The following was written by Lisa Welch that I think will be a blessing to you!
Written By: Lisa Welch 3/27/07
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
I Peter 4:12&13
Sunday, March 18, 2007, was as normal as any other Sunday here in Africa. I had no idea what God had in store for us as a team this day. The men from our team, Preach Evangelistic Ministries, had been with us for a few weeks already, working on the Training Center and going into Guinea Bissau and Dakar. We were coming back home from eating lunch in Praia at the Chinese Restaurant when right around the corner comes a drunk taxi driver heading straight for us head on. Joe was driving a rented Hiace (van) and there was nothing or no where he could go to avoid this tragic accident. To his right was a deep drop off cliff that would have instantly killed us all and to his left were the walls of a mountain and straight ahead weaving in the road was this white taxi, unavoidable. As soon as the vehicles collided together, I passed out. I awoke and began to gain consciousness as we were traveling in another vehicle taking us to the hospital. It was another Hiace that was traveling behind us and people actually got out so we could get in and get to the hospital quickly. What compassion these people had for us! Joe was sitting beside me in much pain as he needed stitches in his eyelid and nose. He had been throwing up blood and had also passed out and was coming back to the reality of this whole ordeal. Bro. Jonathan Quinn was also with us, he had a broken finger and a swollen knee. He was behind me praying and trying to bring comfort to us by telling us it was all going to be ok.
I had been thrown across the seat in front of me busting my nose and pouring blood all over my face and clothes. My rib was also broken along with many other bruises and cuts all over my body. My biggest pain was my ribs and face where the most force of impact hit my body. I was having difficulties breathing. I will never forget this sweet young lady probably in her 20’s holding Joe’s hand the entire trip to the hospital comforting him. I kept telling her thank you, thank you!! She was calm and comforting my husband and showing much concern and care for him and for that I was truly grateful!
Bro. Paul was pinned in the Hiace with a broken leg in 3 places and also his arm in one place enduring very much pain as he waited for help to arrive. Corey and Bro. Russell Snoddy stayed with him until a crew came with what we know as “The jaws of life” they had to cut the door open to get him out to get him to the hospital by ambulance. Corey escaped the accident with only a few scratches and cuts and Russell had a swollen knee and all of us were in much shock and trauma. As I look back to this painful day I am still much traumatized mentally and physically therefore having memories and permanent pictures imbedded in my mind that I will never forget.
I have this wonderful devotion book called “Streams in the Desert”. I am continually thanking a dear pastor’s wife, Janet Sowden from Dublin, Ga. for recommending this book. I think it was written just for me! As I read the devotions for March 18 th, I began to cry and realize this was just for me! I am amazed at how God gets us the encouragement just when we need it! “He is never late! â€“ Learn to Wait!” This devotion on March 18th talks about “. . . a place of stillness that allows God the opportunity to work for us and give us peace”. It also states that “. . . it lets God provide an answer, through His unfailing and faithful love, to the cruel blow we have suffered”. And was it ever a cruel blow being hit by this drunk driver! However, we are praying for the opportunity to visit with this driver one day and be able to share with him the love of Jesus and how he can be saved from the life of sin he lives day to day! The accident could have been much worse; it could have taken our lives, never even getting the desire or chance to speak to this man face to face.
Oh blows that strike! O hurts that pierce,
This fainting heart of mine!
What are you but the Master’s tools forming a work divine?
The next devotion day was March 19th, it states “One difficulty or danger escaped- how great would have been our loss!” I am looking at all the blessings that have come from this painful tragedy and thinking of the great loss of the many other blessings that would never be known to us otherwise. I can clearly see that God is using this for our good and His Glory! I thank God he chose to spare our lives so that others may come to know Him as their Savior! He chose us! It is all a part of His Perfect Plan! And we are a part of this plan! “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;” I Timothy 1:12
March 20th states that “. . . no earthly circumstances can hinder the fulfillment of God’s Word.” We will not allow this circumstance that happened to our team to hinder what God has in store for us. He keeps His hand of protection on us and uses every trial we endure to make us stronger but more importantly, God gets all the Glory!
Accepting Permanent Pain in these earthly vessels will be true with many of us for the rest of our lives who endured injuries from this accident but it gives me great joy to know that it is all Part of the Preparation of His Perfect Plan!
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I Thess. 5:18
We have had many families and friends express their compassion for us and lifted up many prayers on our behalf, for that, we thank you so much! There was a major expense in this tragedy and everyone around the world pulled together as family in Christ and worked together as a team to get Bro. Paul back to the states where he needed to be for immediate and necessary medical treatments. We are grateful to you who have sacrificed your own finances and given above and beyond to further the will of God. Thanks so much! We will be eternally grateful for all you have done!
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 & 10
I am thankful we together work as a team and I give God thanks for all He has done! Through the good and the bad. For I truly know that:
“. . . all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
I believe with all my heart that we have been called to reach the Portuguese Speaking People and that is our purpose in this race we are running! We may be temporarily out of commission but this does not mean we quit! The word temporarily means not permanent so just for a brief time to heal as we rest, repair and recover are we out of commission. As Joe would say “No reserves, No retreats, No regrets,”! We can’t stop now, we can’t even turn back, for we have only just begun, and it is very obvious that God is not finished with us yet!! We are a living breathing testimony of that! It reminds me of the children’s song I love so much! He’s still working on me!” And that He is! Through the pain and suffering we are all enduring right now, it is hard to see the big picture of what God has planned but in time, I am sure that it will continue to unfold and we will clearly see the path that lies ahead.
These two ladies pictured here with me have been a tremendous help to me during this time of recovery. They offer their time daily to help with the cleaning, cooking, and laundry, what ever I need done; they are willing to jump right in. What a blessing to have them here at my side. It has been very hard not to have our family here with us during this time, only phone calls and emails, which have been very encouraging. But oh how I would love to be with my other family members and see them face to face right now just to feel that loving touch. God has His reasons and right now, these ladies are stepping in and the bond between us is growing stronger every day. Thank the Lord for that! Please pray for their salvation, Their names are Lu’ and Tete.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
The Welch Family (Joe, Lisa and Corey)
“Serving Our Savior With The Preach Team”
The Welch Family mailing address
and contact information in Africa:
phone number: 011 238 269 1457