You may not have ever heard of Donameeka, or know where it is located, or know it is a fertile field for mission work. I learned all about the little country when we first met Grandma and Grandpa Luther.
The Luther’s were the paternal grandparents of our son-in-law John Luther whom our daughter Ginny married in 1995. They lived on the family farm in Savoy, Arkansas a beautiful community about twelve mile west of Fayetteville. They were a simple, unpretentious couple, but I soon learned after meeting them were the two greatest soul winners I have ever met. They worked for Child Evangelism Fellowship for over forty-five years and personally led thousands of people to a faith in Christ every year. I have recounted their lives in the story, Grandpa and Grandma Luther.
One evening I was talking with Grandpa about Cathy’s and my experience with overseas missions. We had been discussing the responsibilities of all Christians to go around the world and carry the gospel message, and we were recounting our recent trip to Budapest, Hungary. Grandpa told us he and Grandma had recently gone to Donameeka to take the good news to the island. Since I had never heard of the island I had him repeat the name and he clearly said “Donameeka.” After a few more questions concerning the island’s location and its’ approximate size I finally determined the site of their mission trip was Dominica which is a tiny Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles region. When I thought I knew the actual name of the country I said to Grandpa, “You mean the Republic of Dominica?” He replied with a chuckle and one of his typical responses, “I guess that’s it – whatever you want to call it!” He continued calling the island “Donameeka.” We have heard him say it so often it is now what we call it. It is hard for me to pronounce it “Domineeka.” When Grandpa described their trip to the island their experience had an unusual “Luther twist,” just like the name of the country.
About six months prior to their journey both Grandma and Grandpa were attending a Child Evangelism Fellowship conference in Florida. There they heard a missionary from Dominica speak of the opportunities for witness for the Lord Jesus, and the open doors which were present on the tiny island. They heard the country had a total population of less than eighty thousand (similar to ancient Nineveh), and it was the prayerful goal of the Dominican missionaries the entire population would soon be saved. The Luther’s began praying for the people of the island, and the missionaries would have the supernatural power to witness to every person. After praying for the missionaries for several months Grandma told Grandpa the Lord had told her they needed to go to Dominica to aid in the mission effort. Grandpa told her to “buy the tickets and we’ll go there, if this is what the Lord told you.” She contacted the Dominican missionary to coordinate the best dates for them, and when a date was settled for their arrival the missionary would meet them at the airport. He told them the flight from Miami arrived in Dominica about midnight.
They drove their van to Miami in order to save the money of an expensive flight from Northwest Arkansas. The drive to Miami took almost two days, and they slept in their van at a rest area in Alabama to save the additional cost of a motel room. They boarded the plane in Miami for the two and one half hour flight and when they arrived, Grandpa said the airport was very small with only a few people there. As they entered the terminal the missionary was nowhere to be found.
After about an hour’s wait, they asked the only person at the airline counter if he knew the missionary they were seeking, and he said he had never heard of him. He also told them he knew most of the missionaries on the island of the Dominican Republic! Grandpa said in his usual loud voice, “I thought this was supposed to be Donameeka!” In the midst of this new surprise and confusion they discovered when Grandma called the airline to book their tickets, the agent misunderstood her and booked two seats on a flight to the Dominican Republic. Neither Grandma nor Grandpa had checked their tickets to discover the error.
They asked the agent at the terminal what could be done, and according to Grandma, the only thing he knew was contact a local law enforcement officer whom Grandma called the “Chief of Police.” When he finally arrived he told Grandma she needed to accompany him to his headquarters where he could make the necessary phone calls to get them back on their journey. In the meantime Grandpa had gone to the restroom without telling Grandma where he was going, and when she couldn’t find him she went alone with “the Chief” to his station. When Grandpa began searching for Grandma he was told “she went off with the Police Chief.” Grandpa just sat down and waited.
When she finally returned about an hour and a half later she had obtained tickets for a flight back to Miami where they could book another flight to their intended destination of Dominica. Apparently there were no flights from the Dominican Republic to Dominica. She also told Grandpa she had a chance to witness the love of Jesus to the “Police Chief,” and he had prayed to receive Christ as his Savior. Grandma never missed an opportunity to witness for her Savior, and she had this law officer all to herself for over two hours!
They finally made it safely to Dominica and connected with the missionary. They said the time spent in “Donameeka” was a wonderful learning experience for them, and they were able to tell countless people on the island Jesus loved them and that He came to earth as a man to save them. In recounting this story to Cathy and me, Grandma and Grandpa were not sure just how many people on “Donameeka” were saved during their trip, but they did know for sure the ” Police Chief on that other island” was saved. He could have been the very reason God sent them on this particular mission trip (with a slight detour).
This is just such an amazing story!! Every time I’ve heard it, I’m just amazed. There was no one like Grandma and Grandpa Luther. For sure.
There are thousands of stories about them that are yet untold. When we get to glory and they are unfolded, we’ll know the full glory of the effect of their lives of unselfish service. What a heritage!