I am so glad that today started a new week and with the new week comes new mercies. Last week was very scary and frustrating for our family. Driving here in Uganda can be both of those words on a daily basis so I do not use them lightly. On Tuesday evening, while driving home from my village Bible study, I was involved in an accident. I had driven this drive many times over the last year, but this one night ended much differently, at the police station.
You have all heard me talk about Boda Boda (motorcycle) drivers and how crazy they can be. On Tuesday one of those men decided to do some celebrating over the local election with doughnuts in the middle of the road. I saw him and blew the horn but I knew I was going to hit him. I hit him, threw him and the bike off the side of the road, and like the great law abiding citizen that I am, I kept driving. I have always been told that if involved in a wreck to drive to the nearest police station and do not stop. I was alone in the car and terrified but I did not stop. The closest police station is Jinja and was about a 20 minute drive. I was chased by a mob of about 7 men on Bodas beating the van and even trying to get in front of me to make me stop. My phone would not work to call Doug and all I could do is pray. I made it to the police and used someone else’s phone to call Doug to meet me there. In the process the police convinced the men that had chased me that I had done the right thing by coming to them so they were not going to put me in jail. (I will take a minute to stop right there and say Praise God that I was still very emotional disturbed over the situation and those words did not really stick with me at the time or I could have said something to really put me in jail!) Doug and a local from Water Missions both came to the station while I gave my statement. The van was kept and I was released on bond.
The next morning we went back to the police office and waited to be seen. Then our local friend went with the officer to see the “victim”, take his statement and also visit the crime scene. There were people who said I was doing right and the guy was being crazy but they would not sign anything on my behalf. Later that evening we did however talk the police into giving us back the van. The rest of the week was filled with finally getting one statement for me and paying for a lot of things. The frustration has come because things are so different here and quite frankly very backwards. I have been treated as though this is my fault though we all know, including the cops that it is not. Things have been trying and it has been very hard to show and give grace in the matter.
I tell you this story for two reasons. First, writing helps me to process the situation better. Second, I want you to know that your prayers matter and that no matter the situation God is in control. Throughout this whole ordeal, we can see so many of God’s provisions that we cannot help but Praise Him in the midst. The first and probably biggest to us was that Doug was suppose to be out of town, but his plans were changed on Monday evening. I really have no idea what this would have been like for any of us had he been gone. God knew and He provided for a change of plan. The second huge blessing is that I am physically okay and the man I hit is also going to be okay. From the looks of the accident and my car that could have been a very different situation. Another blessing is that we were able to get the van released before the case closed so that we could go ahead and start work to repair it. Usually they keep the car in question until the case closes. The van should be ready by Tuesday and all in all it has not cost us near what I thought it would.
There are so many more things that I could mention but all the praises boil down to God is Good and prayer works. Not long ago our home church had people fill out prayer cards for the missionaries supported by the church. I have no idea who signed up to pray for our family but I do know that it is no coincidence in the timing. I know that many people have always prayed for us but I also feel like God had some new people join forces. “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this” Esther 4:14b. In this case, your royal position may have been waking at an unruly hour and wonder why God has asked you to pray for us at this particular time, and now you know. God lays it on our hearts sometimes to pray when we don’t understand and we have the opportunity to say yes or no. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you all for saying yes when God spoke to your heart, no matter when that may be for you. During our week, we have felt the prayers. We have felt God’s hand clearly. I am not cleared yet from the police and we are not sure what this week holds, but we are sure that we have a Big God who is always in the middle no matter good or bad.
Blessings and many thanks for praying,