Heaven's Family Magazine
January 2016 Issue

Saved by a Crash

Finding life after losing a leg

Carmen Parise, Disabilities Ministry

Jackson with his wife and two of their children

Jackson was born into what many in Kenya would consider the “lap of luxury.” His father was a wealthy owner of land and a fleet of cars, and when Jackson was old enough he became one of his drivers, earning $20 a day—a very nice sum by local standards. He then married and fathered several children.

But Jackson wanted to live the carefree, fast-lane lifestyle of a single man, and cruising the streets for long hours each day afforded him many opportunities to be unfaithful to his wife. What Jackson didn’t know, however, that his life was headed for a crash.

The collapse of Jackson’s world began with the death of his father. Seeing an opportunity for greedy gain, Jackson’s uncles conspired to destroy their deceased brother’s family so they could claim his wealth for themselves.

Two of Jackson’s brothers were killed. Another was conveniently deemed mentally unstable (thereby nullifying his claim to the inheritance). They came for Jackson next, threatening him with a similar fate. When Jackson didn’t cooperate, a serious automobile “accident” was arranged, resulting in the death of his passenger and a severe injury to Jackson’s left leg. Next, during what promised to be a long hospital recovery, his unrelenting uncles (in mafia-movie fashion) paid doctors to finish him off.

God had his hand of mercy on Jackson, however, using compassionate nurses to alert him to his uncles’ diabolical plan. They then secretly orchestrated his getaway through a back door, saving his life.

Knowing he had to go on the run—and having to tend to an ever-worsening leg injury—Jackson journeyed to a distant village where he’d heard his estranged wife had fled with their children. He hoped she might have mercy on him, especially in his current condition, but she refused his plea for help, citing his infidelity-filled past. It was her turn to abandon him—and having never paid the customary dowry for her before their wedding years earlier, his father-in-law had already given his daughter permission to seek a new husband. It seemed the only ones who cared if Jackson lived or died were his uncles, and they decidedly wanted the latter—a fate Jackson realized was inevitable as he watched his leg slowly decompose each day. His crash was complete.

The Lord again intervened, this time connecting Jackson with a group of Christians from a local clinic. When they learned about his lame leg, they arranged for it to be amputated in order to save his life. After a successful surgery, Jackson felt drawn to attend meetings held by his new friends. Now humbled and receptive, the message of the gospel penetrated his heart, and Jackson gave his life to Christ!

The amputation of Jackson’s leg didn’t
dampen his newfound joy in the Lord

Jackson’s life then began anew. His Christian friends contacted Heaven’s Family and arranged for Jackson to receive an artificial leg, a blessing provided by gifts to the Disabilities Ministry. While waiting for the leg to be made and fitted, Jackson had to shuffle with difficulty on one leg using a walking stick, causing the strap on the sandal on his right foot to eventually break. Having time to think, he fabricated a large needle from the spoke of an old bicycle wheel and used it to fix his sandal.

Witnessing the craftsmanship he used for the repair, Jackson’s neighbors began paying him to mend their broken shoes. He now earns $2 a day running his own business, and he’s thankful to God for being able to start a new career with just one leg.

But God wasn’t finished yet. Jackson was then reunited with his wife and children after she’d heard about the change in his heart, and soon she gave her heart to the Lord as well. (Jackson even decided to do things right by his father-in-law, paying him a $250 dowry for her.) Jackson now realizes that it’s not living in the fast lane that’s really important in life, but living in right relationship with God, his wife and his children. He’s found the secret to living in “God’s lap of luxury”—both in this life and for eternity.

A Word From Carmen:

Carmen Parise

Carmen Parise

As the new director of the Disabilities Ministry, my passion is to continue serving the “least of these” who are disabled. This usually means helping our disabled brothers and sisters in Christ. But sometimes we reach out to help those who do not yet know Jesus, confident that many will come to Him when they experience His love through His people. I’m thankful that the Disabilities Ministry not only helps disabled people like Jackson, but also you, as we together serve God by meeting the needs of those He has placed on your heart.

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