Raised from death
Testimonies by Jennifer Phillips
God has always been at work watching over me and my family and saving us from many troubles.
My mother writes:
My husband, Paul had agreed to buy all the extra whitebait Charlie Brothers had in Haast. He would normally fly over to pick it up and then fly straight back, because whitebait is so small that it goes off more quickly than bigger fish, especially if the sun is shining in the car and warming up the tins. Paul would then drive around the fish shops and restaurants to sell it. Time was of the essence.
On one occasion after a fish shop owner had implored Paul to get him some whitebait, the call came that the whitebait was ready to be picked up, but Paul had flown up North and could only get back as far as Wellington. So, because of the agreement, I felt obliged to go over and pick it up immediately. It was a 16 hour journey in our 1939 Chevy, from Haast to Oamaru - eight hours each way on the winding Haast road that was still under construction and only partly open.
I left at 10am. and planned to be back the following day. Two of my children where in the car with me, while Jennifer stayed at home helping to look after the rest.
At Haast about half a ton of whitebait was loaded into the car, a lot more than could have been brought out in the plane. It was very dark as I was driving through the Haast pass and the car lights went out. No moon or stars could be seen. I had to get back straight away as the whitebait would go off quickly so I continued driving and the road seemed to lighten up. I could see quite clearly even though it was after ten at night.
After about an hour I saw a light in a shed and so I stopped. A man who just happened to be able to help was there. He took a look at the car and said the fuse had gone. He replaced it. I drove on another hour and I was "crying tired," when suddenly there was another light. It was the Omarama Hotel back light.
I stopped again and we went and knocked on the door. They were just having a coffee and invited us in. They also bought one Kerosene tin of whitebait. I kept on driving and then the tank showed empty. I knew I couldn't reach Oamaru before it ran out but it just so happened that I noticed a sign on someone's letterbox. It was the name of a farmer we knew who belonged to the aero club.
It was about four am when I knocked. He answered the door and I asked him if he would like some whitebait for some petrol. It was six am. when we finally arrived back home. Paul had stayed in Wellington overnight. He returned in time to take the whitebait out to be sold, but the shopkeeper no longer wanted to keep to his agreement. Well it just so happened that Paul was a flying instructor at the North Otago Aero Club in Oamaru at the time and had 76 students, so within an hour all the whitebait was sold.
"Moshia - Saviour"
My mother writes:
On a trip from Masterton to Pongaroa I stopped on the top of a hill and went to get some petrol. The car was loaded with bedding and children ( James, Jennifer, Kathryn and the youngest, who was less than 6 months old). I went into the shop to ask for petrol and when I came out of the shop I saw that the car was slowly moving across the road, towards the cliff. I must have forgotten to put the brakes on. I rushed after the car, crying out for help. I tried to open the door to get in but couldn't get the front door open, so I decided to slip my legs under the back wheel to stop the car. Luckily it didn't roll over my legs. The front wheels just sank into the soft new gravel that had recently been put over the slip by the cliff. I called out but no one would get into the car to drive it back as it was too risky. it was too close to the edge of the cliff. Well it just so happened that a farmer was nearby. He had his tractor in a paddock next to the shop. He drove it over and was able to pull the car away from the edge. It felt so miraculous that I found myself silently thanking God ... and the baby remained fast asleep in back of car all the time.
When my children left home or were going on a journey, I reminded them of this verse, because no matter what your relationship with God is like, He always keeps His word.
"Call upon me in your day of trouble and I will help you" Psalm 50:15
My father writes:
I was 21 and studying for my commercial Pilots license, when two young men, Bernie and Bill arrived wanting to be flown to Hokitika. So I hired an Auster AUG aircraft to do the flight, and set off dressed in my normal light sports gear, Jersey and light town shoes.
We had been flying for quite a while and were in cloud. Quite suddenly several very ragged black peaks went past our wing tip and just a few feet beneath us. (We learned later that it was called Mount Horrible, a very suitable name!) I opened the throttle wide. For a brief while we broke cloud and could see way below a fairly flat area but it appeared to have mountains all around. It seemed to me that the best thing to was to climb up above the cloud. A mountain of rock and ice loomed straight ahead. (The Fairie Queen) I just had time to say "hold tight", pull on full flap and with the throttle already wide open, bring back the stick so that the aircraft pancaked in a semi-vertical attitude on the snow and ice ahead. The wheels hit hard. The propeller struck the snow and stopped the motor and the tail wheel broke off so that the spring holding it dug into the snow and stopped us sliding downwards. I lurched forward when the aircraft hit and cut my face on a clock. My two passengers were quite all right. I opened the door and everything loose in the aircraft fell out and disappeared down the mountain. As I stepped out of the aero plane I slipped and grabbed an exhaust stub which moments before would have been red hot. It was cold. One of the passengers put some sticking plaster on my cut, after having to chew through to cut it. He wound the leftover piece around my ear.
