A Miraculous Provision of Water
By Sully Richardson
Charles Edmund Richardson, called by the Church to act as Attorney-at-law for the Saints in the Mormon Colonies in Chihuahua and Sonora, was on his way to attend a court session at Chihuahua City where his absence might be disastrous to the colonization project. While driving the jaded team and its lone buckboard, he pondered the importance of his mission to Chihuahua City. He was traveling in a cloud of choking dust across the northern Chihuahua desert between Colonia Diaz and El Paso del Norte (Ciudad Juarez), the nearest railroad connection to Chihuahua City. The little mare in the team sagged dangerously under the intense heat and her need of water. “Come on, Nellie old girl, don’t give up,” Edmund cajoled the little mare. “Another mile will bring us to the half-way watering hole. I marvel that your keen nostrils have not already caught the scent of life-giving water. I promise you water, feed, and rest before pushing into the last half of the trip to catch the train.” However, half hour later, to his great surprise and dismay, Edmund found the water-hole as dry as the desert over which they had just passed. While the horses nibbled over the corn in their nose-sacks, too thirsty to eat, Brother Richardson dug for water in the tank floor, only to find it as dry as the surface. He was in serious straits. The distance either way was too far to drive a thirsty team. There was only one source from which he could receive help and he knelt beside the buggy wheel seeking it. He told the Lord his condition and that he had to have water for the horses. He explained the trouble it would mean for the Saints if he missed the court session and the appointment with the Mexican Attorney in Chihuahua City. He acknowledged his dependence upon the Lord and in behalf of the Colonists asked for help. Upon rising to his feet, he noticed a small cloud just above the western horizon. This increased in size as it traveled across the sky until it was directly over his head, and then rain fell like a cloud-burst until the watering hole was full and running over into the creek. After watering his team and filling his water barrel, he thanked the Lord and was soon on his way. About a hundred yards from the water-hole he found the ground as dry as it was before the rain and the sky as innocent of clouds. He caught the train and won the case in court. ___________ Source: Annie R. Johnson, “Heartbeats of Colonia Diaz”, Mesa, AZ (1972), pp. 409-410.