Springs in the Desert

Do miracles still happen in our modern day? Judge for yourself. The following story appeared a few days ago in several newspapers. During the Gulf War, a Marine general named Charles Krulak was commander of a huge supply depot. The most urgent need in the Saudi desert was water, and Krulak dug enough wells to supply 100,000 gallons of water a day for the ground offensive. But then General Schwartzkopf announced a change in strategy. Krulak received orders to move his troops and build a new supply base. The new plan caused Krulak some concern. His assignment was to move 75 miles into the desert with no major road systems--and no water. But his Marines did the job. Working 24 hours a day, under floodlights at night, they built an entire supply base, finishing just in time for the offensive to begin. Only one thing was lacking: There was no water. Navy Seabees had been working around the clock, boring 2,000 feet under the sand. But they had ended up with nothing but dry holes. Krulak consulted with oil company engineers. He talked with Saudi bedouins living in the area. Still nothing. Finally he had exhausted all his resources except one. Krulak was in the habit of gathering with other staff members each morning to pray. Every day they prayed fervently for water. Finally, one morning their prayers were interrupted. A colonel dashed in yelling "I've found a well." The well turned out to be only 3 miles away. Strange that they had missed it in all their searches. Even stranger, it was a brand new, brightly painted red pump with green generators, just 40 yards off the road the troops had come in on. No way 20,000 men could have walked by and missed such a gaudy sight. The pump even had extra fuel. And that was the strangest thing of all: The fuel was diesel--but the American forces didn't use diesel in their trucks. They used jet fuel. Krulak looked the pump over and found everything ready to go. Except for one detail: There was no key to start the generator. "God did not put this here to be defeated for the lack of a key," Krulak murmured. He found the start button and pushed. The generator roared to life. "A gift of God," Krulak told his officers. They suspected that the mysterious well might really be a gift of the Iraqis, and tested the water for signs of deliberate poisoning. But it proved clean. What's more, it matched precisely the amount Krulak had estimated he needed: 100,000 gallons of water a day. No one ever did figure out who dug that well. Krulak is convinced it was the work of God--a response to the prayers of countless men and women in America who were praying for the Desert Storm troops. As an ex-Marine myself, I've always been proud of the corps. But I don't think I've ever been prouder of the Marines than the day I heard this story of a praying general--and a miracle well.


Chuck Colson


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