The part I really hope people don't miss when reading my book is the number of times God rescued me. If it seemed like it happened a lot, you’re right–it did! And you know what else? It's still happening. Surely not always in, seemingly, life-or-death circumstances or in physical danger situations. But he continues to rescue me to this day.
The first instance happened on that first trip to South Sudan. But guess what. It’s not the time I got lost in the desert late at night, nor when I wandered off from our safe U.N. compound, also late at night. Albeit those situations were thrilling, I admit, they are no match to God's rescue of my heart right there in the Sudanese desert. Coming from a really dark place after an unexpected divorce, I thought I had been rendered unfit for life. But seeing the world’s most neglected people receive the gift of safe water when I was in Africa, God has shown me a new purpose.
What a gift, right? I have told many, "I went there to help give these people the gift of life-giving water. Instead, it was them who helped give me a whole new life." Tell me that's not exciting!
Admittedly, this "new life" brought with it multiple opportunities for adventure. Like the time when I was taking a crowded ferry into Mombasa, the island port city of Kenya. While walking along with Robert, my Kenyan guide, he was pushed back behind a swiftly closing gate while I was jerked forward by a well-meaning ferry policeman. The crowd was so packed in and moving so fast to get on the ferry, I thought, "If I fall now, I could be trampled to death." Why that cop separated us, I'll never know. But I did make it onto the ferry safely along with 4,000-5,000 Kenyans! That's where the excitement level really elevated.
His protection over me did not end there, but continues on.
How about the time in Ethiopia when an obviously deranged unclothed man came after our car? Before I could even react to tell Melaku, my driver-friend, this man heaved a sizable rock at me.
He saved me yet another time in Kenya. This time, a pastor asked me to carry him and his two-year-old daughter on my motorcycle to a medical clinic in the nearest town. It doesn't sound so bad except that one, the child is deathly afraid of white people and screamed all the way; two, this was my first day driving a motorcycle in almost 30 years; and three, it was the rainy season and the dirt road was extremely muddy and filled with many very large puddles/ponds!
The common theme in all of my experiences was my faith in the God of all creation in the midst of those situations. And how He heard and answered me.
If any of these stories pique your interest, I invite you to read my whole book. It's full of similar stories, and of my rescue in every instance.