Miracle Monday #4 the Latham family’s story

As is the case with many outstanding days, ours started out like any normal day.

My husband and I had been missionaries in Brazil for more than a decade. At this time we were just getting involved with a ministry reaching out to the surfing community at a beach city close to where we lived. On this particular day, there was no surfing, and very few people on the the beach. This was because of a seasonal storm called “the northeaster.” This storm brings such strong winds that it makes water sports nearly impossible, even though the skies are blue and cloudless.
Shane had spent the day in the kiosk of a new friend of ours. And for lack of clients that day, Shane and Walter spent the day talking philosophy and soccer and everything else you can talk about for hours on end. And the win of the day was that Walter gave his life and his future plans to Jesus.
We left the beachside that day praising the Lord for this man’s salvation and getting ready to chill out with our kids Camilla, who was 8 and Gabriel, 6, and also an intern from Texas that was staying with us.
Before we could completely unplug however, we had one more Bible study to give. It was at the house of some friends of ours who were fishermen from the other side of the city. Their house was situated right on the lake, and they had a dock and canoes and the works. On this dock, they had heavy canoes suspended out of the water. It was a potentially dangerous scenario, as the weathered nylon rope holding the canoes up looked like a good way to support anyone needing to move from one side of the dock to the other, to get around yet another canoe that was centered on the dock for repairs.
In one split second, Gabe grabbed that old brittle cord for support, and the next second he was laying on the dock with a gaping hole in the left side of his head. The nylon cord had slipped off of the X-shaped thing that was holding the canoes out of the water. The impact of the 400 pound canoe hit to Gabe’s skull knocked him out. Blood was pouring out of the hole in Gabe’s head, eyes were open but he was unresponsive.
We rushed him to the local beach town ER, and prayed the whole way there. By the time we arrived at the ER, Gabe had lost a lot of blood, wasn’t breathing, and his heart had flatlined. We left our child in the ER in the care of the medical team and just prayed.
Several minutes later, the doctor came out and said that Gabe had been resuscitated through CPR and was in grave, but stable condition. After a two hour ambulance ride to the hospital in the capital city of Porto Alegre, Gabe underwent surgery. We knew that there were people all over the world praying, as we began a prayer chain from the ER at the beach.
Gabe came out of the surgery well, however, neither the the surgeon, nor the neurologist could give any preliminary estimates about the extent of damage that had been done. They also were hesitant to tell us when or if we could expect full recovery.
But very shortly afterwards, we saw the miracle of God’s healing as the whole medical team in Porto Alegre was shocked with nearly immediate full recovery in less than two weeks. After further tests, they also looked at each other in awe as they saw almost no signs that would give any reason to believe that Gabriel would suffer any collateral damage in the future.
Exactly two weeks to the day, we returned to that ER on the beach to thank them for their quick work. They cried at seeing Gabe fully recovered, and said that no one had ever come back to thank them for their services. We were saddened by that, but we learned about the importance of showing gratitude to medial workers for their great work.
Today, nearly 15 years after this accident, Gabe lives and works in Montana, and serves as the youth pastor at the Bridge where we also began our own ministry, nearly 30 years ago. We believe many lives will be touched because this young man is alive. His life simply is a miracle.

My name is Erin Latham and this is one of my family’s miracle stories.

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