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Breath of Life

3 March 2010 198 Comments

At the end of February, both J and K squads gathered in Jinja, Uganda for a few days of rest before Tanzania.  While we were there the most incredible miracle I have ever hear about happened.  Here is the story as written by Marissa Vila, a J squad member.

They met for the first time in the Atlanta, Georgia airport back in May 2009. Matt Patch, Austin Anglea and Dan Snyder: instant brothers with much in common. After training camp the three of them had dreams and visions of the Lord using them together. Even though they’d talked about it with each other, none really knew what it could possibly look like.

In November 2009, Matt, Dan and Austin were baptized together in the Jordan River by their brother, Aaron Bruner.  As they prepared for the baptisms, they reminisced about the dreams and visions the Lord had given them and how He was going to use the three of them in His Kingdom to do huge things (read Aaron’s blog about it here).

It’s now Feb. 26, 2010, and the three have gathered in Jinja, Uganda.

Austin was in town purchasing bus tickets for his team as Dan and Matt took a boda boda, or a motorcycle taxi, into town to do some work on the Internet.

Little did they know that God was about to use these three transformed men–one a former teacher/coach, another a former realtor, and the other a former cop–in a mighty way. Just one to three years ago they were living for themselves, living the American Dream, the party life. Today they were living for the Kingdom.

As Matt and Dan rode towards the town of Jinja on the back of the boda bodas, they saw a man surrounded by a group of people, laying on the ground to the left of the road.  As the bodas slowed, the man, who was covered in blood, came to his feet. He’d obviously been hit by a car or thrown off of a boda, but seemed OK. The drivers kept moving.

As the boda bodas came around a slight bend in the road, Matt and Dan noticed a motorcycle laying there. Its pieces were strewn across the road. As the bodas slowed, a young girl of about 7 years old came into view. She was wearing a pink dress and her face and arms were covered in blood, but she at least was standing.

But just past her, a group of about 15 people were surrounding something else on the road. The boda bodas stopped in front of the group and a small boy, also about 7 years old, came into view. His body was laying in the middle of the road.

He was lifeless.

“He’s dead,” they thought.

A man shaked the boy, trying to bring him back to life, but he lay limp.

Dan and Matt pushed through the crowd to get to the boy who had a four inch bleeding bulge on his forehead. His mouth and ear was spilling blood.

Matt prayed as Dan looked around for a ride to get the boy to the hospital.

It was then that Austin arrived on another boda boda that was coming from the other direction. Austin jumped off of the motorcycle and immediately ran to the boy.

“The kid’s dead,” Dan told him.

Dan told Austin that someone in the crowd was willing to take the boy to the hospital. The two of them and another man carried the lifeless boy’s body to the car.

“Do you feel a pulse or see him breathing?” Dan asked Austin.

Austin stopped his prayer mid-sentence, looked up, and simply responded, “No.”

As they lay the boy in the backseat of the car, Austin pulled his sweatshirt off and put it under the boy’s head. As he did this, the boy’s chest started to rise and fall.

He was breathing.

The prayers for the boy continued as Dan, Matt and Austin climbed back on boda bodas. Matt and Dan rode to the hospital to pray over the boy again. The doctor on duty said the hospital didn’t have the necessary medicine to stop the bleeding and swelling in the boy’s head.

Matt and Dan decided they’d have to buy the medicine. They ran across the street and bought some, ran back, and gave it to the doctor.

They prayed again.

Meanwhile, Austin hopped back on his boda boda along with the boy’s friend and the driver on a mission to find the boy’s parents. They drove along back roads, through clothes hanging on lines, and finally arrived in the boy’s village. His parents weren’t home, but they managed to find neighbors who agreed to tell the boy’s parents about the emergency.

A few hours later, Dan and Matt were at the hospital again to pray for the boy once more. They found him, his mother, and his close family friend there. They were told the boy, Trevor, and his sister, Precious, were both hit by a boda boda.

And they both survived.

The family is Christian and the family friend who was there is a pastor. Dan and Matt explained what had happened, that Trevor hadn’t been breathing when they’d first arrived, but that his breathing came back after they started praying for him.

As they prayed for him again, Trevor began to move his fingers and his eyes started to flutter. His mother, Sarah, thanked God and thanked them for praying for her son.

