Now a free man who knew the Author of his ultimate freedom, Squanto worked his way back to America as an interpreter for various explorers and fishermen.
Finally, when feet were planted firmly on the country he knew as home, he ran expectantly to where his tribe, the Patuxets, had lived. How he must have longed to embrace the lost family members and re-establish relationships among the people he had grown up among. However, he found his village occupied only by skeletons and dilapidated dwellings!
Four years before the Pilgrims arrived at Cape Cod, the Patuxets, understandably hostile towards white men, had been taken by a devastating epidemic. Every single man, woman, and child had perished! So injurious was the illness, that the neighboring Indian tribes shunned the area assuming a dark spirit had overtaken the land.
Squanto, now the only Patuxet left on the face of the Earth, wandered aimlessly though the familiar woods and fields and coast… alone. After several months he approached Massasoit, chief of the nearby Wampanoags, and was adopted by the tribe.
Our American Joseph lived in want of purpose or vision even among this new tribe until the day his friend Samoset ran into the village proclaiming a settlement of peace-seeking white men had been found. They were on the verge of death – a pathetic sight of starvation and illness – and they were living in the cleared land of the former Patuxets.
Something within Squanto kindled at the news – a spark of life ignited in the light of the Pilgrims’s hopeless state. Could he possibly teach them how live on the land? He knew their language. He had lived among the white men for years and knew their ways well. He could help them! A reason for living again?
But [Joseph’s] brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:19-20