Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Better now..

Well I am sure that most of you have heard the story.... But here it is
straight from the horse's mouth. I was heading out on my bike, following the
traffic rules that are followed by the rest of China (none). I was I was
crossing a road, a fairly busy road, all of the traffic had stopped, though I
still did not have a green light. I passed several stopped cars and then I
looked to my left to see something that I will never forget, even though the
doctors have told me that memory loss can be expected. I saw my life flash
before my very eyes. And for those of you who may have wondered what that
looks like, it is a white truck about 3 feet from you and getting closer much
faster than you are getting away.

The next thing that I can remember was that I opened my eyes and I was
surrounded by Chinese people. I tried to tell them that I was ok in slightly
muddled English which I doubt any of them understood. And then I tried to get
up and compose myself, but I could not. I just sat there praying as I blacked
out again. When I came to again there was one of my students, Gilbert,
hovering over me. He began to help me to the hospital with the help of some
one else that I cannot remember but later I found out it was a police officer.
I came to again on a hospital bed, surrounded by people. One of the people
was an American doctor who must have been under the impression that I lost my
hearing too. As he yelled his questions to me I would answer. He asked where
I hurt. Well now to be honest that is a silly question to ask someone who has
been diagnosed with having a low pain threshold and has just been hit by a
truck. Well after x-raying every part of my body that I felt pain from, and
finding nothing, they did a cat scan of my head, because I also felt a little
pain around my left ear. They discovered that I had a fractured scull and a
little brain hemorrhage. They put me in ICU where I spent an awful night.
Not so much because of how miserable that I felt but because I was connected
to about a dozen cords and tubes. My parents arrived that night to be with
me, and to make sure that I was ok. The next day though I was much better and
I was moved out of ICU. And then I spent one more night in the hospital. But
by Sunday I could not take it any more. I was able to go home.

I may not have been ready to get out yet but it was nice to be at home again.
I was feeling pretty good though I still had no energy. I spent the next week
at home in bed most of the time. But by the end of the week I was feeling
fine again. I started teaching up the week after. And I seem to be ok. I
have gotten my bike back and believe it or not it is fine.

The police did a full report on the accident. And it was decided that it was
half the driver’s fault and half mine. It was half my fault because I was
running a red light, I was on the wrong side of the road, and because I was
riding my bike on the crosswalk. It was half his fault because he was taking
the corner faster than he should have been.

But with all of this trauma and excitement I am doing fine. The only thing
that remains wrong with me is that I have what is called Anosmia, which is a
loss of the sense of smell. I cannot smell anything at all.
I was blessed in so many ways by this accident. I was visited by so many of
my students. Every time Friday when I would come to my bed would be
surrounded by my students who were worried about me. I also praise God for
such a speedy recovery and so little injury. Smell is such a little thing
when compared to life. I am also thankful for all of your prayers, which
helped me to recover so fast. There are just so many things that I can thank
God for.

Things have really picked up since the accident though. My sister Bess and I
have begun our Bible study and we are having a good turn out every week.
These people are anxious to learn about the Bible. Coming to our Bible study
we have several Communist party members, a couple doctors, a teacher and his
child, and the head of security here at the hospital; it would actually be his
job to report our Bible study if he was not so interested himself.
His name is Fred, he is a student who has taken quite a liking to us. He was
in charge of dealing with the police when I had my accident. He came by to
check on me the following Sunday at 7:00 PM, which just happened to be when
the Bible study began. So we invited him to sit down and study with us. Not
only did he enjoy the Bible study and come back he has brought other people
with him too.

So things are going great here in China even with the small setback of the
milk truck. And again thank you for all your prayers.

Thank you for your prayers,
Ben Martin

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Ben's Recovery

It is time to write.

On Monday, I went with Larry Blackwell, a vocalist from Tennessee who had
come out for meetings in Hong Kong, to Hangzhou to see how Ben was doing. I
had been there the week before and left not a little concerned. When I left,
Ben was sitting up in the living room of his apartment answering the
questions of police who were there to question him in regards to the
accident. "Why wasn't your sister with you when you were hit?" they asked.
He was so weak and sick, that I wondered if his leaving the hospital had been
a mistake.

Now on Monday Larry and I arrived in the evening. Ben was not at the
apartment, so I went to ask Bess, who was teaching her evening class, where
Ben would be found. She pointed to the next classroom (Their classes are
held on the 4th or 5th floor (hard to tell which because one of the floors on
the way up isn't numbered or included in the total number of floors. There
is 3rd floor, then another floor without a number and then 4th.). Ben was
there teaching.

He seems to be almost completely recovered. He just hasn't recovered his
bike yet, and I don't know that I even want him to. He still has some
headaches, and no sense of smell. I am sure that with time, these problems
will be taken care of.

Thank-you each for your prayers, many letters and kindness.


Doug & Jeri