On Monday, 7 November 2016, I dropped Charles off at Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West for the start of the three day Wines2Wales Mountain bike Stage Race. As I drove over Sir Laurie’s Pass, coming down towards the Grabouw turn-off, I saw an elderly woman standing next to the road, dress blowing in the nippy wind. Without thinking twice I pulled over to pick her up, which I never do. She came running towards the car as I was backing up.
Maria introduced herself to me, 65 years old, on her way to Caledon to see an attorney. She started off by saying that she never in her life, before that day, stood next to the road looking for a ride but she was desperate and did not have the R600 someone wanted to charge her to take her to Caledon. As she stood there she prayed for the right person to pass by, I guess that was me…
I was actually not going as far as Caledon but decided that I will take her where she needed to go. As we drove and started talking, Charles and his cycling race came up as she explained that she used to pray over the cycling clothes of her employer’s son while washing it after some mountain biking. Maria promised to join me in praying for the safety of the cyclists over the next three days.
Parking where Maria wanted to be in Caledon, I reminded Maria to pray for Charles, she immediately asked me to close my eyes as she started to pray for protection while they were participating. Car running, in the CBD of Caledon, on a cloudy Monday morning we sat praying for Charles and his friends.
On Wednesday I went to wait for him at the finish of the race at Onrus Caravan Park in Hermanus. Sometime between 10 and 11 I stood next to the rails at the finish, again praying for protection and safety of the guys nearing the end of a difficult race. I heard the presenters talking about those who have fallen and were injured and saw one or two injured cyclists who could not finish.
Sometime past 11 Charles and his partner, Lance, came in and finished the race. Then only did I hear of a bad fall that Charles had about 10km before the finish. He went down a steep downhill and over railings, down a cliff. He fell into a lone tree growing from below, on the face of the cliff, preventing him from falling all the way down. A medic managed to pull him back up. With an injured wrist and a number of cuts and bruises he managed to finish the race in a very good time. I honestly believe in God’s timing, prompting prayers for protection at the right time, earlier that morning and on the Monday morning with Maria in Caledon.
There is no doubt in my mind that God and all the prayers said during those three days, including Maria’s, protected him, as always! Many say that he was lucky to survive but we don’t do luck, we do protection and faith in God!
All honour to God for the talent to do such things and for the protection during these activities.
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