On the fourth Friday in August, 2001, we spent our first full day in
That very first day, August 24, Coty, Jonathan, Thomas, and Joel were involved in a pretty bad car accident. For a description of the accident and our response to it, as well as some pictures, go to http://www.expository.org/cameroon/accident.htm
The short version of the story is that Joel was hurt the worst. We thought he had broken his leg and we were in the middle of nowhere with strong warnings to avoid any Cameroonian medical clinics because of unsanitary conditions and the threat of AIDS and other infections. God guided us safely on the seven hour car ride to our destination, eventual safe health care for Joel at the Baptist hospital in Mbingo, and reassurance that the accident was part of His purpose for us! Truly, it was a God-designed start to an incredible year.
I will never forget the almost tangible feeling of being enveloped in God's loving arms on the dark drive back from the Mbingo hospital to the Baptist Center in Bamenda along a mostly deserted Cameroonian road in the back seat of a pickup driven by a fellow missionary we had just met, my now stitched-up son and right-hand daughter in the seat beside me. I knew, in a way I had never known before, that God was with me. I felt His peace was flowing into me. It is an Ebenezer stone memory for me of God's guiding, protecting, caring, tender, constant presence in the midst of a situation that I would never have chosen for myself. Oh, but how thankful I am that he gave me that incident, led me through it, and taught me more about Himself than I would have learned had the road been smoother!
A few things that came about as a result of the year in
Erin met Luke; Jonathan learned to ride a horse and a motorcycle and his life was impacted in a way that has led him toward study of international relations; all the boys saw real poverty and gained a different perspective on possessions; we made some lifelong friends and gained a love for
It is very hard to even imagine what our lives would be like now if God had not guided us where he did five years ago. It is a joy to know that He had it all planned from the very beginning and that our time there accomplished His purposes in our lives and the lives of others for our good and His glory. Makes me wonder where I’ll be five years from now! I’m glad He knows.