Some of you may know, others may not. Last night, our director of operations for Nazareth House in Sierra Leone, James Mansaray was involved in a serious automobile accident. He was in Kabala working on Nazareth House business.
The details of the accident are sketchy because James is in such pain and unable to detail it all to me, however, Pa Foday and Mako said that it is unbelievable that anyone walked out of this accident alive. The vehicle is totaled, crumpled beyond recognition. James was holding a baby during the accident and kept it safe. James apparently, dazed and confused, walked himself to the hospital. I talked with him several times last night, as well as his brother Mako. But connections and the usual International difficulties prevented me from learning the details. He answered my questions accurately and yet seemed disoriented but able to discern. I was satisfied that he did not have a concussion. He does however have severe back and neck pain. I am hoping it is whiplash, painful as that is, it is something he can deal with. He walked to the hospital so that is a good sign.
I spoke with Chief Paygay this morning and he assured me that he would make sure that James is okay.
In my conversation a few minutes ago with James, he told me that his bag of personal belongings and stuff were recovered but a lot of things were missing. His phone is gone, his computer was crushed in the accident (this is his lifeline - keeps him connected to me and his work). His internet connection phone server USB stick is gone, some money is gone - however - it was only travel money as the teachers had been paid already. HOWEVER, he said as he crawled out of the wreckage, babe in his arms safe, he noticed his camera - he immediately kissed it, he was so happy to see it had survived. He was concerned for the losses to which I replied to him, "its only stuff, it means nothing, you are safe - this is what matters". I told him we will find a way to replace those things, his life we could not replace. We are so thankful that he and the others in the car survived. It is a miracle that they did.
Kadijah has been notified and extremely concerned and anxiously waiting for her injured husband to return to St. Laurence House. Our prayers are with James and his family during this difficult time.
Fr. Seraphim and I are scheduled to return to Sierra Leone next month, this is none too soon as far as I am concerned. If I could have found a flight last night, I would have left to be with him.
I will discuss more tomorrow on this blog, for now THANK YOU very much for all of your continued prayers. God bless you all.
James was a passenger in the car, not the driver.