Friday, October 30, 2009

Still Traveling

Waynesfield, Ohio - Rev. Ernest Plemmons

Auburn, Ohio - Rev. Steve Gresham

New Lexington, Ohio - Rev. Kenneth Teter

Hustontown, Pennsylvania - Rev. Paul Eckert

McDonald, Pennsylvania - Rev. David Hamer

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Brother, Marc Sankey, Injured in Mexico

The following account was written by Director of Bible Methodist Missions, John Parker, who was with Marc, when the horrific accident occurred.

Under His Wings - God's Miraculous Grace in Mexico

Friday, October 23, 2009, began like so many days of my life over the past 7 plus years. I was going home from a Mission Field! Our Bible Methodist Missions Field Director for Mexico, Rev. Marc Sankey, wanted to get up early and drive me about an hour's drive from Salamanca, Mexico to Queretaro, Mexico where I'd catch the bus to Mexico City Airport for my flight home. We pulled out of the gate of the guesthouse we had been staying in, during the Bible Institute week there in Salamanca, at about 6:30am. Marc is a dear friend, brother in the Lord, and awesome missionary! He makes my job a joy! He's so completely devoted to the ministry God has called him to, even though he left behind the senior pastorate of a large church, and a very promising career track in ministry in the states. We, almost immediately, began to share our optimism and joy at how the week had gone, and especially a critical meeting to share plans for the development and implementation of a Church Planting Movement here.
We were on the freeway (the Auto Pista it's called here) speeding along with the traffic and sharing our hearts, loving every minute of it! That's when the world suddenly turned upside down!Suddenly there were big chunks of concrete in the road, softball size and larger, except for those that had been crushed by the wheels of those ahead of us. They were strung across the road, both lanes, in little patches, for a couple hundred yards. Marc was dodging them, and driving on at highway speed, because that's the kind of thing you encounter frequently here in Mexico, and you just drive on. Then, it was as though a bomb went off on the windshield! I saw a blur come across from off the roadway to the right, and BOOM! The windshield exploded on Marc's side, a second rock smashed the passenger side mirror on my side and then smacked my window and the top of the vehicle. In a fraction of a second, Marc's forehead, eye, and nose were smashed and caved in! I dare not describe to you the horrors of that moment! Not sure I can adequately! He was blinded and bleeding profusely! He gave every indication that he was dying! I was sure he was! The vehicle was still traveling down the freeway, and there was nowhere to get off! (no emergency lane) So I grabbed the wheel, told Marc, who never lost consciousness for even a moment, that I had the wheel, and instructed him when to press the gas and brake, praying all the while! God was there... in the midst of the blood, which was all over us and the vehicle, and glass, which covered us and the entire vehicle! God was THERE! I managed to find a place to get off of the road... and got the vehicle into "Park" ! There was a "road construction crew" in front of us... and I ran over to try to get them to help... but they just shook their heads and pointed down the road! So, I got Marc out of the driver's seat and into the passenger seat, and then took the wheel and took off down the freeway, not knowing where I was going, or what to do, and certain that Marc would not live! I've never prayed so desperately in my Life!Marc was in excrutiating pain! He was very conscious, and rubbing his wounds, and I was begging him not to, and pleading with him to live, as I prayed and drove with the wind blowing through the hole in the windshield spraying shards of glass everywhere! I spotted lights (it was still VERY dark) and discovered it was a truck stop, convenience store. I quickly pulled up to the front of the store, in the brightest lights I could find... jumped out and ran inside, covered in blood, and pleading for someone to help us! They GOT the message! An Ambulance was called, and I was assured that help was on the way!
I went to Marc's side, and did my feeble best to stop the bleeding, and comfort him... asked for water, and got a little down him, hoping that with all the blood loss it might help prevent shock! We fought for life like two wounded soldiers in a war! Determined not to loose! And God was THERE!Suddenly, a business man appeared... speaking a little english, he assured me that help was coming, and I pled with him to help us to get to the VERY BEST hospital in the area. He gave me the name of the BEST hospital, and to my surprise it was not in Queretaro, the larger city, but Celaya, the closer city! He assured me it was the place to take Marc. God sent that man! He was RIGHT!
When the ambulance arrived, the attendants in the ambulance just sat and stared at Marc.... I was shouting at them to get moving... PRONTO!!!! They seemed to be in shock at the sight of Marc! But they got out and... I got Marc by the arm (which was probably foolish... but I didn't want to lose a second) and led him (much to their disbelief) to the back of the ambulance... grabbed the door and opened it... and helped him climb inside! Marc wasn't sure this was the right thing to do.... I'm sure he was fearful! I WAS! MAJORLY! Where in the world are they going to take us? Will it be like so many "Clinicas" or pitiful hospitals? I told them to get moving... that I'd be right behind them! And I was! We blasted down the road.... Blowing through intersections, "Gloriettas" (round-abouts) and traffic lights.... And I was on their rear bumper... praying fervantly! And God was THERE! We made it... and when I walked in the Emergency Room, I felt we were at the right place! It was CLEAN, Orderly, Professional looking.... And the staff responded with full attention!
Sometime, shortly after the accident, Marc's wife Melodie was called, or called us. I'm not sure which it was, those moments were such a blur! She was in Salamanca, in the Guesthouse we'd left that morning! I will let Melodie share her story! (I'm sure I'm confused about some of that) I had spoken with Melodie several times on Marc's cell phone... which I couldn't figure out how to use! She was scrambling to wake the Sams, (Heartland Bible Methodist Conference Prez and wife) who were also staying in the Guesthouse with us. Our National President, Rev. Dolores Hernandez and Pastor Refugio Sanchez came and brought Melodie and the 3 Sankey boys to the Hospital!
