The first time I visited Mwanza I was in a car accident. Phil and I were ‘just good friends’ and we were with the loveliest team – from Stourbridge, San Rafael and Coventry…
We entered the Serengeti with the roof up; Phil and I cozy on the front seat, team cameras ready, wind blowing in our hair.
Our guide decided we would like to see the ostriches. A whole herd of the odd looking birds with their skinny legs, big body and black feathers, those wings might not do much but those legs can run – not my favorite.
As our guide took off the path, and accelerated faster… the thrill quickly turned to threat as the jeep hit an area of water and we began to aquaplane.
Slow motion gliding ensued until the driver with no control let go, as did the truck – we spun and rolled – sending us in different directions.
I will spare the gory details but the scene was a mess – I lay motionless on the ground, with a potential broken back, a friend trapped under the vehicle, another broken collarbone. Detail spared.
Help was scarce – the first help came in the form of a man on a bike – then a packet of twenty cigarettes – perfect timing for us who had given up smoking to start again.
Help was eventually found in the form of a dump truck where we were loaded up, with me on the roof of the flipped truck as my stretcher. We were admitted to a nearby hospital where Phil took X-rays, a friend was operated on and the Masai nursed us on a maternity ward. We were thankful to be transported out of the area the next day by MAF (love you forever MAF) after the village had cleared an unused airstrip for us.
Fast-forward 18 years.
I woke on Wednesday at 4.30am to torrential rain. A storm of storms – lightening illuminating the whole house – thunder shaking the foundations – rain, rain, rain. It lasted for hours.
What’s more, it was our day off…and the team were excited to see the Serengeti!
My worst kind of traveling weather. Ugh.
As the morning progressed and our guide was late picking us up (TIA)
I began to feel more and more anxious about the trip, memories were flooding, images, fear, anxiety.
I began to pace up and down the living room.
‘Breathe Michelle Breathe.’
‘Jesus – me and you – we can do this.’
Cheryl sat reading her bible ‘read something to me’ I asked. As the word began to sink in – the presence of God arrived in freedom and healing. The trauma attached to the accident still evident and needing a freedom only God can bring. The team gathered. I had not orchestrated this moment, but God clearly had.
My bible was open to Isaiah 43.
‘Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you…’
When our life is entrusted to the ultimate healer… it means healing is constant and a process.
I have personally seen God’s healing in many ways – sometimes through personal prayer and reading God’s word – many times through counselling and therapy – and often through the Spirit of God orchestrating ‘a moment’ – and the beauty of those moments all woven together.
The enemy of our souls likes nothing more than to keep us bound in trauma, past experiences and old habits.
The lover of our soul changes that.
How He loves us!
So, in my new found freedom. I honestly felt immediately different – if only it were always like that eh?
I sat fearless in the front of the jeep for a new Safari experience.
Where we saw everything we wanted to see.
Where we were first at the scene for the best.
I told Stephen our guide – you need to know we will see a rainbow today and I spoke to him of God’s promise over our lives and what that means. Of course we did – and this rainbow was over us and ahead of us for miles.
We woke early and opted for a 6am adventure…
‘Oh and Stephen. You need to know that today we will see the lion, not just any lion – but a male adult’.
‘There are no guarantees’ he said.
We were first on the scene for breakfast time in the wild, females and cubs feasting – jackals scurrying and scavenging hyenas laughing.
We sat for a long time in awe at the scene – just feet away, nature in its glory.
Then… as promised.
Silence descended upon the scene. As did redemption.
As the King had the last laugh.
Thank you for joining me on my musings from Mwanza!
See below for more Serengeti pics…