A near death experience

By Helen Guilford

Around 20 years ago, my roommate and I were members of a mission team to Ecuador. We had made several of these 10-day trips. The day after we arrived we went right to work. It was always something in construction including a lot of block laying. That, in itself, was a challenge because this was in the mountains and, while the block were delivered to the work site, it was up to the team to get them from ground level to where we were working. The level changed from year to year as work progressed. Due to availability of workers and funds, this was a multi-year project.

We also held evening services, so by the weekend we were ready for a break. That break came in the form of more service but with some travel involved – many miles from the work site. This served to further acquaint us with the work of our host missionary. On this particular trip, our weekend was spent high in the Andes Mountains. It was cold even in July!

When sleeping arrangements were assigned, my roommate and I along with two other ladies were told we would be in the truck camper we had driven to the site. That was far better than the unfinished room some of the men occupied.

After the evening service which, running true to form, was long and late, we retired to the camper. We were to sleep in the bed which extended over the cab of the truck while the other two would occupy the fold out bench in the main part of the camper.

Sleep came easily as it had been a long, tiring day. Sometime in the night, I awakened but in that foggy mind set that sometimes accompanies those nighttime awakenings. I clearly remember thinking it was hot in there and it seemed like I couldn’t get a good breath. I went back to sleep.

It was not long until my bed partner began stirring. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I’m opening the window. We need some air in here.”

At the time, we didn’t know how desperately we needed air but in the morning we learned those on the main level of the camper were cold and had lighted the stove-top burners to get some heat. The resulting carbon monoxide had filtered to the upper level and we were the recipients.

I’ve often thought back to that night. Those who needed the heat didn’t realize the open flame would endanger our lives. I was at the extreme back part of the bed and that apparently was where the CO pooled. Thus, my fogginess when I did awaken. When my bunk mate wakened, she knew what to do.

I cannot think of that experience without questioning myself – have I accomplished the goals for which God saved me? Or has my life been less than He planned? Jeremiah 29:11 tells me He has plans for me (and you, too). Am I walking in those plans? Are you?

I took the first step when I accepted Jesus as my savior, but how am I doing on a daily basis?

You see, He not only saved my life that night but He gave me eternal salvation when I invited Him into my heart. Take a look at your life. Where are you headed?

By Helen Guilford