Caleb and I had a reminder of our weakness when he broke his elbow last month. His bike was being fixed about 4 miles from here and he thought he’d run/walk there and bike back, but the afternoon went by quickly and when he got there it was dark. He called me to come get him, but in the meantime he started biking down the road-in the dark (no moon, no streetlights). A car with bright lights, which he thought was me, approached and he pulled off the road; but it turned out the shoulder of the road was quite uneven and he fell, breaking his left elbow into several pieces. I was just minutes away, and we went straight to the hospital for an X ray. From then on-the help rolled in. Dr. Theoneste, whom we have known since he was a medical student and recently finished Family Medicine training, met us at the hospital, as did Elyse, an experienced orthopedic nurse. Everyone agreed that it needed to be operated on, with pins to put it back together. That evening, 2 Rwandan pastors came to our house and prayed for us. Over the next couple of days, we corresponded with various orthopedic surgeons and weighed different treatment options, or rather different treatment locales-Kigali? Kenya? US?. We ended up deciding to go to Goma, to the Heal Africa Hospital, which was founded by Caleb along with Dr. Jo and Lyn Lusi in 2002.(You can see more about it at http://www.healafrica.org ) It’s known for its surgery capabilities and also in Goma is an Indian orthopedic doctor, working for the UN, who agreed to help out. Now, if you’re American, you can’t just go to DRC without a visa, unless you have a special permit from Rwandan immigration. The immigration office here was very helpful and we had our permit in a day, which is usually unheard of. So we drove to the border, where Dr. Jo met us and we received the red carpet treatment! We stayed in the hospital for three nights, with food brought in every day from Dr. Jo’s house (in hospitals here, there is usually no food provided) and then one night at his house. As Caleb recovers, we have been visited by our friends from church-the English service and my Kinyarwanda small group, each bearing gifts and praying for us.
It’s no fun to be injured for sure, but here are some lessons we have learned:
- We are fragile. As it says in the book of James, we do not know what tomorrow brings, even though we make lots of plans for the future!
- The accident could have been much worse. Caleb wasn’t even wearing a helmet! Several months ago, a motorcycle driver died on the same road. We don’t know how many times the angels have protected us and our children.
- God uses our weaknesses. In our vulnerable state, God showed us the Christian community here-praying and caring for us. God used them to wrap His loving arms around us.
Here are some photos: