Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Thank God for His Divine Protection!

This is the spot where we rolled our car into the embankment. Yes, in case you had not heard, last week on Saturday, as we were coming up to Bamenda, in the North West of Cameroon for a educational program for Hannah, we had an accident. What happened was this: it had been raining for the past 24 hours as we passed the half-way point on our 6 our trip. Driving along the two-lane road that is National Highway 5 at around 50 miles per hour, we topped a long hill. As we crested the hill, there was a car right on the other side of the hill, braking sharply. As some of you may know, our 17 year old vehicle has been having some problems lately. One of those problems has been the brakes, a result of a minor collision a few months ago when someone decided to do a u-turn from the right hand lane of a 4 lane road. Anyways, we had planned to have the car thoroughly worked on in Bamenda, as the mechanics and parts there are better and cheaper, before selling the car. This was to be our last long trip. Well, when we saw the car in front, I also pressed on the brakes- only to have them lock up. The car started fishtailing rapidly, spun 180 degrees, and then rolled over into the other side of the road, and slammed into the embankment. I remember thinking as we rolled over- "This is it, this is the end." Fear for my life and especially for my family washed over me as we went into the roll. The next moment, the car was stopped. I looked around- everyone was alive- no one seriously hurt, though Hannah was crying. I shouted to Brittney and the kids to get out of the car, in case it was on fire, then climbed out and pulled out Jonathan. A passer-by pulled out Hannah, and then Brittney, who had been dazed by the impact, climbed out--- we were all okay!
This is where the car took the impact. The windows in the back were shattered, the roof crumpled and many more dents and damage. As is usual in the case of accidents here in Cameroon, some bystanders also stole some of our possessions in the chaos.However, we have nothing but gratitude to God, when you consider a number of things:
1: We all walked away alive- no broken bones or serious injuries even- just a few small bumps and scrapes. Here is a sign, at the location of crash. They put these up along the highway where there has been a fatal accident. We could have been another of those signs. Not a half-mile down the road from where we crashed, the sides of the road fall away sharply down into the jungle. If we had crashed there, we would have kept rolling and rolling. 2: Our kids did not have carseats, but they were both buckled up. Both of them remained in their seats. Jonathan even managed to hold onto his peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and after the crash was dusting off the mud and debris to try and finish it off. The window on the side where Hannah sat, besides impacting with the embankment, did not shatter like the ones in the back- if it had it would have surely sprayed glass on her and she would have been hurt. You can see, it stayed intact. 3: Despite some who tried to take advantage of our bad situation, like the mechanic who came or the person who drove us back to town, most of the people on the scene were helpful and sympathetic. A passing truck stopped and helped us roll the car back upright, and left without asking for anything for his time or efforts. The situation reminded us both of the need for the gospel, and also gave us hope that there is something in people's hearts which can be touched. 4: The place where we hit- the back, besides the windows, is not the most valuable part of the car. The engine is still mostly good. This means that we may either be able to fix it up enough to sell for something or sell the engine and other parts.

Our car is totaled, but we are alright, and immensely grateful to God. Traveling on the roads here is probably the most dangerous thing we routinely do, especially with public transport, bad drivers, and unreliable vehicles, but God must have a purpose yet for us, because we are all still here. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement, and please, keep it up- we need it. Happy to be alive- The Hostetters

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Our Greatest Volunteers!

Of all of the things we do here in Cameroon, none may have a greater impact in terms of reaching people for Christ than what we do with our kids. They are and will continue to be our greatest volunteers and biggest helpers. This post is dedicated to all the wonderful things they do, and the wonderful ways we see them growing in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and men.

Little Trooper- Hannah sleeping in the Nigerian Airport. Our kids have done so much traveling in their young lives, and are great troopers even in the hardest times. Even in the madness of the Lagos airport, they didn't freak out or start crying. They are great missionary travelers!

Fast Friendships- What a blessing Hannah and Jonathan are in making friends. They are able to open up and reach out to people and care about them. We are sure that in the future, they will bring many of these friends to Christ.

Mommy's Big Little Helper- As our kids get older, they are able to help out with so many things around the house. Hannah is always happy to be able to lend a helping hand, and Jonathan especially likes using his muscles to carry things for Mommy and Daddy.

Bible Club Boy! Jonathan and Hannah are always active in Bible Club, answering questions, and setting a good example for the other kids to follow.

Adventurers! We love our kids' adventurous spirit! Hannah is such a leader and go-getter, Jonathan is a boys' boy who loves to tackle any obstacle, even big old Daddy!
Roughin' It and Lovin' It! Jonathan loved going to the village and getting his bath in big bucket. We've had some pretty tough times with these kids, and their great attitudes are outstanding!
Ready for Assembly! Getting out the door and getting to Assembly on time every time is sometimes a challenge, but these kids are up for it!
Good Listeners- Through all our Bible studies, assemblies, group meetings, our kids have learned to sit and listen (most of the time- they're still working on it). 
Presenting an All-Star for Jesus. Hannah and Jonathan get introduced to so many people- and we really appreciate that they make a good impression and are so outgoing!
Duck Duck Goose! Hannah and Jonathan play with so many kids. It is always a challenge, as we want them to be a positive influence on others, but are also careful that they don't pick up bad habits and attitudes from these kids, many of whom have little or poor parenting.
Like Father, Like Son- Since we've started our gym ministry, Daddy often comes home from the gym and horses around flexing his muscles. Jonathan loves to get in on the act. It is such a blessing and a challenge to see how much our kids emulate us- it motivates us to try and set a positive example so that they can imitate us and more importantly, imitate Christ.

Rain, Rain, Rain! Our kids have done an awesome job dealing with the last few months of almost constant rain, and have even enjoyed some splashing in the puddles!

What a Helper! When we lost water for 17 days, Hannah was a huge help, gathering water from the rain-spouts, patiently filling up bucket after bucket. What a great worker!

Bible Time! My favorite time of the day is when I snuggle under a blanket with Hannah and Jonathan (it get's cold- low 60s down to the high 50s and very damp- during the rainy season) and we read the Bible. Passing on this precious book to my children is my greatest privilege and responsibility.

Fun Times with Mommy! Brittney does such a great job as a mom- from teaching school to Hannah, to coming up with fun projects like finger paint, which Jonathan and Hannah loved! What a blessing to have an awesome helpmate and mother as a wife! 

Look Daddy! Jonathan showing off his artwork!

Please join with us in praising God for these great kids, and keep them in your prayers, that they can continue to grow and will do great things some day for the Kingdom!

P.s. Here's a bedtime song for our kids that we sing every night at bedtime. Thought you might enjoy it.