Rick and Lori Lampen are missionaries in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. When trouble struck two people in their church, faith, grace, and healing took place. Hear the amazing story of how God uses the hard things in life to teach lessons to those going through the suffering as well as to those supporting them from their church community.
Gerson, an English high school teacher, accompanied students from their Christian school to a retreat. On the trip back to Santa Cruz, their chartered bus swerved to miss a cow meandering across the mountainous road. The driver lost control, and the bus careened off the highway! Gerson suffered the worst injuries and was bounced back around the mountains to Santa Cruz on a hard wooden board in the back of an ambulance.
His family and church friends never left his side. After two weeks in ICU, and then surgery to repair a broken jaw, Gerson was released from the hospital. Within days, the worship leader of the evening church service directed the attention of the congregation to the back left corner where Gerson, still in his neck brace and with his mouth wired shut, stood participating in the song service! What an answer to prayer! Gerson lost nearly 40 pounds—but never wavered in his belief that our loving Father had him in His hands.
Andrea, a newlywed full of life and dreams, fell off the back of a motorcycle taxi on her way to work one warm Santa Cruz day. In God’s providence, as the taxi driver frantically searched for someone to help Andrea, a group of medical students carrying an oxygen tank happened to pass by! An ambulance raced her to the same hospital that Gerson had recently left.
After a delicate five-hour brain surgery, the surgeons only gave Andrea a 10 percent chance of survival. Thirteen days on a respirator in ICU and many prayers later, Andrea was sent to a stepdown unit. Her husband, Daniel, a self-employed entrepreneur, stayed by her side through the long days and worked through the nights on his computer, maintaining his business. One of the most difficult aspects of the situation was the fact that Andrea experienced memory loss—even commenting after seeing their wedding picture, “Your wife is pretty—but that’s not me!” The entire family joined Daniel and Andrea to celebrate Christmas in the hospital. One month and one week later, Daniel took Andrea to his father’s house where family members helped him care for her. They would find her humming the praise and worship songs from church. She is considered the Christmas miracle patient!
Pray for Andrea who continues to receive physical therapy each day and needs treatment to the right eye where the optic nerve was damaged in the accident. Her memory is improving, and although she cannot remember Daniel’s name, she now knows he is her husband. Their prayer is to fulfill the plan God has for their life!
Andrea returned to church last week for an emotional celebration of God’s faithfulness to us. Once again she brought us to tears as she slowly walked—albeit with help—to deposit her offering at the altar, especially since we knew that the previous Sunday, she had not even been able walk! How Daniel contained his joy as he played the keyboard and watched his beautiful bride sneak him a sweet wave, accompanied bythat million dollar smile, was unforgettable.