Death is a part of every day life here in Zambia, most often from AIDS or malaria but today I want to write about something tragic that happened this past Friday that has changed the life of one man forever. Delix Saluyele along with his wife Vivian, daughter Joanna(12), his niece Opha, and a friend were traveling to a far away spot in Zambia called Lundazi to pay their respects at a funeral and bring back a boy to live with them so he could get a good education. About 4-5 hours into the trip a young child ran across the road and Delix swerved to keep from hitting the child. He then hit a pothole and the vehicle overturned several times. Delix and his neice were not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from the vehicle. The other 3 all had on seatbelts and died-his wife, his friend, and his daughter. His daughter was still living for about 30 min. and Delix was able to be with her. He kiept trying to get someone to stop but no one would. Imagine…..
Delix and his neice were transported back to Lusaka to a military hospital. Delix is a military chaplain here in Zambia now but has been a pastor in our area and an evangelist. He has two broken arms, lots of cuts, bruises and some internal damage as well. Opha has some head injuries, cuts and bruises as well. They will both physically recover but mentally and emotionally it will take a long time. Please pray for them as they replay that day in their mind that they will take every thought captive. Pray that Delix will not blame himself for this accident. Pray for physical healing for their bodies. Pray for comfort and peace for the other family members as they deal with this sudden loss of loved ones in their lives. All 3 who died were very strong and committed Christians so we can rest assured that they are all in the very presence of Jesus even now. Praise God!
On Monday we went to the biggest funeral that we have ever been to. There were well over 1000 people in attendance. It was held in the Baptist Seminary chapel and it was packed with people on all the pews and even some were sitting on the floor. There were also several hundred people just standing up outside the chapel because there was no more room inside. Vivian was a high school teacher. It was a real tear jerker to see about 4 bus loads of girls pull up to the chapel. These girls sang the most beautiful songs before the funeral started. Even though it was a sad occasion the music that filled that chapel was very uplifting and a beautiful frangrance to the Lord. What a testimony to have all those girls come. Her daughter, Joanna, was in 7th grade at the same school. One of her classmates even got up to speak during the service. . Delix arrived after the service had all ready started from ICU in a wheelchair with splints on both his arms and looking pretty battered. The whole place began wailing--what a tear jerker!! Delix said there was no way he was going to miss this if possible. His tears kept falling along with the thousands around him. It was so sad because someone had to stand right beside him and wipe his tears for him. So as you think of this story and these people please keep them in your prayers.