We were 7200 feet up, engulfed in cloud and sleet was falling. I prayed for help. Straight away we heard the sound of what we thought was one of the huge South Island Rivers.
It seemed far too cold and damp to stay in the aero plane and with the sound of what later turned out to be a waterfall to guide us, we decided to make our way three abreast so that if one slipped he would not take the others with him. I reached over and ripped out the compass, which was mounted on the floor of the Auster and tied it to my belt. I told my two companions that if I did not make it, to see to it that what assets I had went to my girlfriend, whom I had recently proposed to.
The slope was so steep that we lay up against it punching our hands into the icy snow and kicking our feet into the ice to support us. Visibility would have been less than 50 yards. Sometimes the sound, which was leading us, came from the left and sometimes from the right. We followed its directions until about 10:30 a.m. when we broke through the cloud. We were on a high bluff and possibly a thousand feet below us was a great expanse of snow.
A long way off to the east we could see a Homestead. It was our goal. In the meantime we had to get around the bluff and find a way into the valley leading to the home. One of my companions started working his way around on a very small ledge. All went well for a while until he came to a gap. He reached above him and leant over as far as he could then swinging his feet free he reached the other side and continued along the very narrow ledge. The compass I was carrying on my belt got in the way so that I could not lean in close enough to the bluff, so I removed it and tied to the back of my belt. "If he can swing across that gap I can also," I thought. If I fell it seemed a long way down to the snow below. I moved my fingers across the rocks above my head for as far as I could go then swung. Fortunately my feet reached the other side where the small ledge continued and I was able to edge my way along until we were on to more easy slopes.
By now we were very hungry having only had a cup of tea in a dry biscuit at about 4 a.m. Sometime later we were stopped by a waterfall. It took us a while to find a way around it. My shoes were becoming difficult to wear because the heels had worn at an angle relative to that of the mountain.
About 10 hours after crashing, we reached the Homestead. There was nobody at home. Someone had written "trucking out cattle." on the calendar. We went outside and had a good look around. We figured that if we walked down the valley we would meet the person coming back in their truck and so get a lift. We did not know that "trucking out cattle", could be two or three days of walking cattle through to Molesworth station many miles to the north. We wrote a note and left some money to pay for the food we had eaten. I ripped the heels of my shoes so that I could walk reasonably comfortably again and much refreshed, we headed more or less southwards following the river. The first time we crossed it, it was only a stream. By dusk, when we crossed it again it was waist deep.
Just after deciding that the safest thing to do was to pull some long dry grass and make a bed for the night, I heard the bark of a dog followed by a shout. The cattlemen had returned to the St James Homestead, seen our note and had come after us on horseback, with a leg of lamb that we were very pleased to eat. He then led us along some mountain tracks. The country was so steep that at one stage a dog slipped off the side of the narrow track and I heard it in the dark yelping way below. I watched the white fetlocks of the horse in front of me to see where to go. Bernie and Bill followed behind. We reached a musters' hut at 1 a.m. Our rescuer carried on through the night to reach a telephone at the station, while we were able to have a much needed sleep...
The Canterbury tramping club attempted for about six weeks to get to the aircraft, but was not able to reach it. It finally blew down. The local deer hunters and high country station owners refused to assist anybody who went in there saying that it was far too difficult and dangerous a mountain to climb, yet Bill, Bernie and I, dressed unsuitable, came out safely.
God had helped my father and answered his prayer.
"Adonai Jireh - The Lord will Provide"
My mother writes:
I was working at the Solicitors office in Palmerston.North and on the way home to Feilding, I was worried about what we could have for tea that was quick and easy. I only had three eggs in the cupboard and there were eight of us to feed... I stopped to pick up a young man who was hitch-hiking to Bunnythorpe. When I dropped him off he asked me if I would like some eggs as he had plenty. He handed me five... It just seemed to me to be a miracle with the three I already had and five more it meant there was one egg each for eight people. If it had been any other number of eggs it would not have been so spectacular although I was so pleased to get anything.