“I don’t know whether it’s a bump in the road, or it’s kind of a mountain in the road, but we made it.”
Bump In The Road:
Marcia Vogl, An Adventure in Zambia
What could possibly go wrong on a trip to visit your son, a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia?
In 1988 parts of Zambia were remote, but a network of trucks and private planes provided access to where you needed to go. Marcia hired a small private plane to transport them across the vast uninhabited land. But over the jungle, the engine quit. The quick thinking pilot was able to land in a dry river bed. But had the engine quit even five minutes later, that option would not have been available.
Radio transmissions are line of sight, meaning that a call from a downed plane has a limited reach. The pilot sent out a distress call, hoping that someone, somewhere would hear it. In the meantime, Marcia’s group huddle around a fire, sending smoke signals to signal their whereabouts.
Luckily no one was badly hurt in the emergency landing, although Maria’s foot was injured, rendering her unable to walk. She mused about a helicopter rescue.
“If we are Americans, we think a helicopter is going to come quickly, you know, somebody called 911.
And a helicopter is going to be there and swoop, pick us up. “
Later Marcia learned that there was only one helicopter in the whole country. “Well, this is Africa,” she noted.
What follows is a tale worthy of Indiana Jones, as Marcia and her family face one calamity after another. One coincidence after another seemed to come together in a manner that defied reality. How did this happen? Marcia simply says:
“I put it in the hands of God.”
Marcia is the author of Dancing With God, a ordained minister, with a Master and a Doctorate of Practical Ministry degrees from Wagner University, and the founder and director of Bethany Projects, in partnership with Hidden with Christ Ministries.
On An Adventure in Zambia
“And the pilot looks at us and he says, brace yourselves.”
“Everything stopped, I flew and hit the windshield.”
“My son said, ‘You know, Mom, how are we going to get you of here?'”
“I never panicked.”
“God was holding my hand and he just said, everything’s gonna be alright.”
“In retrospect, things worked out better than I could have imaged.”