THE ARROW THAT FLIES BY DAY
‘Thou shall not be afraid of the terror by night
Nor of the arrow that flies by day’. Psalm 91:5
The testimony of Major Mark Goodwin-Hudson
My father was a School Chaplain. At the age of eleven, at a Scripture Union Camp, I went forward when I heard the words of Jesus, ‘I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock; if any man opens the door I will come in and sup with him.’ I surrendered my life to Christ, confessed my inability to earn my salvation, and was born again.
My goals as a teenager were, however, not very Godly. I joined the army in the Blues and Royals and was successful, coming top in a number of courses. But then disaster struck. Training on the Brecon Beacons I drank some contaminated water from a stream and caught a virus which was as unidentifiable as it was incurable. After being sick with chronic fatigue for eighteen months my military career in 1995 at the age of twenty-six seemed to be finished.
During this time God began to work on me as the Potter works on the clay. I accepted that the God of the Bible could and would act the same way today. I went to a Spirit filed Church and one evening went forward for prayer. I had been reading about Jacob wrestling with God and this is how it felt. I was laid out on the floor for two hours. As I repented of many sins including vainglory, lust and drunkenness it seemed like each one was a battle. At the end I was exhausted but felt liberated. I was baptised with the Holy Spirit and later spoke in the supernatural language of the Spirit known as praying in tongues.
But I was still sick! Despite this I was married in 1996 to a wonder woman called Alice. How she coped with me I will never know. Then on Valentines Day 1997 an old university friend called to see me. He had been a corrupter of men’s souls until he became a Christian. Now he was a missionary. He told me ‘Ask God to heal you from your heart’. Then he gave me a sharp punch in the stomach and said, ‘You are a warrior. Be violent. Cry out to God. Pray in tongues!’ As I did so the Holy Spirit came upon me and I was completely healed. Immediately I ate my heart out, I was so hungry! The doctors were pleased and amazed. For the next two weeks I was on fire for this great God and no doubt a real pain to everyone.
Ten years later in the summer of 2007 I was commanding a squadron of the Blues and Royals that was posted to Iraq. One evening I was boarding a transport plane with sixty-eight others at Basra. At this point the Holy Spirit punched me almost physically in the stomach with the urgent command, ‘PRAY!’. So I walked up the whole fuselage to a seat at the far end praying loudly in tongues with the authority of Almighty God to annihilate whatever the powers of darkness had planned for us.
Some time later, as we touched down at a remote northern desert strip, there was a series of very loud bangs and the plane veered off sharply to the left. A wing of the plane had been torn off and the side of the fuselage was on fire. We had been ambushed! The immediate threat was that we would meet a storm of machine gun fire and that the fuel tanks would explode. Inexplicably there was no machine gun fire, the plane did not blow up, and we all escaped without casualties.
One of the worst crimes a soldier can commit in the battlefield is to lose his weapon. One of my men came to report that he had lost his 9mm pistol. I told him that God knew where it was and that I would ask God to help him. He scowled back at me in unbelief. I sent him off with a land rover and driver to look for it, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Three days later we were on the move. The desert was littered with camel dung and other debris. Suddenly a Fijian trooper called Guan Ebeci, a believer, called out to his driver to stop. He had seen something. He got out and picked up the missing pistol. Throughout the Bible there are over thirty instances of deliverance coming on the third day. This was another one!
Shortly afterwards my squadron had to drive through a town known to be a hotbed of insurgents. The Australian commander of that section told me that they did not dare enter the town because of the casualties they had sustained. The enemy were well armed and could be expected to attack us with mines, sniper fire, rockets and anti tank weapons. For our protection we had only un-armoured soft bottomed land rovers with a couple of helicopter gun ships on either side. But more important fervent prayer to the God who is our shield!
As we approached six police cars erupted from the city gate tearing towards us like demonic hornets as if to scare us off. We drove four kilometres through the town. It was eerie. Not a soul on the streets. Not a dog barked. Not a shot fired. We came through unscathed. A staff officer at Divisional HQ told me later that he could not get out of bed the next morning because he dreaded hearing the news of the massacre that must have taken place. The commander of the insurgents was, we heard, summarily sacked. The Lord had put fear into the hearts of the enemy just as He did to win battles in Old Testament times.
Just before we returned home I was given orders to snatch a top insurgent leader, a twenty one year old psychopath. He had kidnapped and personally shot in the head from behind eighteen Iraqis who had been working at the Airport. He was known to be leaving Basra in a convoy of six pickup trucks and heading for safety in Iran to get treatment for an injured leg received when he was targeted by a US missile. I had two helicopters with twenty-two men in each and another helicopter with two men.
As I prayed about this the Lord rebuked me for my lack of love for this man, murderer though he was. Jesus died for murderers! I was told to pray that he would not be killed. Up to this point every subject of a snatch had died in the inevitable ensuing firefight. As his convoy left Basra they split up into a group of two and a group of four. I placed my two helicopters to intercept the second group while I sent the third helicopter, with two SAS men who had providentially been loaned to us, to deal with the first group. They flew the helicopter so that it sat a few feet above the lead car and turned it over with the down draught, disorienting the occupants. The second car vanished. A door of the first car opened. Out came a man with a stick! It was our man. He was bundled into the helicopter and taken to a secure place.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!