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Headed to Africa with eyes wide open

Preparing for a trip to Africa is always a flurry of last-minute packing, planning and preparation for OneWay’s BiblePlus+ team leaders, Pete and Beth Beckman. But the day they left for this month’s trip took an unexpected twist that threatened to prevent them from boarding the plane at all.

Two days before they were set to depart, Beth had a fluke accident that resulted in an injury to her eye. While a bit red, her eye seemed okay.

The night before they were scheduled to leave, Pete and Beth had their six bags strategically packed with recording equipment and BiblePlus+ audio Bibles to be delivered to the field thanks to the incredible generosity of OneWay partners. They even had time to relax with friends.

But as she was closing her eyes to go to sleep, Beth noticed she could see white flashes in her sore, injured eye.

The next morning, within hours of their check-in time at the airport, the Beckmans were scrambling to find an eye doctor who could see Beth for what would turn out to be a retinal tear in her left eye!

“You should quickly repack a few bags and go to Africa by yourself,” Beth told Pete.

To Pete, going to Africa without Beth wasn’t an option he would consider. Thankfully, Wheaton Eye Clinic was able to get her in for an appointment at 10:50 a.m., just hours before their 1:45 p.m. flight.

The doctor told Beth she needed immediate laser surgery or her retina might fully detach.

“I keep learning, over and over, that situations are often outside of our control,” Pete wrote on the Beckmans’ blog, which chronicles their adventures in Ghana. “We must plan, but God has made His plans, and our wants are never as good as His plans — even the painful ones.”

The Beckmans have faced a lot of obstacles during their 10 years of traveling to Ghana, but this was still one for the record books.

“In Ghana, we have encountered a cracked truck engine block, flat tires, nighttime border crossing excitement, and a dust storm that grounded all flights,” Pete wrote. “Bonked eye? Hmmm.”

The doctor completed the surgery and assured Beth it was safe to travel. They sped to the airport with Beth’s eye still dilated and loaded all 320 pounds of checked bags onto the ticket counter.

They made it to their flight within minutes of boarding time.

The first few days of their trip have already been productive. The Beckmans are hard at work with the OneWay Africa team to record BiblePlus+ content in three new languages. This content will consist of Bible stories, local worship, health information and more.

They also will deliver 400 BiblePlus+ solar units and nearly 1,000 SD cards, allowing thousands of people to hear God’s Word in their own language for the first time. The units were purchased thanks to the incredible response of OneWay partners to our Hydrate initiative this summer.

Thank you for praying for people whose lives will be impacted by the gospel. You can follow along daily with the Beckmans’ adventures in Africa on their blog.


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