The day after Joshua Gianavello and six fellow Waldenses chased 500 soldiers out of the mountains, the army returned. This time Joshua was ready with 18 men, each armed with either a musket or sling.
Once again the invading army passed through the narrow path. Again missiles of death filed the air. And once again the army turned and ran for its life.
When the officer who’d ordered the two attacks learned of the newest failure, he was furious. «We’ll trick them,» he said, slap-ping his fist into his palm. He sent a message to the village saying that all had been a mistake. «Sorry for the attacks,» he stated.
«We’ll be going now.» But the Waldenses knew that the officials of the established church and its leader—the one who’d decreed that all Waldenses must be killed—had not changed their minds.
The next day, April 27, 1655, a whole regiment of armed men made another attempt. Because of their numbers, many got by Joshua and reached the now empty village, where all they could do was plunder anything of value and burn abandoned homes.
Joshua and his men met them as they were returning with their spoils and rained bullets, stones, and large boulders down on them as they tried to negotiate the narrow mountain passes.
After the last shot rang out, Gianavello gathered his faithful band and knelt to thank God for their deliverance. The officer in charge of the attack was frantic when he heard of the new defeat. He’d try again, and this time he’d win.
But Joshua would stand for what he believed, no matter what size the enemy.