GREATER LOVE

HATH NO MAN . . .

 

Niger's Edge (pronounced Nijer), at the mission house, overlooks a rocky ledge 120 feet below called Down Isaac's, containing three sizable tidal pools. "Bity Bity" poolnamed for a sharp shell that once infested itis a favorite swimming hole for Pitcairn children, and the nearby rocks often sport fisher -men and -women who haul in "Black Nanway" by the dozen.

On May 27, 1982, as Irma, Royal, Vula and Dobrey fished from these rocks, Vula fainted and toppled eight to ten feet over the rocks into the ocean. Royal shouted, "Vula's in the water!" Vula's eyes were open, she had blood on her face, and she said that her left arm hurt too much to move. In spite of all of that she seemed to be keeping herself afloat.

Dobrey started for help, scrambling over the uneven volcanic rocks toward the steep path that scaled the cliff, but before she'd gone far, Ben appeared on Niger's Edge.

"Vula's in the water!" yelled Irma. "Send a boat!" (There is no way an injured person could be hauled out of the water up the jagged precipiceeven in mild seas.) Ben sprinted to the mission house to telephone for help.

Dobrey returned to the water's edge, and dove into the sea, swimming to Vula's side, and grasping her good arm to help keep her afloat. She pulled the injured woman away from the rocks so that the waves wouldn't dash her against them, and the two women tread water for nearly 30 minutes about 200 feet off-shore while they waited and prayed. The other women stayed on the rocks, relaying messages to Nurse Martha who had now come to Niger's edge.

When Steve, Dennis, Pastor, and Vula's son Terry brought the women back to the landing, they were joined by several others, who made Vula as comfortable as they could. They transferred her to a stretcher, and steadied her in the tractor for the bumpy ride up the Hill of Difficulty to the dispensary at the square.

Though Vula broke her wrist, her other injuries were not serious. Thanks to Martha, Steve, Mike (the skipper of a visiting yacht), and Royal, the wrist was set and cast. Vula's recovery was a quick one, for within three days she was as active as ever.

Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13. Dobrey's willingness to risk her own life in shark infested waters in order to save Vula's life is a beautiful reflection of the divine love of Jesus in laying down His life for us sinners. And that kind of love will fill the life of every person who surrenders self to Jesus and follows His example.