Barnabas and His Motorcycle

When Beautiful Feet Break – February 13, 2005

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, according to the beloved prophet Isaiah. But are they beautiful when they are broken? Barnabas, a Lisu missionary to Lahus, Akhas, Thais, and Burmese, was used to long motorcycles rides in the tall beautiful mountains of Northern Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). The roads were unpaved, narrow, and winding. Especially in the rainy season they were wet, muddy and treacherous.

One day, alone in the mountains, and bringing the good news from village to village, his motorcycle slid in the slippery mud. With a thud and a snapping sound, Barnabas knew he had broken his leg. But it was still a distance from the next village and dusk was coming. Maybe some Good Samaritan would appear, he thought.

But no Good Samaritan appeared, and Barnabas resigned himself to a cold wet night in the mountains. Drawing a cape over his head, he dragged himself into a clump of trees and managed to sleep through the jungle sounds of the night.

Next morning, refreshed somewhat, Barnabas decided to drag himself on the ground to the next village. Still no Good Samaritan appeared on the lonely road. A few hours later he reached the village. By this time the leg was acutely painful and swollen. Remembering his first aid reading, Barnabas slung his leg up in a make shift sling up to the rafters. Mercifully, word was sent to the local Thai military and Barnabas was finally helicoptered(!) to safety and treatment.