Appointment with God
By Sr. Emma de Guzman ICM
Sr. Erma de Guzman of Cameroon is a long time correspondent of MISYON. She had an accident recently in a jeep which feel over a cliff. Her companion Sr. Louisette was killed but Emma was spared. She shares the frightening story with us.
We left Mvolye at five on a pleasant morning. By midday we were at the Bishop’s House in Kumbo. It was a pleasant trip, being Sunday and having left early. We had lunch with the Bishops and took off for Nkambe after lunch. The roads were better as the graders were working and we were along the cliff driving slowly because of the many dangerous turns.
At about 3:30 P.M when we reached a very sharp bend, the steering wheel failed to respond to Louisette’s attempt to turn it. Then everything went so fast. Our car shot over the cliff face. It felt like we were inside a metal box being rolled down hill. My flashed thoughts were that now I’ll see God face to face; Ma Josee, our third companion said afterwards that her thought was: “I don’t want to die. I must get out to of the jeep.” Then suddenly the falling jeep was caught by a tree and suspended. I tried to look for a way out, and I started screaming for help. Then I heard Ma. Josee calling out “Where is Louisette?” when we finally extricated ourselves form the jeep we found her lying against a tree about two meters away. I thought I could still give her artificial respiration or something but when I saw her open eyes with blood flowing from her nose and mouth I knew she had died instantly. I closed her eyes, made a sign of cross on her forehead and prayed: “Go in Peace, Louisette. Go and meet Jesus. He is waiting for you.” It’s the same prayer I prayed for my mother at her death bed.
Then the people started to arrive. I asked them to wrap Louisette in the blankets and the men carried her and us up to the road through the thicket. On Wednesday the body of Sr. Louisette was brought to the Church for the night vigil. The whole night prayers were offered and the Eucharistic celebrated by priest who knew Louisette. We were able to accept the sudden and unexpected departure of our sister in a spirit of solidarity, strengthened by our faith. The mass of the Resurrection was beautiful with 70 priest, 3 bishops and hundreds of other missionaries, students, friends.
A Little Miracle
For Ma. Josee and me, we can only speak of a miracle: falling over the cliff (fifty to sixty meters high) with no real fractures; just scratches, bruises here and there. Ma. Josee has slight fracture of her heel bone which is bandaged but does not need a plaster cast. She thinks she got it jumping out of the car. I have back pains but no fractures. (Unbelievable!) Salamat sa Dios.
We miss Louisette but trust that she now lives in God’s presence, and will intercede for us and for the missionary work that awaits us here in Cameroon.