David and Svea Flood

The following story is true and encourages us that  that God has a purpose for everything He allows in our lives.   We are not to dispise the day of small beginnings!
The full story can be found in “Aggie; A Girl Without a Country” (previously published under the title, “One Witness“), written by Aggie Hurst
 
David and Svea Flood
In 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went with their two-year-old son David, from Sweden to the heart of Africa—to what was then called the Belgian Congo. They met up with another young Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, and the four of them sought God for direction. In those days of much tenderness and devotion and sacrifice, they felt led of the Lord to go out from the main mission station and take the gospel to a remote area.

This was a huge step of faith. At the remote village of N’dolera they were rebuffed by the chief, who would not let them enter his village for fear of alienating the local gods. The two couples opted to go half a mile up the slope and build their own mud huts.

They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but there was none. Their only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell them chickens and eggs twice a week. Svea Flood — a tiny woman missionary only four feet, eight inches tall, decided that if this was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead the boy to Jesus. And in fact, after many weeks of loving and witnessing to him, he trusted Christ as his Savior.

But there were no other encouragements. Meanwhile, malaria continued to strike one member of the little band after another. In time the Ericksons decided they had had enough suffering and left to return to the central mission station. David and Svea Flood remained near N’dolera to go on alone.

Then, of all things, Svea found herself pregnant in the middle of the primitive wilderness. When the time came for her to give birth (1923), the village chief softened enough to allow a midwife to help her. A little girl was born, whom they named Aina (A-ee-nah).

The delivery, however, was exhausting, and Svea Flood was already weak from bouts of malaria. The birth process was a heavy blow to her stamina. After seventeen desperate days of prayer and struggle, she died.

Inside David Flood, something snapped in that moment. His heart full of bitterness, he dug a crude grave, buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife and took his children back down the mountain to the mission station. Giving his newborn daughter to the Ericksons, he said, “I’m going back to Sweden. I’ve lost my wife, and I can’t take care of this baby. God has ruined my life.” With two year old David, he headed for the coast, rejecting not only his calling, but God himself.

Within eight months both the Ericksons were stricken with a mysterious illness (some believe they were poisoned by a local chief who hated the missionaries) and died within days of each other. The nine month old baby Aina was given to an American missionary couple named Berg, who adjusted her Swedish name to “Aggie” and eventually brought her back to the United States at age three.

The Bergs loved little Aggie but were afraid that if they tried to return to Africa, some legal obstacle might separate her from them since they had at that time, been unable to legally adopt her. So they decided to stay in the United States and switch from missionary work to pastoral ministry. And that is how Aggie grew up in South Dakota. As a young woman, she attended North Central Bible college in Minneapolis. There she met and married a young preacher named Dewey Hurst.

Years passed. The Hursts enjoyed a fruitful ministry. Aggie gave birth first to a daughter, then a son. In time her husband became president of a Christian college in the Seattle area, and Aggie was intrigued to find so much Scandinavian heritage there.

One day around 1963, a Swedish religious magazine appeared in her mailbox. She had no idea who sent it, and of course she couldn’t read the words. But as she turned the pages, all of a sudden a photo stopped her cold. There in a primitive setting in the heart of Africa was a grave with a white cross and on the cross was her mother’s name, SVEA FLOOD.

Aggie jumped in her car and drove straight to a college faculty member who, she knew, could translate the article. “What does this say?” she asked.

The instructor translated the story:

It tells about missionaries who went to N’dolera in the heart of the Belgian Congo in 1921… the birth of a white baby girl… the death of the young missionary mother… the one little African boy who had been led to Christ… and how, after the all whites had left, the little African boy grew up and persuaded the chief to let him build a school in the village.

The article told how that gradually the now grown up boy won all his students to Christ… the children led their parents to Christ… even the chief had become a Christian. Today (1963) there were six hundred Christian believers in that one village.

Because of the willingness of David and Svea Flood to answer God’s call to Africa, because they endured so much but were still faithful to witness and lead one little boy to trust Jesus, God had saved six hundred people. And the little boy, as a grown man, became head of the Pentacostal Church and leader of 110,000 Christians in Zaire (formerly the Belgian Congo).

At the time Svea Flood died, it appeared, to human reason, that God had led the young couple to Africa, only to desert them in their time of deepest need. It would be forty years before God’s amazing grace and His real plan for the village of N’dolera would be known.

