyman Kendall, the man who found Travis (pay particular attention to the moment when he describes finding Travis...it's epic):
[press play to watch the video]
As the words of this story where unfolded to me in the studio that morning, the spirit of God filled my heart. Apparently it can reach me even at a TV studio. That's good to know. I felt so much love and charity for this little boy, imagining the fear and concern his mother must have had at his disappearance. When I heard of Wyman Kendall and his wife going out without being asked to do so, and searching diligently for this lost child, tears welled up in my eyes. God spoke to my heart. "When do we need a special assignment to help God's children? Do we search and serve because we love God...or because we love the honor of men?" It made a difference to Travis to be found. It made a difference to his family. It makes a difference. As Wyman said, "...sometimes this world gives you the opportunity to make a difference...and we had angels on our shoulders." Sometimes, even more likely, you are the angels. We are the hands of heaven on earth. Dare to make a difference. Wyman said, "luckily the Lord was with us and we came upon him." If Wyman hadn't been moving, and looking, he wouldn't have been found. God can't steer a sleeping horse. Dare to call out someones name in hopes of finding them. Search far and wide to bring them home. When you finally hear a voice call back, "I'm here." It will be magical. It will be breathtaking. It will be worth every effort you made to find that lost one. Remember those epic words, "And if it so be that ye should labor all your days and bring but one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father." How great shall be your joy.