Friday, August 25, 2006

Five years ago...

On the fourth Friday in August, 2001, we spent our first full day in Cameroon. It was an eventful day, the start of an amazing year for our family. It is incredible to think about the direction of our lives as a result of God's sovereignly guiding us to Cameroon.

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
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 Cameroon....

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 Cameroon and her people. We all brighten up now whenever we hear of anything Cameroonian or meet Cameroonian people. The country has a place in all of our hearts.

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.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

As I read this, I began to wonder what other "events" God has planned for you and for us. I was also thinking about things that are going on right now in our lives and how God will use those things to reveal more of who He is to us! I'm amazed at how He teaches us!