by Kari Huizing
On June 16th I was coming home from a barbeque in Lynden, Washington with three friends. It was just after midnight as we crossed the border in Sumas. I was in the passenger seat and as we drove through an intersection with a green light I glanced to my right to see head lights. A vehicle with a drunk driver hit us hard and pushed our car into the ditch on the other side of the road. We flipped over and landed upside down. I was submerged under water and unable to breathe.
Then something incredible happened. Within 2 minutes, 15 people were in the ditch in the mud and swampy water turning our car right side up and helping us to safety. One of them was a young lady on her grad night, there in the mud in her grad dress with her father. Within minutes I was brought to the Abbotsford hospital, then airlifted to Royal Columbian. Six of my ribs were broken and my lungs were torn. I had a lacerated liver and tears in my arm. But I knew God was with us and that he had kept us alive.
In the days that followed I experienced the community of God around me. The numbers of people who visited, phoned, emailed and cared for me was remarkable. About two weeks after the accident, when I was still in bed at home recovering, my Youth Pastor visited me. As one of the youth leaders at Living Hope Christian Reformed Church, Adam asked me if I would consider leading a team to Mexico in February. Was I up for this?
On November 30th Adam and all the youth leaders of Living Hope spent a Saturday at a retreat centre in Abbotsford. Steve Klassen, director of MARK Centre, guided us in a half day of listening to God. Part way through he gave us 30 minutes for a solo time with God. During that time of silence I read a one-page story by Steve’s wife Evy called “Fears” from their journal Your Ears Will Hear. The question after the story in big bold print grabbed me, “What are you afraid of?” As I wrote, my doubts and fears were around leadership. “Am I adequate? Am I equipped to lead others?”
As I sat there in the silence feeling weak and afraid I began to see a vision. The picture that came to mind was of me walking alone until Jesus came beside me on my right and took my hand. We walked together swinging arms. Then Jesus was behind me, then on my left, and finally Jesus approached me from in front and asked me, “Can I lead you?” I found myself answering “Yes Jesus you can lead me.” So he took my hand and led me. He had a torch in his hand and we moved forward, and as we did – others followed. With Jesus I was leading.
This week (Feb 10th Monday) we left for an outreach to build 2 homes in a Mexican city we’ve grown to love. Yes, I’m leading. I’m alive and I’m leading because God is declaring me adequate for the task. He is with me and he seems to be speaking to me through Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear. For I am with you.”