They promised to keep Trevor and Precious in their prayers, and walked away knowing they’d experienced the miraculous ability of the Lord and prayer.

I remember becoming irritated as it was taking a ridiculous amount of time to buy the tickets for the team. But it was no accident for it was the Lord delaying me for what was soon to happen!  After my time spent in town I headed back on the motorcycle taxi.  I looked ahead and saw a crowd of people and as soon as we pulled up close I saw Dan in the middle taking charge of the situation, and by the look on his face I knew something was wrong. I tapped my driver and told him to stop, I needed off!  I remember seeing the boy laying in the middle of the road saturated in blood, Dan looked at me and said, “he’s dead.”  Going up to the boy he was lifeless, as his eyes were open but glazed over, he surely looked dead. There was a man there trying to massage his chest trying to get his heart working. Not knowing what else to do, I put a hand on the boy and began to pray in the Spirit as Dan figured out a car to put the kid in…….we carried Trevor to the car while all three of us continued to pray and then the car pulled off to take the boy to the hospital. As quick as that, it was done…..riding back home on the taxi after we went and told the people in the boy’s village, I began to cry thinking about the whole situation, but then I began to think how God aligned the three of us in order to be there for that boy, and I began to rejoice!  God has a plan for that boy and he wanted him to live, and how grateful the three of us are to be a part of what God wanted done that day.

Once we pulled up I was scared, shocked, and felt useless. I was looking at a lifeless child. A million things started to create a wall in my mind. Then God busted through all of the feelings and said, “hold on, I’m bigger than that… pray.” So, I did. I walked away from today realizing that being in God’s will is just that… being. I can’t do anything. However, in Christ I can do everything. All I have to do is “be”. Did I raise the dead today? No. I witnessed the beautiful gift of life that was being stolen given back. Glory be to God. How wonderful and amazing He is to let us be a part of His plan, His miracles… His son Trevor’s life.

once we pulled up and i saw trevor i thought without a doubt that he was dead…just the way he was laying on the pavement, i could tell.  as i got closer and saw his forehead, the blood coming from his ear and mouth and his half opened, glazed over eyes…i just knew he was dead.  in retrospect though, i have no idea if he was dead.  to be honest, i thought about praying but quickly replaced that thought with, “i’ve gotta get him to the hospital” and started working to find a driver to get him there.  i looked over at matty and saw him praying on the side of the road…and then out of nowhere austy showed up…to think of all the different variables that went into the three of us being there at that exact moment…it’s unbelievable.  anyways, i didn’t think about praying again until i heard austin praying as we carried trevor to the car.  i immediately started praying and a few seconds later, after all three of us were praying, trevor started breathing.  i didn’t realize it as it was happening but god put the three of us in this situation for a purpose…he had aligned it…it blows my mind…three different guys…all doing different things amongst the chaos to help this boy…trusting our god…praying with all that we had…and trevor lived.  i know we didn’t act any differently then most people would’ve but the lord put the three of us there for a purpose…to experience his miracles and the indescribable power of prayer…and trevor lived…that’s the kind of god i am willing to give my life to.

Feb. 28

Because both Matt and Austin are now traveling to Tanzania, Dan goes to the hospital alone. As he walked through the courtyard of the hospital, he spots Joshua, Sarah and Trevor laying on a mat in the grass.

Trevor is doing a lot better and is expected to be released in only a couple of days. He’d been able to walk outside all by himself, but was still in a lot of pain. And although he’s been able to eat and drink, the doctors think there may be something wrong with his jaw since he’s only able to open it a little.

Joshua said that the man he had seen up the street on the day of the accident was the driver of the motorcycle. The crowd had found Trevor dead, so they’d begun beating the driver so he had run away. The man was later arrested and caned by the police for killing Trevor.

When the police started asking where Trevor’s body was, the crowd told them they didn’t know because some Mzungus (white people) had taken him away in a car. They found Trevor at the hospital.


Dan found out that Trevor’s sister, Precious, had been the only one the locals had decided to take to the hospital since Trevor was dead.

She and her brother had been walking hand in hand from school when they were hit by the motorcycle. She’s been released from the hospital and is resting at home.

As Dan is talking to Joshua, Trevor wakes up and sits up on his own strength, but doesn’t respond to Dan– only drools.

Dan prays for Trevor once again and tells Joshua that he’ll be back in the morning, before he leaves for Tanzania.


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