The following is a description of an incident that took place last Wednesday, 10-7-09, as described to me by Pastor Rob Madden on the very day it occurred:
When I witness to people I often ask, "If you were to die in the next five minutes, where would you go, Heaven or Hell?" Or when I'm teaching a class on soul-winning, I ask, "Would you be able to tell someone how to be saved if he had only five minutes to live?"
As soon as Pastor Rob wrote this to me, I knew I wanted to post his story to the site, both to give God the glory for allowing Pastor Rob and his wife to be where they were when they were and to acknowledge Rob and his wife's love shown to the young woman at the risk of their personal safety.
Well, I was tested on that today. As Brenda & I rode home from work, we noticed a car in the woods, all by itself. We thought it strange to see that. And then we both noticed smoke coming out of it. I pulled over, and as I walked toward it, I saw it was wrapped around a tree completely.
As I neared the car, I saw the silhouette of a head inside it. I yelled to my wife, "Brenda, call 9-1-1!"
I rushed to the driver's side, with the tree in the middle of the car, and somehow managed to get a part of my body into where she was. I wanted to see if she was dead or alive. Her legs were wrapped and distorted by the mangled steel around them. Her breathing was barely noticeable.
My heart started crying for this young person. I was yelling to passers-by to get help.
I ran to neighbours' houses, but no one was home. The road we were on is out in the sticks of South Mills, NC.
My wife was stopping any cars going by, because our cellphones weren't picking up any signals. I ran back to the car and noticed the girl wasn't breathing. I began to yell at her to wake up, because I wasn't going to let her die on my watch. I held her head with one hand, and grabbed her right hand, and started telling her that she couldn't die until I told her about Jesus Christ and His salvation that she could have.
By then, people were beginning to gather. Then she starting breathing as I shook her, and talked with her.
All she could do was fight me, and groan at me. She didn't wake up or talk; she just moaned and groaned. Blood was coming out of her right leg, which was mangled deep into the engine. I knew the vehicle could have ignited, but I knew I had to give her the Gospel message of God's glorious Salvation.
I wasn't going to let her die, if I could help it! Then she stopped breathing again, and I began to yell at her, "You have to let me tell you all the Gospel of God's saving grace!" I shook her, and pulled her hair out of her eyes, and I said, "You are the same age as my daughter. I need you to stay awake and talk with me."
I shook her again and again, and then suddenly she started groaning and moaning, still unconscious.
Close to 25 minutes had passed, during which she died several times but would come back as I shook & talked with her. With tears in my eyes, because all I could see was one of my children or grand-children, I kept telling her Christ loved her so much, that He wanted to save her from her sin and take her to heaven one day. I said, "But today isn't the day!" By then a firefighter who'd arrived told me to stay with her and keep her alive.
Because of the position I was in, outside/inside the car, I was losing my strength, especially in my legs. They were shaking profusely.
My wife saw what was happening to me, came up behind me and, with all her body's strength, supported me for around 10 minutes. By then, a Marine had stopped and he took our place.
Perfect timing. The Marines always come, just when you need them!
Ultimately, the emergency people came and took over. We were told to leave by a State Trooper (just doing his job). As we left, we were pretty confident that this girl was going to make it. The "jaws of life" were used for over thirty minutes to remove her from the mangled car.
God is good folks! A lady that was there around the same time as we were, told my wife, "Isn't God awesome? The first person on the scene happened to be a preacher! This girl and these people got to hear the Gospel!"
I can say a big AMEN to that!
Remember, people are dying all around us. Have we done our part to share the Gospel to them? Oh God, break our hearts over the lost & dying all around us!
Three times the young woman in the car stopped breathing, according to Rob, and each time his call to her was to remain with him that he could share the gospel of Jesus Christ with her. Praise the Lord!
Rob wrote to me the following day to update me on her condition:
Just an update on the accident. I called the NC highway patrol this morning and they told me she was medevaced to Norfolk Sentara in Norfolk, VA. The injuries to her body were mostly in the lower extremities area. After we left I was told that she was ornery & combative, in and out of consciousness. Probably because she had to listen to some loud-mouth preacher yelling to her "that she needed to repent & trust Jesus"!Thank God for loud-mouthed preachers and everyone who puts forth an effort to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, especially to a stranger in a worst-case scenario.