The Man I Meet
The following are extracts from a firsthand impression of Clifford Harris by Sayyed Mohammad, the Persian Christian boy from a village near Kerman, who was his constant companion among the villages towards the end. It was written to Mrs. Harris just after Clifford's death, in the English in which it here stands unedited.
IN about three years ago the fame of S.M.C. drew me towards herself from Kerman, and did not let me choose another college to improve my low knowledge. . . .
I came to this college as a keen Moslem; little by little I came to know my teachers, especially one of them who was a wonderful man, and showed me the way, the truth, the life.
He was a tall, strong, handsome man with merry twinkling eyes; there was a joyous smile on his face. He left his home, his family, and came to help this college as a teacher. He was a good runner and excellent swimmer.
There was a great joy in him, which made him very eager to share it with the others; in another word he was a brave soldier of Christ, by this reason was full of love, and faith with action.
Any one who met him realized him has a power behind. He helped me in my soul's need and let me know God's love on Cross for mankind, and me, and before that I could not recognize the God's love.
In any opportunity he was ready to carry the message of God to the hungry souls; he used to fill up the chinks of his time in preaching the gospels.
Many times I was hearing him say: "If we do not share the joy that we found from Christ to others, it looks like two men go for a long walk in a hot day at midsummer, and became very thirsty, each goes in a direction for water. One finds a spring water, and drinks of its cold and fresh water; [when he has] quenched his thirst it is not pleasant if he does not call his thirsty friend to come and drink of this cold and fresh water.
He used to think a great deal about preaching in villages; I heard him say: "The villagers are simple, and their character have not been spoiled. They are close to God, because when they sow the seeds they have enough faith that God will give sun and water, and bring a seed into twenty seeds up. If they hear about God they would accept happily."
He was not satisfied to spend only his holidays in preaching, but wanted to spend his whole time in preaching in the villages, and having faith that God would keep him. He told me: "I must trust in God like apostles, and have enough faith that God will take care of me." He wanted take the mending pots as his job in villages, and while he is working takes a chance to talk with the customers; it was his long wish ideal to be the mender of the pots and obtain a piece of bread in order to live and preach the love of God to hungry souls.
He did not care of money and the worldly prospects, the thing that more than nine tenths of people struggle and think about. I can say if he obtained any cash from his teaching he used them in helping gladly the poor people, and giving them capitals in order to work and live on.
His happiness was obtained in working for Christ. He was not working for Him, but Christ was working within him.
Alas, it came in a winter time suddenly he felt sick, and went in the hospital. And after about twenty days with a great hope gave himself for Persia and Christ.
In conclusion Mr. Harris was a man of God, and an example of Christian; he got love and faith with action. His memory is full of fragrance, his death too got a great effect upon his friends and myself. God took him for rest and peace. This world was very small for this man. I hope God will give his wonderful mother and sister comfort.
Mr. Harris got hope and was not afraid of death. He gave himself for Christ and Persia.