Have you ever slid downhill sideways towards a corner precipice, out of control, right to the very brink of disaster? We just did that today! Let me tell you all about it.
It is Thursday. We have tried 2 times today to get back to BYT without success. The first time was 5:30a.m. If we beat the cement workers, we can get through the short way, saving 3 hours of driving. But this morning it began to pour with rain before we even reached the turn off. This is shocking because it never rains in March here. We know that it will be impossible to make it because rain creates disaster in this place. We turned around and went back, thinking that by the afternoon we could go the long way. By 1p.m the sky was blue and the sun hot. Our truck was loaded with medical supplies, food and 4 people: BletJhaw, Tucker, ChaGooGoo (BletJhaw’s brother-in-law, who will teach BletJhaw Thai for a few weeks), and myself.
We go the short way thinking that because of the heavy rain this morning they may not be working on the cement. However, the road is blocked and barricaded -we cannot proceed, so we retrace our way back to the long way.
This road is horrible. Our truck is lurching around. The people in the backseat are hitting their heads against the windows and our belongings are falling and sliding all over the place. After driving approximately one and one half hours there was an explosion of thunder on our left, followed instantly by huge drops of rain, which whacked the windshield as if to announce the grand arrival of a deluge of rain! Just as we were making a dangerous descent, the rain hit, causing an instant mudslide of our road! Oh how our hearts sank and how the truck slipped! No sense in trying to reach our far off destination in these conditions – that would surely be suicide. We need to turn around and rush back before things get any worse! But alas, things were quickly getting much much worse! The road was very steep with a bank on one side and a steep precipice on the other side. We held our breath and cried out to God to send His angels as we went up one side of a mountain and down the other. Suddenly we were confronted with a red mud downhill that had been plowed recently, sending the loose, rich, red, oozing mud around a corner and over a cement section. We lost control immediately and went into a crooked sideways slide directly toward the precipice! BletJhaw was driving and I heard him speak!
“Oh God help!” Escaped softly from his lips, followed by:
“Stop, Stop, Stop, Stop!!!”
But we did NOT stop for what seemed like ages. We braced ourselves for a crash down the ravine! But no, it did not happen. We came to a sudden side ways stop with the left back tire off the edge of the cliff!
“Hitherto hath the Lord helped us!” The words of Samuel popped into my head just then. (1Samuel 7:12) I thought about so many other times the Lord saved us from sudden destruction out on these roads. He has not left us now! Further- more would He give us this new, beautiful, miracle truck, only to let it be dashed to pieces on the rocks below just 5 months later? NO!
It felt so good to be standing still – Thank you Lord! But now please help us get out of this scary situation. Our hearts and hands felt a little shaky.
The rain continued to pelt down on us as we worked feverishly with the winch. No wonder the truck went into a slide, because when we stepped out we could not walk without falling down or sliding down out of control! We abandoned our shoes because of the caked mud, and Tucker climbed the cliff to attach the winch to the strongest looking tree. Of course the wench is not needed to pull you DOWN the slick hill, but to hang onto you if you go over the edge. Surely a 7200-pound winch would keep you from flipping end over end down the ravine! —We might just find out!
I managed the remote on the winch outside and BletJhaw got into the driver’s seat. What would happen? With the tightening of the winch the truck slid even more sideways. It seemed certain that it would plunge right over the edge! What was holding it up? Another question was, what made it stop?!! It was too scary to even look at that back wheel. BletJhaw gets out and the men gathered a log and placed it beside truck. It looked safer with it there, but actually it will not help at all.
After this BletJhaw leaped up the steep bank and attached the winch to a different tree, the truck’s nose was eventually pulled so close to the bank that the back wheel was out of danger. We finally loosened the winch and BletJhaw pulled the truck onto safe ground!
We are dripping wet, shivering, covered with mud, and praising God for His deliverance.
Most assuredly: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”