Do you believe in Miracles? Do you believe in Signs?
In the movie Signs, Mel Gibson’s character answers his brother’s question about God watching over humanity. “People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than just luck, more than a coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence that there is Someone up there watching out for them. Group number two thinks it is just luck. You have to ask yourself, in which group are you? Do you see signs?”
Tisquantum or Squanto was instrumental in the success of The Saints and Strangers in The New World. William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth, called him “a special instrument of God for their good beyond expectation.” There is little doubt that without Squanto, Chief Yellow Feather or Massasoit, and a friend named Samoset, the experiment known as Plymouth Colony would have been an utter failure. How was it that Squanto was able to make such a difference? You can be the judge.
- In 1608 Squanto was born as part of the Pawtuxet Tribe in Massachusetts
- At around 12 he was kidnapped by Spanish traders and taken to Spain to be sold
- At the slave auction in Malaga, Spain, some Spanish Monks took pity on the frightened boy and bought him
- The Monks took him to the Monastery, taught him Spanish and the Catholic Faith, and helped him learn about Spanish customs
- Squanto learned to pray and trust God, something that stayed with him for the rest of his life
- Squanto wanted to go back home to his village
- When he turned 17, the Monks arranged for Squanto’s passage to America, but he would have to go to England to wait for a ship
- In England, Squanto stayed with John Slanie, a London merchant, and his family
- At the Slanie home, Squanto learned the English language and English customs
- In 1618 Squanto boarded the ship bound for America
- Squanto landed in Massachusetts and rushed to his village only to find it completely abandoned. There was nothing and no one left. All had died from illness.
- A devastated Squanto went to live with a neighboring tribe, The Wampanoag, and their chief, the great Sachem Yellow Feather or Massasoit.
- In 1620, Squanto’s friend Samoset, who also spoke English that he learned from English speaking traders, told Squanto about a group of rag-tag settlers from England living in the abandoned village where Squanto had been born.
- Massasoit sent both Samoset and Squanto to make contact with these Englishmen
- Hours later, the flabbergasted Saints and Strangers saw a half-naked man walk into Plymouth, and in perfect English greeted them with “Welcome Englishmen.”
- Squanto helped the Englishmen to learn survival skills in the new world, and helped interpret so Massasoit and Governor Carver could arrange an agreement that lasted during a 54-year peace between the two vastly different groups. Without Squanto, the Englishmen most certainly have perished and without the mutual agreement Massasoit and the Wampanoag would have been wiped out by the Narragansett, a tribe that wanted Wampanoag land.
This series of events would seem like an improbable movie script… a definite work of fiction. It would make a “too strange to be true” story line. Can Someone from above take bad circumstances and turn them into something good? Was this just luck, or do you believe in signs?