Day Eleven

Almost two weeks late to the party, I am. Ooops. Time flies when you go on safari, and then go home, and then a lot of home things start happening. I started this blog the evening after the events that took place, SOOO it's going to sound like it happened today. #sorrynotsorry

I was in a motorbike accident today.

And if you are reading this, then I think your deductive reasoning skills are developed well enough to figure out that I was not seriously hurt. I'll skip the photos of my injuries. Just know I am bruised, scraped, and sore, but alive and grateful my injuries are minor.

Bwana asifiwe (Praise the Lord).

Today was a busy day for us. Pastor Rich, Mary Jo, and Patty stayed at Kilimani while Doris and I went out to the mission church that Pastor Paul leads. I was to preach there, and Doris went with me because so that I would not be going alone (safety concerns and all that good stuff). We would join them back at Kilimani and have a short celebration of what we had seen God do this week before we all headed off to an association gathering that afternoon. Because of the location of the mission, Doris, Pastor Paul, and I all made our way there on motorbikes. Pastor Paul was on one, and Doris and I on the other.

On a good day, riding on a motorbike makes me nervous. Here in Kenya, the drivers are crazy good at what they do, but they also go crazy fast and (in my mind) take crazy as risks that scare the living daylights out of me. So when Pastor Paul cautioned our driver to go slower than normal, I was grateful.

That thankfulness lasted until we got to about the midway point of the last (steep) climb before we reached the church. In being conscientious of his speed, our driver was a little bit too conscientious. Because of that, the motor stalled out. I was in the back, so I was the first to tumble off. Doris fell right on top of me.

photo courtesy of Doris Buffington Acton-Dukes

Me later that day, at the scene of the accident. The next time I use the
angle of my arm as a visual, you know I'm not exaggerating.
For a few moments, as everything else around me was in chaos, I just lay there on my back staring up at the sky and wanting to laugh. I was a little dazed and the wind was knocked out of me for a few seconds, but otherwise I felt fine. I held it in, though, because I could hear Pastor Paul and the drivers of both bikes calling out as they came down the hill to make sure Doris and I were okay. Letting them know that I wasn't badly hurt seems far more important than just laying there laughing.

My inward laughter in that moment came from what I saw as the hilarity of the situation because of how God had answered my prayers. The moment I stepped onto the motorbike this morning, I was praying we would be safe and we would get to the church in one piece. If I hadn't, my imagination would have been running wild with all the possible scenarios (good and bad). Those prayers got more intense when we hit steeper hills, and tapered off some on the flat parts and the downhills, but I was praying the whole time.

And yes, my prayers were quite fervent in the seconds the motor stalled out and I fell off.

I know there are more than a few people reading this post who are thinking that this accident is not really an answer to prayer. Doris and I fell off the motorbike. We both were hurt. Riding motorbikes, falling off, and getting hurt are not bullet points on a list of characteristics of safety.

You're right.

The details, though. Those are the answer to prayer. The lack of speed, the way we landed, how the driver had just enough control of the motorbike left to lay it down on its side instead of falling off with us. I've run the possible scenarios through my head a thousand times in the course of writing this account, and the details are what I keep coming back to. God didn't stop the accident (although He easily could have), but He kept us alive. More than that, He kept us safe and well enough to make it the rest of the way up the hill to deliver the message that needed to be delivered to His people.

The rest of that day went fast. We went to Kilimani and celebrated, we went to the association meeting and shared there, we visited with some pastors afterward, then we went to our little home for the week to rest and to prepare for our departure from Mombasa on Tuesday.

God is good, and He hears us when we call on Him. I can't think of a greater testimony to come out of this day than that.