I have been officially initiated into Nairobi traffic life. On Friday I was in a car accident. I am praising God that the boys were not with me at the time. A big school bus hit the side of my vehicle, impacting the door behind the driver seat – the place that our oldest boy, Petr sits. The impact caused the window to shatter and glass covered both of the boys car seats. Upon impact, the car started to spin in the opposite direction of traffic…but I was able to correct it and safely pull over. You can imagine my relief when I realized that the car had been hit where my two precious boys are usually sitting. I was perfectly fine, a little shaken up, but fine. Then I noticed that the bus driver was approaching me with another guy, the bus monitor, saying the accident was my fault. I clearly stated it wasn’t and that HE hit me. However, it was two against one. I started to get nervous I was going to be the one blamed. Not sure of how everything is handled here in Africa, I pictured myself being hauled to the police station. I quickly called Paul but could’t get through because he was in a leadership conference. Thankfully, I was able to contact someone who sent word out to missionaries nearby who could come and be with me. Waldo, who just happens to be our mentor (along with his wife), showed up on his motorcycle moments before the police man walked up to the car. His motorcycle enabled him to get through the heavy traffic and come to my rescue. I was relieved to have a man present. Waldo has been here for many years and knows how the law works in Africa. Paul arrived shortly after with his motorcycle (the only way to get to the scene of an accident quickly – I am very thankful for those motorcycles!).
I was not hauled to the police station that day. The evidence was clear. God showed me favor as the police man looked at the sight of the accident. The positioning of the broken glass in the lane, along with the point of contact, proved it was the bus driver’s fault. Then the policeman told us to wait for another police man to come and take our statements. He left before the other policeman came. I was pleased to find that the next policeman agreed with the first. The bus driver was hoping to make a deal with us instead of reporting the accident to the insurance companies. We informed him that we had to go through insurance. He went on to talk about how he was going to be fired and would be unable to feed his children. It was a hard situation for us. We knew that he was most likely going to be fired and it would be difficult to find another business that would employ him as a driver. I told him that if the damage to the car was only cosmetic, we would be fine with driving a bad looking car. But you can’t drive a car with a broken window and a door that won’t open or close. It was hard to walk away from the man as he realized that there was no other way. I continue to pray for him. There are times in life when it is hard to see why a situation is the way it is. I can only trust in the Lord and lean on His understanding. I am glad I serve a God that is in control of every situation, One who knows best, has a plan and a purpose for it all. I know that I learned things that day.
The entire incident was over in about an hour and a half. I drove the car, nervously to say the least, to Paul’s work as he followed with his motorcycle. We were greeted by guys who work with Paul. They cleaned the glass and patched up the window with duck tape (got to love that stuff!). We got home and hugged our sweet boys who were graciously sparred!
Oh, and the next day I had to drive through the same traffic circle…this time the boys were in the car. I thank God for His protection!!!