By Dorie Panganiban … A song I love to sing goes like this: “How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me? Things so undeserved, yet You gave to prove Your love for me; The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude. All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee. To God be the glory!”
In the sentiment of this song, I want to share my testimony of God’s miraculous working in my life and why, on Dec. 13, 2020, I will be celebrating my seventh birthday. Yes, my second chance at life. How can I forget that Friday? It was about 9 o’clock in the morning and I was walking from the parking lot of the La Vida Mission office to the pathway that leads to our church building to wrap and pack Christmas gifts for the community with my volunteers. That’s when I was run over by a big dually diesel truck. It backed up over me and then drove forward, running me over twice.
When the truck backed up on me, the tires stopped on my left shoulder, as if an angel was telling it to stop there so it would not crush my head and my face. When it drove forward, it left me lying on 3-4 inches of snow that had fallen the night before, which served as my cushion and prevented me from being completely crushed.
The first several minutes, it didn’t hurt, and I didn’t feel anything. But after an hour of lying on the snow-packed ground, the pain hit and I lost my sight for three days. Airlifted to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, New Mexico, I was subjected to various tests and X-rays, which showed that I had 15 broken bones, from my clavicle to my ribs to my pelvis, leg, and ankle bones. My kidney was also cut, and my left lung collapsed. In addition, I suffered PTSD for at least two months.
One alarming part of it was that I didn’t have health insurance. The workman’s comp insurance at the mission had expired and the vehicle insurance for the truck that ran me over, was minimal–certainly not enough for my almost $150k hospital bills, helicopter ride, and rehab expenses.
How was I able to pull through this whole situation, I was asked. God pulled me through these difficulties. I was weak and helpless and knew not what to do, except to cry and pray.
I was aware that many, many people from all over the world were praying for me. I received hospital visits, texts, calls, messages from family and friends, childhood classmates, and my Navajo community family—all assuring me they were praying for me. That was a great encouragement, so I trusted my God and depended on Him for healing and for financial and hospitalization needs.
And God did care for me. After being confined to the hospital for two weeks and being at the Rehabilitation Center for ten days, spending both Christmas and New Year’s away from home, I was on the road to recovery. Miracle of miracles, after four or five months, my hospital bills were all paid off and I was debt free!
It took almost a year for me to walk with no help, but my journey from hospital bed to wheelchair, to a walker, followed by crutches, a cane and finally my own feet again was truly a miracle of God’s love. For that, I give thanks and tribute to Him.
In all these things, I have come to know my God more and to trust Him more! Our God is not some fantasy or fairy-tale hero. Our God is real, and we can always depend on Him. Our God is omnipotent and all-powerful. There’s nothing that He cannot do.
It is not what we know but Who we know that makes the difference He gives peace and joy, color and meaning to our lives. Do you know Him?
– Dorie Panganiban is office manager and outreach director, La Vida Mission, Farmington, New Mexico