[ Miracles ]

A Giant Leap of Faith

Our group of five had just finished a week-long training course given by our corporate facility in Toronto, Canada. We were staying one more day in Canada to visit Niagara Falls.

The next day, Saturday, all of us left Toronto. It was a beautiful mid-January day, cold but comfortable. We stopped first at a small picturesque town called Niagara on the Lake. I was the only one who had visited Canada several times and Niagara Falls twice; you might say I was prolonging the arrival to Niagara Falls for my friends so as to build up their excitement more and more.

We finally arrived to Niagara Falls and, after dinner, walked towards the Falls. I could tell my colleagues were very excited and happy, even a little anxious to see a spectacular sight. I couldn't keep up with them as we walked through Queen Victoria Park heading toward the Falls. All of them were at least fifteen years younger than me - and minus two bad knees.

Once we were standing in front of the American Falls on the Canadian side, my companions were in amazement. One of them hugged me and thanked me for bringing them to see such a wonder. We slowly proceeded walking south towards the Horseshoe Falls.

Two of my companions were more eager to be close to the Falls so they were ahead of the rest of us by several paces. A colleague, Ricardo, and I were just behind the duo ahead and another coworker, Mario, was farther behind as all of us savored God's wonder. As I walked, I saw a lovely couple; the woman reminded me of my beautiful wife. "If only she were here with me, sharing this beautiful moment," I thought.

The man came over with his camera and asked me if I could take their picture, which I did with the Falls as a background. I returned the camera to the couple and continued behind Ricardo, who had kept walking.

All of a sudden, there was a loud metallic racket as something heavy crashed on the sidewalk in front of us. I looked up to see a minivan jump the curb and accelerate straight toward us on the sidewalk. I stopped and froze in my tracks. For some reason I could not see my friends in front of me. All I could see was a red van coming towards me with its engine revving up.

There was no other choice but to try to save myself by jumping on, or over, a waist-high wall that separated the sidewalk and the Falls waterway some 200 feet below. To this day I can't remember how or what I did to get on top of that wall so quickly or nimbly with my bad knees. But somehow I was transported immediately onto the wall.

I do remember even contemplating jumping over this wall, thinking that if I simply got on top of the wall, the van would hit the wall and possibly go over it, taking me with it. But at the last second, I decided to remain on top of the wall.

Thankfully, the van passed me by. It jumped back into the street, hit another car, and came to a complete stop inches from a crosswalk full of people.

I then started searching for my friends. It turns out two of my companions were badly injured -- mostly broken bones. To make a long story short, the three of us that were uninjured spent the following weeks helping our friends in the hospital.

I don't believe in luck or coincidences. I believe God's protected the three of us in this unfortunate accident so we could be with our friends in the hospital. Whether they were my Angels or not, God sent that lovely couple to come over at the precise moment before the accident to have their picture taken. This delayed my walk, giving me a few more seconds to evade the speeding danger coming towards me.

More important, God saved all of us. My two friends who were badly injured did not have life-threatening internal injuries, even though one of them was hauled by the van over a distance of 51 meters.

Whether injured or not, God helped us all in so many ways. Sometimes it's immediately evident when this happens. Other times, it may take a while for us to see His will. But He loves us so much, we can rest assured that He is always there to protect us.

Mario S.

Oklahoma City, OK