This is an email I wrote back in 2007. Wow, this brings back lots of memories and floods my heart with gratitude all over again. How easily we forget the mystery, treasures, and mercy of God. May our lives continue to honor and praise Him all the days of our lives. And to think the story got even better, but that is for next time....
"Well, where do you begin recording the hardest last 5 days of your life. As most of you know and for those that don't we are sorry we have not had time, opportunity or energy to get ahold of you yet. This past Sunday afternoon, our little one Nate fell into a 20 m or 60 + foot dry well. We were visiting friends at Maforga mission with the American team from Teen Missions and having lunch at the directors home. The kids were all playing in the yard when we heard a horrible crash. Our first thought was that something large and metal had rolled into their truck. But within seconds kids were screaming and Micah came running with a look of horror on his face saying Nate fell.
Once we made our way around the corner of the building it became obvious to everyone that this was bad and that Nate had not just fallen but had crashed through some tin roofing that was placed over the opening to an old well and had fallen over 60 feet to the bottom. We heard him crying and moaning so our first reaction was that at least for the moment he was alive but we didn't know for how long. I remember seeing the look on peoples faces like there was no way he would ever come out of that hole alive.
Everyone first reaction was to pray. We had attended church on the property just a couple of hours before and the message given by Simon Mudiwa who is the coordinator of the work for Teen Missions here in Mozambique was that when bad news or bad things come our first response must be to pray and call out to the Lord. Thank you Lord for that word and your perfect timing. You see there was nothing else we could do except call out to the Lord and beg for Nate's life to be spared. It all seems to be somewhat of a blur as you can imagine but things moved quickly and efficiently. The Lord has made provision for every need in the situation. There happened and by happened I mean God ordained that there would be two nurses there with us that immediately started gathering needed supplies and making provision for treating him, some of the men began gathering ropes and vehicles to be used to pull him up.
A man from South Africa who we had just met immediately set to making a harness like rock climbers use to lower himself into the hole to get Nate. We have found out since he has never been rock climbing or tied those knots before but God moved his hands exactly as they needed to go in order for him to be lowered and for the harness to fit Nate to be brought out. The director Roy immediately called his friend, a pediatrician in Zimbabwe to make sure he would meet us at the clinic and asked that he get his friend Dr. Kitcat, the best surgeon in Zimbabwe to work on Nate. It only took a few minutes to get Nate out of the well and honestly we were scared about what we would see once he was out.
He was talking but mostly moaning and screaming. We had no idea how he had gone in and how he was going to come out. He was pulled out and placed on a board as a backboard. It was obvious he has fractured his right and left leg and probably fractured his left arm as well. There was blood coming from his nose and mouth. He was beginning to show signs of shock and we knew it would be a miracle if he survived let alone survived without any head injury or spinal damage. You cannot fall the equivalent of 5-6 story's without angels carrying you and survive. After what seemed like an eternity he was splinted put on a stretcher and placed in the back of a pickup with Marc and a nurse. Andrea, Micah and others rode in the front. We met up with Simon from Teen Missions with a vehicle that the strectcher would fit into on the main road as we raced to the border. It is an hour and a half drive to Zimbabwe's border.
Andrea, Micah and the director and his wife rushed on ahead to get visas as we know it normally takes 1 1/2 hours to get visas at the border. Marc, Nate, the nurse and Simon came behind. We cleared the border in record time and the van with Nate in it arrived just in time to go through about 10 minutes behind. We then went to the clinic where the doctor came, checked him, took xrays and established his injuries. He was unsure if he had injured his neck, back, head etc but dealt with what was in front of him. Nate had shattered his right ankle and snapped the left thigh bone right above the knee rotating the socket and making them completely out of line. He has dislocated his left elbow and apparently nothing else obvious. The doctors were most concerned about shock and as his BP fell all we could do was continue to pray and ask God to undertake for him.
Perhaps one of the most difficult things I have done in my life is to sit by his bedside listening to him groan and cry out in pain begging someone to please help him to make the pain go away. As a mother that is heart wrenching but all I could do was put him once again into Jesus' hands and beg for mercy. God was merciful beyond anything that we will ever comprehend. He has taken what the enemy meant for harm and turned it into a testimony of His grace and glory. The surgeon performed surgery on Monday morning. It took about 3 hours or so and helped to relieve his pain greatly. He has been drugged for the first few days but is now coming around and it is becoming obvious that he is his normal self. He has his sense of humor back, his rambunxious nature, and inability to sit still. He is in bed. His left leg has a full cast with a metal pin through it which they had to use to put his leg back in position. His right leg has a cast from his toes to his knee. His right arm is in a sling for three weeks. He will be in bed at the hospital for at least two weeks and then we are told it will be about another 8-12 weeks in casts. The doctor seemed reassured that he will walk again and be active without any trouble.
We say all of this to say we want to give God all the glory and honor for saving our boys life and for using him as a testimony to all of the doctors and hospital staff that hear us tell them it is only by God's grace that He is alive. They ask us over and over are you sure it was a 20 m fall. Yes, we tell them, God saved him. May we always give God the glory for each part of this event.
We are doing ok here in Zimbabwe. The pediatricican that first saw Nate has a small cottage that he has let Marc and Micah stay in free. Things are not good here as far as it is difficult to find and buy basic things like bread, soap, etc because of the crisis that the country is in financially. The doctors have been gracious to us and have been completely giving and compassionate. The first five days in the hospital cost 46, 000, 000 zimbabwe dollars. Because of the insane inflation that is about 266 usd. At the bank our money would only be worth 250 zim per 1 usd but everywhere else it is worth 180, 000 zim per 1 us. It is a crisis situation but at the present time we feel safe and know that we can trust the Lord for this part of this journey as well. We are able to receive US funds through Andrea's sister via Western Union wire transfer so that was a blessing as we had no US with us until this morning.
Please continue to pray with us for Nate's recovery. Please praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness to our family. May He be glorified through all of this.
With love and appreciation for everything,
Andrea ( and the family) "