On Wednesday, 3-year-old Christopher Ramirez disappeared into the woods near his family’s home in Grimes County, Texas.
According to ABC News, Christopher had been playing with the neighbor’s dog, and when the pup wandered off into the wild, the toddler followed.
Days of agonizing searching followed. Family, volunteers and the FBI searched for the missing boy, but no one could find him.
On Friday night, a nearby church was holding its twice-a-month Bible study. One of the attendees, later identified as Tim Halfin, hadn’t heard about the lost boy until someone mentioned it at the meeting.
As the study continued, Halfin felt a familiar prompting. He said he felt in no uncertain terms that God was telling him to go look for the boy himself.
Saturday morning, Halfin set out, sure that the Holy Spirit had made the request. He didn’t know where he was going and he didn’t know how it would end, all he knew was that if God asked it, he needed to do it.
After walking for less than two hours, he heard small noises that sounded like an animal in distress. He called out, but no one responded. When he heard the sounds again, he called the authorities to alert them to the possibility that the boy was in the area.
Search teams came out, and as they canvassed the area, they shouted the boy’s name. But the boy was nowhere to be found.
As Halfin headed back home, he heard the sounds again. This time, armed with the boy’s name, Halfin called out “Christopher” and got a response.
He couldn’t understand the words — the boy only spoke Spanish — but he followed the sound of the child’s voice until he found him, completely naked but unharmed in the woods, around five miles from where he’d gone missing.
The boy was dehydrated and tired but in excellent condition, considering he’d been out on his own for so many days.
While Halfin is being called a hero, he’s directing all the praise to God, who he maintains was behind it all.
“I don’t know what to make of it,” Halfin told Good Morning America. “All I know is he was found safe. When I picked him up, he was still talking. He wasn’t shaking; he wasn’t nervous — you know, the things I would expect — Maybe he just sensed, ‘I’ve been found.'”
Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell confirmed that the toddler was found “alive and safe,” an incredible relief to all who’d been searching so valiantly, holding out hope as the days passed. He also said that there are no signs of foul play.
“I had several good visits with him and thanked him for being there,” the sheriff said of meeting Halfin, who initially wanted to remain anonymous. “He replied that God told him at Bible study yesterday evening to go look for him and he would find him. This morning the man did just that and the rest is a happy ending to this story.”
Speaking of the boy’s reunion with his family, Halfin got choked up.
“That’s what it’s all about, right there,” he said. “That’s why everybody was praying; that’s why everybody was out hunting.”
“The story is, do not give up hope. Do not give up hope. Even though things look bleak, there’s always tomorrow. May look bad today, God’s mercies are new every day.”
The boy spent some time recovering at the hospital but was expected to be released by Monday. The fact that he’s even alive after four days has many people citing divine providence.
“If you don’t believe in a miracle, or believe in God, this is the prime example that miracles do exist, and you’d better have faith and believe in God,” Constable Blake Jarvis said in an interview with KAGS-TV.
“God’s still in the miracle business,” Halfin confirmed in an interview with KPRC. “He’s still answering prayer.”
When asked what it meant to walk out of the woods with Christopher, Halfin replied: “What it tells me, is when God prompts you to do something, you have to do it.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.