I wrote this note exactly five years ago today, and it's just as true today as it was then. Seems rather appropriate to share it on here...thoughts would be appreciated.
September 23. Nothing really special about this day for most. For me, it
is a day that ought to be set aside for praise, worship and adoration.
Barely three years ago on this date, I woke up with great anticipation
and excitement. On this bright and beautiful Saturday, the Women of the
Church of God from the U.S would be arriving in Zambia for the National
Women's Conference in Lusaka. I was one of the select few that would be
going to the airport and pick them up! What an honor it was...
were two vehicles going to the airport that morning, a Toyota Land
Cruiser that belonged to the Missionaries and a 4x4 Toyota pick-up truck
that had been recently purchased for a new missionary family coming to
Zambia. My mum and a friend of the family rode in the Land Cruiser while
my Uncle and I rode in the pick-up truck. Our vehicle was second in
line and we had fallen way behind from the first vehicle. My uncle, who
was driving the truck decided he wanted to catch up with the other
vehicle and so he sped up and before I knew it, he was really speeding.
It just so happened that we came up on a curve in the road, and it was
otherwise not that difficult to navigate, but because of the speed at
which our vehicle was going, a series of events followed that literally
changed my life.
As we came up on the curve, my uncle tried to
slow down, but it was a bit too late. Our vehicle swerved and was headed
straight for a brick wall on the side of the road, but my uncle tried
to regain control while applying the brakes. Bad idea. I have no
recollection of what happened next, but according to witnesses, my mum
included, the truck was up in the air, wheels up first, hit the tarmac
roof first, with both me and my uncle still inside, and skid on the
tarmac for a distance of about 30 feet before stopping. Like I said, I
do not have a recollection of exactly what happened, but as the vehicle
was sliding on the tarmac, I had a sensation of being squeezed and air
rushing out of my lungs. Then nothing. "Oscar, are you okay?" Those were
the first words I heard after what seemed like an eternity. Not sure
what to say, I simply replied, "Yes," then asked the same question. Then
there was chaos. There were hands everywhere trying to pull me out of
the truck, but there was one problem; I was trapped by my seatbelt which
was still fastened. Instinctively, I pulled out my pocket knife (which I
normally did not carry with me) and cut through the seatbelt and was
pulled free. My uncle followed suit and got out of the car as well.
the midst of the chaos, I heard one loud voice crying, "mwana wanga,
mwana wanga!" (my son, my son in Nyanja). My mum who, from the other car
had seen what had happened, was wailing at the top of her lungs,
fearing the worst. When I got out of the car and saw how badly it was
damaged, I couldn't help but breakdown. I began to sob uncontrollably.
My mum, after seeing that I had got out of the car safe, but seeing me
cry, thought it was due to some internal injuries. It took a while for
me, while trying to come to terms with what had just happened, to assure
her that I was fine, miraculously. Both my uncle and I had come out of
the vehicle unharmed, without a single scratch! Praise the Lord!!
might be wondering why I share this story with you on this day. For me,
this day is a day when I set time apart to just praise and give thanks
to God for His love for me. It was on this day, three years ago, that my
mum said some very important words that have stayed with me since, and
in the following days after my accident, I truly gave my life to Christ,
and my life has never been the same. My mum quoted the passage from
Jeremiah 29:11 and she said, "Oscar, God has saved you from this
accident for a purpose, a special purpose. It is now up to you to
discover what that purpose is." Every day of my life since, I believe
that I'm getting closer to discovering that purpose for my life.
after giving my life to Christ has not been all smooth...quite the
opposite. I've had times when I felt like giving up because help was not
forthcoming, times when I felt really distant from God, and times when I
felt as if my prayers fell on deaf ears. But Praise the Lord, because
even in those moments, He provided, He answered prayer and He has laid a
vision on my heart. He has placed me in a place of honor, for His
name's sake, and that is why today, I ask that you may celebrate with
me. Celebrate the numerous and wonderful things that God has done in
your life. Count your blessings today and see if you can name them one
by one! Take a moment, after reading this, and give praise to God,
because His love endures forever and ever!
Celebrate His love and goodness!