For Rev. Dewey and Aggie Hurst’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, the college presented them with the gift of a vacation to Sweden. There Aggie met her biological father. An old man now, David Flood had remarried, fathered four more children, and generally dissipated his life with alcohol. He had recently suffered a stroke. Still bitter, he had one rule in his family: “Never mention the name of God because God took everything from me.”

After an emotional reunion with her half brothers and half sister, Aggie brought up the subject of seeing her father. The others hesitated. “You can talk to him,” they replied, “even though he’s very ill now. But you need to know that whenever he hears the name of God, he flies into a rage.”

Aggie could not be deterred. She walked into the squalid apartment, with liquor bottles everywhere, and approached the seventy-three-year-old man lying in a rumpled bed.

“Papa?” she said tentatively.

He turned and began to cry. “Aina,” he said, “I never meant to give you away.”

“It’s all right Papa,” she replied, taking him gently in her arms. “God took care of me.”

The man instantly stiffened. The tears stopped.

“God forgot all of us. Our lives have been like this because of Him.” He turned his face back to the wall.

Aggie stroked his face and then continued, undaunted.

“Papa, I’ve got a little story to tell you, and it’s a true one.

You didn’t go to Africa in vain. Mama didn’t die in vain.

The little boy you both won to the Lord grew up to win that whole village to Jesus Christ. The one seed you planted just kept growing and growing. Today (about 1964) there are six hundred African people serving the Lord because you and Momma were faithful to the call of God on your life.”

“Papa, Jesus loves you. He has never hated you.”

The old man turned back to look into his daughter’s eyes. His body relaxed. He began to talk. And by the end of the afternoon, he had come back to the God he had resented for so many decades.

Over the next few days, father and daughter enjoyed warm moments together. Aggie and her husband soon had to return to America—and within a few weeks, David Flood had gone into eternity.

A few years later, the Hursts were attending a high-level evangelism conference in London, England, where a report was given from the nation of Zaire (the former Belgian Congo). The superintendent of the national church, representing some 110,000 baptized believers, spoke eloquently of the gospel’s spread in his nation. Aggie could not help going up afterward to ask him if he had ever heard of David and Svea Flood. “I am their daughter.”

The man began to weep. “Yes, madam,” the man replied in French, his words then being translated into English.

“It was Svea Flood who led me to Jesus Christ. I was the boy who brought food to your parents before you were born. In fact, to this day your mother’s grave and her memory are honored by all of us.”

He embraced her in a long, sobbing hug. Then he continued, “You must come to Africa to see, because your mother is the most famous person in our history.”

In time that is exactly what Aggie Hurst and her husband did. They were welcomed by cheering throngs of villagers. She even met the man who so many years before, when she was less than a month old, had been hired by her father to carry her down the mountain in a soft bark hammock.

The most dramatic moment, of course, was when the pastor escorted Aggie to see her mother’s grave, marked with a white cross, for herself. She knelt in the soil of Africa, the place of her birth, to pray and give thanks. Later that day, in the church service, the pastor read from John 12:24:

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

He then followed with Psalm 126:5: “They who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

(An excerpt from Aggie Hurst, Aggie: The Inspiring Story of A Girl Without A Country [Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1986].)

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29 Comments

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29 responses to “David and Svea Flood

  1. Pat

    Really a great article on this, brings home how we so often become disillusioned and discouraged and even quit: but God always accomplishes His purpose. Puts me on my face asking for forgiveness and mercy because of my selfish attitude at times. Thanks, blesssings

  2. This is a very encouraging story. Thank you so much for sharing it. We don’t always know what is going on behind the scenes, or in the hearts of people we encounter, when we are obedient to the Lord.

    On a smaller scale, I once had something somewhat similar happen. During my senior year of high school, a couple of friends (Nick and Nate) and I went to a local mall one evening to share the gospel with anyone we could. We approached three guys who were loitering around, and quickly got into a “lively” discussion. Actually, it almost turned violent. One guy, Steve, gave us a very hard time and seemed to be cold as ice, as hard as a rock, etc. Another guy, Juan, seemed to be much softer and almost ready to submit to Christ. When we left them, or rather were chased off by Steve, I said to myself, “If there’s anyone who the Lord can’t reach, it’s probably this guy.”

