We were riding along in the cool British Columbia afternoon. There were four of us on three bikes making our dream trip from Arizona to Alaska. Seven days into the trip found us on the Alaskan Highway, 153 miles north of Dawson Creek. That’s where all our plans went astray. I was on the lead bike, my wife, Lillian, was following a few seconds behind, and our long time traveling companions, Bill and Vicki Kelso, were bringing up the rear on their bike.
I didn’t see the gravel until I was in the middle of it with my bike wagging back and forth and our camp trailer magnifying each movement. I went down on the right side in a cloud of dust and from what we have pieced together from everyone’s memories, the bike and trailer flipped tossing me into the air to land on the side of the road.
Romans 8:28 assures us that “All things work together
for good to those who
love the Lord..” This point was made very clear to me in the weeks
that followed my accident.
It actually started at the accident scene when the first car to stop was driven by Army Paramedics. They had a cell phone and contacted the authorities and did an initial assessment of my condition. The second car to stop had a husband and wife who were both Medical Doctors on holiday. This couple stayed with us until the ambulance arrived to transport me to the hospital.
The ambulance delivered me to the hospital in Fort. St. John where the Doctor inserted a chest tube to help re-inflate my left lung. The hospital did not have an Orthopedic Surgeon to repair the damage to my right arm so arrangements were being made to transport me to Dawson Creek. Again the Lord stepped in to make the best arrangements; it seems that the surgeon in Dawson Creek was on vacation. Plans were changed and I was sent to Grand Prairie where, we learned later, the best Orthopedic Surgeon in the area has his practice.
Once I was checked into the hospital in Grand Prairie, my wife contacted our family in Arizona to let them know about the accident. My wife also asked our daughter to contact our church prayer chain to have them start praying for us.
It is here that the CMA (Christian Motorcyclists Association) comes into the picture. About two years ago, I had made arrangements to have a group from CMA come to our church and share with our congregation the work that CMA is conducting around the country. One of the ladies on our prayer chain remembered this group and contacted the local chapter in Safford, AR to see if they could be of any help to us in Canada. They, in turn, contacted Art Poettcker in Grand Prairie. Art and Helen spread the word and along with two other couples came to the hospital to check on us.
Henry and Bernice Guenther learned that my wife was staying in a motel
blocks from the hospital. They opened their home to her to use so we
have to pay the rates at the motel. Ivan and Barb Nilsson said they
had a vehicle my wife could use to get back and forth to the hospital since
bike was in Fort St. John along with my wrecked bike.
The compassion and giving spirit of these people really touched my heart. They continued to visit every day while I was in the hospital. They brought a basket of goodies and would always have a word of prayer before leaving.
But they were not just ministering to me... there was a man in the bed next to me who was also involved in a motorcycle accident. He had a broken leg and was in considerable pain when they first came to visit. They prayed for him and shared with him about the Lord. They brought him a basket of goodies also and would make sure to include him in our discussions and prayers.
My roommate was touched by their show of concern for him and we had some really good conversations about the Lord because of it. I don’t know that he made a decision for the Lord, but he definitely got plenty of information to think about.
After a week in the hospital I had recovered enough to be discharged. We needed to make arrangements to get the bikes back to Arizona so Vicki and Bill Kelso, our traveling companions, called to check on rental trucks to carry the bikes. U-Haul said “Just let us know when you needed it and we will have a truck for you,” wrong. When I was discharged on Friday, we called for the truck and they said none was available in our area. The closest truck was 6 ½ hours away in Red Deer and they could not deliver it to us, we would have to go get it.
Again the Lord and the CMA step up to solve the problem. Henry Guenther, who provided a place for us to stay, is a truck driver. He was scheduled to leave on a run on Thursday, but did not get his assigned load. Instead, he was given a load on Friday to; you guessed it, Red Deer. He had not gotten a load to Red Deer in over four years!! Bernice was able to get Vicki and Bill on the truck with him and he took them to get the U-Haul. The rental store was closed when they got there, but Bernice had called ahead to another group of CMA people in Red Deer and made arrangements for Vicki and Bill to spend the night. They picked up the truck the next morning and brought it to Grand Prairie. Again Bernice called and made arrangements for CMA folks in Fort St. John to help us load the bikes and trailers into the truck.
We stayed another week in Grand Prairie until I was given the OK by the Doctors to fly back home. Before we departed, Bernice made arrangements for a gathering of the CMA members in their chapter. We were privileged to meet some of the other members of the chapter who had been praying for us. They are a great bunch of people and have a real desire to serve the Lord! \o/
When the call came in, they were there and willing to meet the need. I will be forever grateful for the “Chosen Free” Chapter of the CMA and especially those who were willing to disrupt their lives to meet our needs. I pray that God will richly bless them all and that He be given the glory for all that has happened. \o/
In retrospect I must say that this accident has done more to revive me spiritually than anything I can remember. I had fallen into a rut in my relationship with the Lord and was content to set back and watch the world go by. That is not what He would have us do. We have been given a commission to "GO." (Matthew 28: 19-20 -- 'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.')
The Lord will lead!! All we have to do is make ourselves available to do as He wills.
It is a real shame that it took wrecking
for me to
wake up, but I am glad that the Lord desired to get my attention! I am glad
that he chose to shower me with His blessings! All I can say now is “Here
Note - If you would like to rededicate your life to the Lord or would like to know more about Salvation through Jesus, click here and then on "How To Be Saved" or "How to Know God Personally."
CMA # 46,335