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 without blinking.
“We prayed, ‘Oh, God, help us, help us, have mercy!'” she said.
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 Cearley said.
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.”