Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What happened on your Sunday?

One of our greatest fears of living in Zambia has happened.  As we were on our way to Lusaka yesterday, we hit a man on a bicycle.  Many Zambians ride their bikes on the road and do not always get off the road as you pass by.  This man, Kennedy, was riding his bike on the left side of the road (we drive British style on the left side of the road).  We honked at him to let him know that we were there and began to move over into the right lane to pass him.  Instead of getting off the left side of the road or staying put, he veered into the right lane.  We slammed on our breaks and skidded about 20 feet but were not able to dodge him and we hit him as we were going off the road.  He was thrown up on our hood and fell off as we stopped.  Jeff immediately got out of the vehicle to check on him.  I immediately grabbed our cell phone but we had no service.  Some people began to gather around us and told us to go back about 10 minutes to the police station in Nkeyema.  I was able to borrow a youth's phone to call our Logistics Coordinator but as soon as I said, "Dwayne, we have hit a guy on the side of the road" and he said, "Oh no."  The phone ran out of minutes.  After about 10 more minutes, we loaded the man in our truck with a very kind lady, Charity.  She showed us where to go to the police station.  There were no police at the station so we had to wait almost 2 hours for the police to arrive.  In the meantime, I was asking everyone that went past us if they had a phone.  Nobody did.  I gave some money to a man to buy some talk time (minutes to be placed on a cell phone) but nobody had a phone.  Finally, we found a man with a phone but we had to walk a little ways to the main road to find a place where there was service.  I had the girls with me and Jeff had Levi.  We finally found service and I was able to get in contact with our LC, after many desperate prayers.  It was a very bad connection and he could not fully understand me or what had happened.  They thought that we might have been in an accident where we were injured, the vehicle overturned or something else.  I think all he understood was that we were okay and the vehicle was okay but he misunderstood that we had gotten everything taken care of and we were on our way to Lusaka.  That was not the case.  The accident happened at 9:30 am in Kaoma District and it was already maybe 2 hours later.  We took the man to a Rural Health Center and a letter was written for him to be taken to the hospital in Kaoma, which was about 30 minutes back the way we came.  By this time, the police and the man's family had arrived.  An uncle got in the car with us, the injured man, Charity and a police officer.  As we got the hospital in Kaoma, our team members, the Smith's,  that live there had already arrived.  Thank you, Jesus!  Amy's language helper was able to help us with the language. Very long story short, Jeff was cleared by the police to leave and the man is still in the hospital.  The accident happened at 9:30am and Jeff got back to the Smith's house at about 6:30pm.  We were able to spend the night at Amy and Mike's and get up to make a new start on Monday morning.
My conversation with our LC put everybody into a panic.  They didn't know if we had tumbled the truck or what kind of accident that we had been in.  The accident happened about 2.5 hours from Mongu which is still 3.5 hours from Lusaka.  Our mission family started driving from Mongu and Lusaka looking for us.  One of the worst aspects of this ordeal is that we had no cell phone coverage and therefore, were not able to communicate with anyone.  There were a hundred different things that could have gone wrong - the man could have been killed (it happens more than you think), the people gathered around our truck could have been angry, I could have not gotten in touch with anyone, the police could have been corrupt and many other ways but through all of this the Lord truly protected us.
We are okay but please pray for Kennedy that he will heal well and be restored to full health.  Pray for his family during this very difficult time for them.  We have gotten an update that he has a couple of broken bones in his hand.  We pray that we will be able to help him recover and also show him the love of Jesus through all of this.  We love you and continue to ask that you would pray for traveling mercies.


Heather said...

Hello from Victoria,BC,Canada..I have no doubt at all that the Lord has special work,more than you think,for you seem to be getting trials for sure. Look up! None of this took Him by surprise and He is bigger than all of it. Glad to hear Kennedy's injuries healing..and yes,prayers for him,family,and you for what God has in store for you all.He is Lord. Do you and team members have prayer meetings...together..because spiritual warfare needs prayer.
hoping to hear from u in an email mentioned in previous comments to your blog.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about the accident. This is one of our fears here too. I do not drive here except for around our little community because of that reason except we have to worry about the mopeds. They drive crazy in and out of traffic. I can't tell you how many times they have hit our side mirrors going by us, I am surprised they are still on the car. So much warfare, uncle Jerry was right. We have to be really committed to pray for one another because it seems like it is one thing after another, even the small things are not so small in a foreign country. Love you guys and stay safe.