X-Rays revealed Marc's skull had a "Cave-In" on his forhead over his right eye, and 2 long fractures. One ran across his forhead over his left eye, and the other above and across his temple. His nose and eyebrow were crushed! A Prominenent Neuro-Surgeon was called in! His associate Dr. arrived first, and began examining the X-Rays, and ordering more X-Rays. (specialized, cross sectional) When the Neuro-Surgeon arrived, Melodie and I both felt a great sense that God had brought us to the right place! He said that he wanted to take Marc to surgery IMMEDIATELY and told us what he would do. He had also called in a Plastic Surgeon to rebuild and repair the crushed nose and eyebrow!
A local christian Businessman, Mr. Faustino, who is a part of the H.I.M. church in Salamanca, came and with his knowledge of the area and of business, gave amazing help to Melodie in sorting out the Insurance procedure, and even took the vehicle to a shop to get it cleaned up and repaired! He was such a great help!Marc was in surgery for hours and hours! Meanwhile the insurance investigator / adjuster arrived and there was a complex and detailed process for Melodie to work through. I also had to give a statement of the accident. God helped Melodie in amazing ways throughout all the blur of the activities.
The Surgeons finally came gave us a WONDERFUL report! Marc had come through the surgery wonderfully! They were able to fully repair the damage to his skull with some titanium plates, and all looked very good! The Plastic surgeon was also very positive about the results of his surgery! Marc looked like a war victim when he came to his room, but still very conscious, alert, and positive! GOD IS GOOD!
For hours and hours after those terrifying moments that seemed much longer, I heard the sound of that explosion on the windshield, heard the horrifying sounds of what I was sure was Marc's last breaths, and shook with the terror of my helplessness! I finally went out to the curb of the street by the Emergency Room and looked up to heaven and said.... "God.... If you don't stop this horrifying reel of sounds, and feelings that keeps looping through my head.... I'm going to loose my mind!" "In the Name of JESUS.... PLEASE hush the horrors of my mind!!!" The next conscious thought I had... as I sat there quiet and numb for a few minutes... were the words of my mother's favorite hymn.... "Under HIS Wings, Under HIS wings... my soul shall abide.... SAFELY abide foever"
Later as I sat in the lobby waiting, still splattered with Marc's blood, I asked Pastor Refugio Sanchez to read to me the words of Psalmo 91.... And though I don't understand Spanish.... those familiar words ministered to me! He read them as only Pastor "Cucco" (his nickname) can read them... arms wildly gesturing... voice rising and falling... Beaming with JOY and EXCITEMENT at the truth of them....
Psalm 91:1 El que habita al abrigo del Altísimo, morará bajo la sombra del Omnipotente. (SRV04)1 ¶ He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (NKJV)2 Diré yo a Jehová: Esperanza mía, y castillo mío; mi Dios, en Él confiaré. (SRV04)2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." (NKJV)3 Él te librará del lazo del cazador; de la peste destructora. (SRV04)3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. (NKJV)4 Con sus plumas te cubrirá, y debajo de sus alas estarás seguro; escudo y adarga es su verdad. (SRV04)4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. (NKJV)5 No tendrás temor de espanto nocturno, ni de saeta que vuele de día; (SRV04)5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, (NKJV)9 ¶ Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, (NKJV)10 no te sobrevendrá mal, ni plaga tocará tu morada. (SRV04)10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; (NKJV)11 Pues a sus ángeles mandará acerca de ti, que te guarden en todos tus caminos; (SRV04)11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. (NKJV)12 en las manos te sostendrán, para que no tropieces con tu pie en piedra. (SRV04)12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. (NKJV) (Or Your Head!!!)14 Por cuanto en mí ha puesto su voluntad, yo también lo libraré; lo pondré en alto, por cuanto ha conocido mi nombre. (SRV04)14 "Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. (NKJV)15 Me invocará, y yo le responderé; con él estaré yo en la angustia; lo libraré, y le glorificaré. (SRV04)15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. (NKJV)16 Lo saciaré de larga vida, y le mostraré mi salvación. (SRV04)16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation." (NKJV)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Traveling through the Heartland Bible Methodist Conference

We enjoyed our time with Pastor Mike Mater and his congregation in Greenfield, Indiana.

Talking with our friends: Wanda Foster, and Dan and Ronda England.

Pastor Chris Cravens and family ...

... and their church in Findlay, Ohio

We had a great time in Tocsin, Indiana with Pastor Andrew Street and his good congregation.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Still Traveling

It was a joy to be with our friends at Nixon Chapel in Alabama.

We shared great food and fellowship!

Last Sunday, we were with some great people in Westfield, Indiana.

Long-time friends, Susan and Johnna LeBaron

We had a delicious international meal.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Traveling

We had a great service in Peoria, Illinois.

Here's part of the congregation at lunch.

We always enjoy visiting our long-time friends in Talladega, Alabama

We had a delicious pitch-in dinner.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More Traveling in Alabama

Active Bible Methodist Church

Pastor Brian and Marie Consley

Pastor and Mrs. Harbison

Pell City Pilgrim Nazarene Church

Friday, October 2, 2009

More Traveling in Alabama

We enjoyed our time at Cordova Bible Methodist Church and ...

... with Pastor Nation.

We had a very receptive group at Tarrant and ...

... enjoyed the food and fellowship.