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"GOD WAS WITH ME"
For nineteen weeks we were prisoners in the Libyan Desert, exposed to every privation, naked, hungry, barefooted, sick, burnt by the sun, and chilled by the rain and the bitter cold of desert nights, our lives always in great peril. After four months I escaped, and covered half the hundred miles of waterless desert which separated us from our friends. I was recaptured, and was in extreme peril of being instantly murdered; but I was preserved from death, although I was flogged with an elephant hide whip, stoned, and spat upon; but remembering him who suffered without a cause, I was hardly conscious of pain.
At the end of five months, the country being blockaded, the last of the provisions ran out: for some time we had been on a quarter of a pound of food a day and were in a state of great weakness and reduced to skin and bone. Apparently only a few days more of life remained, as nothing human could help us. We realized that God was our only help, and the inevitable answer came. The British forces, burning an Arab camp, discovered a letter of mine written to the Senussi commandante two months previously. It stated our condition and the name of the Wells where we were. The British captured a prisoner who had been there thirty years before, and with him as a guide they covered with armored cars and ambulances one hundred and twenty miles of trackless desert in the enemy's country; found, rescued, fed, and clothed us, and returned another one hundred and twenty miles all within twenty hours. During our captivity there were no medical comforts of any kind, and I believe I am correct in saying I was the only one who never had dysentery or any kind of illness: five died of starvation. My Christian Science friends were working for me all the time I was a captive, and the wife of another prisoner was also a Scientist.
I have been interested in Christian Science for some six years now, though I have swerved many times from the straight and narrow way and have much error still to overcome. But this I know, that it appeals equally to my head and my heart; that though I fall, I am never utterly cast down; that I am happier than almost anyone I know; that when I humble myself under the hand of almighty God, and cast out my human sense of personal ability, physique, and so forth, and realize the real source of all good then and then only do I get my answer.
I have never known sickness since I was a child, but I have been rather deaf for fifteen years: recently I have been able to hear my wristwatch easily, a thing I had not done for years. This is the result of Christian Science treatment: an aural specialist told me years ago it could never get better but would gradually get worse. I thank God that up to the present I have not been the means of taking any human life, but that I have been able to serve my country equally by saving lives.
Rupert S. Guntlin-Williams, Captain R.N.
Christian Science Sentinel, September 1, 1917
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