This week, we were to send our Ministry Year (those in training to be BCM Peru missionaries) and two of our Apoyo (evangelism) missionaries to the jungle city of Tarapoto for a 10-day missions trip. They left a day early – last night, around 6. Around 9pm, the bus they were in (from a bus company – not one of ours) rammed into the back of a non-moving truck (we’ve heard “truck” and “trailer” which could possibly mean more like a tractor trailer, but we’re not sure yet). The bus driver was killed and many passengers were seriously injured. Our group of 8 were taken to a hospital for the night where 4 got stitches and everybody was checked out. This morning, around 9 or so, the bus company put everyone from this bus on another bus to return to Lima, dropping off the seriously injured at a hospital in Lima. Two of our missionaries will be picking up our group once they arrive in Lima. For now, the trip has been at least postponed; leadership is waiting until everyone gets home before deciding if it’s officially canceled or if they’ll try again when everyone is healed up.
Bus accidents are, unfortunately, horribly common here. We are praising the Lord this morning that —
- None of our people were seriously injured!
- No children went on this trip! (2 babies could’ve gone – both would’ve been without carseats, just sitting on mama’s laps)
Please be in prayer for the group, though. We had 2 new dads, a newlywed couple, and a newlywed bride (her husband stayed home) as part of the group. We didn’t hear about it until this morning, but everyone was very shaken up all night – which is understandable. The injuries, from what we’ve been told, are just facial – stitches, bruising, etc. Nothing serious.
God has greatly protected our team! This is yet another reason why when we ask for prayer for a traveling group – we’re SERIOUS! Travel here is not as easy as it is in the States. Normally, a bus accident means multiple fatalities, though, so we’re praising God this one was not that way.
Please pray for us to be able to get our own buses! We have purchased one, but we need at least one more – if not two. Although having our own buses would not eliminate the need of using a bus company nor the possibility of accidents, there’s just something reassuring of having your own drivers (who are well-rested, not in a hurry, and paying attention) on long trips like this.
Pray for this group as they return today. They’re banged up, tired, and shook up. Pray they can rest and heal quickly.
Pray also for the trip that was supposed to take place – this involved coordination with churches and the team we have in Tarapoto. Hundreds of people were to hear the Gospel this week and now, we’re not sure if it’s going to happen. I think this is what kind of sticks in our hearts the most, especially since everyone is okay. Pray that the team here and in Tarapoto make wise decisions about cancelations and post-ponements in the days ahead.