    A month later, Nate came up to me at school and said, “You won’t believe who walked into my youth group last night!” It was Steve. As Nate told the story, for two weeks after his encounter with us, Steve could hardly eat or sleep because he was so convicted by the Holy Spirit. Finally he fell to his knees and surrendered his life to Christ. He went on to become a leader in that youth group, led a short-term mission trip to India, and was instrumental in seeing numerous gang members come to Christ. It turned out that he, Juan, and the other guy we talked to at the mall had been members of a gang. In fact, Steve was the leader. Juan, whom I thought had appeared the softest, ended up opposing Steve after he became a believer, even issuing death threats against him. I never did have the privilege of meeting Steve again, and I probably would have never known of his conversion and subsequent fruit-bearing life if God hadn’t led him to Nate’s youth group.

    God is sovereign, and His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than ours.

  3. Great story Adam! Thanks for sharing it.

  4. donna

    That is the most beautiful story I have heard in a very long time. What an amazing God, what a beautiful God, what a majestic God, this God of ours is wisdom personified, only He could paint such a beautiful portrait of life before it happened and then put it all together seeing the end when no one else could. What a glorious and wonderful God our Father is.

  5. Pingback: The Story of David and Svea Flood | Pursuing Truth (Minneapolis)

  6. That was very beautiful!

  7. Laura

    What an encouragement! His Word NEVER returns void. We may never know until heaven what God has done when we simply tell others about Him.

  8. cassie

    this is an amazing story my sunday school teacher read it to us in class to day and wow just one boy getting saved changed alot of peoples lives and a great testimois of how god used them for his glory and his honer

  9. F Lalrokima

    It gives me a zeal to spread the gospel of Christ

  10. Pingback: Wonderful Things by ba79 - Pearltrees

  11. eduardo ruiz sanchez

    It’s a amazing and true story,it is Gods plan to those who loves God and His mission to mankind on earth, for Her promises ( eternal life with Him) Jesus Christ amen.

  12. eduardo ruiz sanchez

    Very inspiring true story of God’s work in our life on earth,God has a purpose in everyone of us response His divine calling in us.to God be all the glory in Christ Jesus.,,

  13. Darlas

    Darlas
    Awesome, an heart warming story, clearly makes known unto us, never let go of God, trust Him through all the storms of life, we’ll never know THE REST OF THE STORY this side of eternity. He promised I will never leave you nor forsake you. Another very interesting website hopess.hopeTV.org watch amazing studies daily.

  14. wks

    WHAT AN INSPIRING STORY. Our God is awesome.

  15. Deborah

    Praise God! So infinite in wisdom!! He not only used one candle to ignite so many in Zaire. He also did’nt want David to lose his reward and placed that magazine in Aggiee’s mailbox as a jorney to David Flood’s restoration! Im especially encouraged by the testimony that the children in the school established in the village were led to Christ and in turn led their PARENTS to Christ. My family and I live in a surburb where the Lord led me to start a bible club for children. Whose parents are mostly religious or outrightly unperturbed on the issue of salvation and without a genuine encounter with the Lord. I pray, Oh I pray that this little work will help the children reach their parents for the Lord.

  16. Steve Urner

    This is such a unique example of Romans 8:28.

  17. Gerald Inyang

    I heard this story in a sermon by Ps Jim Cymbala then I did a web search for full detail.Thanks for sharing. I’m blessed

  18. Gerald Inyang

    O How great our God is! The testimony of David and Svea Flood is both encouraging and challenging.I pray to yield to God

  19. lu

    Does any one know the name of the Evangelist from Zaire? I would love to follow up on his story as well.

  20. Nirmala Varghes

    Thank you for sharing this story

  21. Reblogged this on Mily Vela and commented:
    :’)

  22. benjamin

    I m very happy when I check this true story for this missionary couple David and Svea flood;real Im exactut;now I want to know if ther’s one or more of granchild for this couple continue to serve the Lord?

  23. Karen Wood

    Inspiring!

  24. ajit surin

    Such a touching and inspiring story!

  25. Catherine Akintoye

    Encouraging!!!

  26. Krystle

    This is the foundation of the rich history of my church! Aggie’s adopted parents- Arthur and Anna Berg- founded my church -Sioux Falls Gospel Tabernacle- in Sioux Falls, SD, now named Sioux Falls First. Aggie and her husband D.V. Hurst were ministers here for a time. Our church is set to celebrate our 85th year next October because of this history of going into all the world and preaching Christ no matter what!

  27. that’s awesome Krystal!

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