By Brittany Jarvis
CHIMOIO, Mozambique (BP)--Southern Baptist missionaries are praising
God for the amazing healing of a child who was hit by their car and
presumed dead. The child's remarkable recovery has opened doors to share
the gospel with those who saw the accident.
On Dec. 16, International Mission Board missionaries Tim and Charlotte
Cearley had returned home to Chimoio, Mozambique, from a prayer retreat in
Zimbabwe when a 3-year-old child ran in front of their car. They swerved
to avoid the boy but were unable to stop.
"It's always been our worst nightmare to hit someone,"
Charlotte Cearley said. "Tim said to someone his daily prayer is,
'God fill me with your Spirit, and don't let me hit anyone today.'"
The Cearleys leaped from their car to examine the boy. The child's
father was holding the toddler, who was unresponsive and staring blankly
"We prayed, 'Oh, God, help us, help us, have mercy!'" she
As they prayed, the child began to moan and show signs of life.
Tim Cearley drove the father and child to the hospital, while his wife
and her three children stayed behind at the scene.
"Although there were 40 people around at the time of the accident,
no one said anything to us," Charlotte said.
In Africa, bystanders sometimes attack occupants of a car that has
struck and killed a pedestrian. Mrs. Cearley was grateful the crowd did
not become hostile.
In the emergency room at the hospital, the child's heart seemed to stop
twice, Tim Cearley reported. The initial doctor's examination identified
skull fractures and multiple cuts. The child lingered in
semi-consciousness for two days after the accident.
Finally, on the third day, missionaries arrived to find the little boy
awake and talking.
"We are standing in awe of what God is doing," Charlotte
When Tim Cearley returned on Tuesday to the accident scene, he began to
question bystanders to find if anyone had been there the night of the
accident. After he told the crowd the child was recovering well, a woman
hesitantly stepped forward. She told Cearley she saw the accident and that
she was sure the baby was dead when his father picked him up.
"This is of God," the woman said. "Well, are you going
to teach about this God who did this? You can't leave here without telling
us about God."
Cearley shared the 23rd Psalm and Romans 8:28 with the bystanders.
Several people in the group indicated they wanted to accept Christ as
their Savior on the spot.
"We don't know what all God is doing through this, and there still
may be dark days ahead," Cearley said, "but somehow God is
working out His plans, drawing people to Himself."