In the Eye of an Unexpected Storm
Paralysis and death were possibilities when Lead Pastor Dominic Yeo met with an accident overseas. Amidst excruciating pain, God had a plan for divine appointments and provisions. Read on as Pastor Dominic recounts his ordeal.
Every year in October, I will not be in Singapore.
Since I entered full-time ministry in 1985, my birthday month has been dedicated to the Lord and missions. Together with God’s empowerment and favor, the ministry has always been faith-full and victorious.
This year, being my 60th birthday, was no exception. First stop – California, USA. The Mission was to raise funds for Project Rescue. In one evening, we raised more than US$3 million to free women and children caught in human trafficking. I left California with great joy and a sense of victory. I told the Lord, “What a great birthday present from You! Thank you.”
Stepping into the Storm
Next stop – New York, USA. The Mission was to preach and teach at a Korean church. Upon arrival, I was handed my schedule for my time in New York. The pastors decided to host a golf game before the ministry began and I was looking forward to the time of fellowship and some exercise.
We teed-off at 8am on Saturday in the rain, along with other parties of golfing enthusiasts. Suffice to say, we were all passionate about playing golf despite the weather. As the ground was wet and slippery, golf marshals warned us to drive only on the cart path and not on the fairways as it would be dangerous.
Because of the position of the parked golf cart, I had to maneuver it back to the cart path. As I carefully and slowly drove the cart down the mound, the golf cart spun out of control as the ground underneath gave way. Together with the golf cart, my passenger, Pastor Kim, and I tumbled three meters down from where the golf cart was originally parked.
The impact knocked the wind out of me. I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds and excruciating pain shot through my body. I have a high tolerance for pain but this was a full 10 on the pain scale. I was seriously in PAIN!
Laying on the ground, every victorious and faith-full emotion I had faded away. Thoughts filled my mind. “I’ve devoted October to the Lord’s work, why is this happening? Did I hear correctly about ministering in New York? Will I still be able to minister tomorrow?”
I wriggled my toes. I checked for bleeding from my ears. Seeing that there was no bleeding and I could still move my toes, I was thankful that I did not suffer any skull or spinal fractures.
Intimidation or Inspiration
As I waited for the Emergency responders to arrive, I had two options: Either be overwhelmed by fear or choose to believe that God could transform this bad situation into one for my good and for the good of those around me. I resolved to be resolute in my faith.
My Korean-pastor hosts were traumatized by what had happened after seeing my predicament – lying there in intense pain. It dawned on me that they too were in great pain, not physical, but worried and burdened with explaining to Trinity what had happened to me.
Amid my pain, I told him to take my phone and shoot videos and photos of me getting onto the stretcher and into the ambulance. After all, it’s not everyday that you get to experience the professional healthcare of another country. I mustered strength to smile and even made the Korean finger heart (a Korean gesture for love) as he took the videos and photos to ease the trauma and lift the atmosphere. It was not any of their fault and I didn't want them to feel bad or responsible for the accident.
My Pain, His Gain
As the emergency responders attended to me, they were impacted by how I was not downcast and was confident that God was with me and would heal me. That opened an opportunity to share my faith and the church I pastor in back in Singapore. As I interacted with them, I sensed the shift in how they engaged with me – from calling me by name to addressing me as “Pastor”.
Amazingly, at the end of the ride in the ambulance to the hospital, my sharing inspired two of them to return to church! I praise God for this encounter where I was able to bring them back to Him.
A battery of tests was done because of the severity of the fall and the intense pain I was experiencing. By God’s grace, there were no fractures except for very bruised back muscles.
God definitely protected my life. The golf cart could have landed on me, I could have died or suffer from broken bones or a head injury. But God gives us grace to go through the storms of life unscathed.
Discharged from hospital, I was in great pain. Walking was mere feet shuffling. Preaching over the weekend was hanging in the balance. But God already prepared the availability of strong post-surgical painkillers through a Trinitarian who had flown into New York for her study-trip, unaware of my accident. She reached out with the intention of catching up over a meal but given my condition, handed me the painkillers instead. The painkillers together with the pain medication from the hospital enabled me to preach the following day on Sunday.
To further facilitate my mobility, God provided a wheelchair, which had been left in the car boot of one of my hosts following the death of his father. God’s provision never ceases to amaze.
Living Out the Campaign to Glorify God
I was in a storm. But just like how Jesus was in the boat with the disciples as they faced the storm that threatened their lives, Jesus was with me throughout the ordeal. Even though it’s easier to succumb to pain and sorrow, when we choose to stay committed to living out our campaign to bring glory to God, we will see the hand of God still the storms and witness the manifestation of His glory.
No matter the storm, you will always have a choice in how we respond. We can either inspire others or allow the storms to intimidate us and others. As you go through your storms, know that others are either affected by your storm or going through their own storms – BUT you can use your storm to be a steppingstone to inspire others.
Jesus is your great confidence and protective rear-guard. You will be blessed as you remain steadfast in this storm, and when you have “passed” it, you will receive the crown of life! (James 1:12)
Reflect & Respond
Are you being swayed by the storms of life? How can you remain resolute in faith and confident that God will see you through?
In the midst of your storm, how can you be an inspiration to others around you and bring glory to God?
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