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Formation Consultant "protected by God" in traffic accident


Mennonite Church Canada Formation Consultant Elsie Rempel stands in front of the guest house of the Brethren in Christ (BIC) regional offices in Choma, Zambia. She is in Zambia on a three-month service leave through Mennonite Central Committee, mentoring teachers in the area.

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February 23, 2012
-Deborah Froese

Winnipeg, MAN. - A traffic accident in Choma, Zambia on the morning February 10 left Elsie Rempel with a hairline fracture in her left ankle and a gash on her right ankle. She is recovering well and says that she is grateful for the good care she has received.

"It's quite a cultural experience," she wrote in her journal. "One that is connecting me much more deeply with the people I came to serve, but not one I was expecting."

Rempel, a Mennonite Church Canada Formation Consultant, is in Zambia for a three-month service leave. She is there to mentor schoolteachers through a program supervised by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Zambia directors, Eric and Kathy Fast.

Rempel was travelling to a workshop with two other women when the accident occurred. She was immediately taken for medical attention at a nearby private clinic used by the MCC team. Her travelling companion, Mrs. Munsaka, received a hairline fracture to her wrist. One woman in the other vehicle suffered whiplash, while her travelling partners had minor cuts and bruises.

Rempel was held in the clinic overnight for observation due to possible concussion. Kathy Fast, MCC Rep, remained with her. Eric Fast, Kathy's husband, said that the MCC vehicle would likely be a "write-off". Apparently both vehicles rolled after the collision.

The news was relayed to Rempel's friends, family and peers in an email written by her husband, Peter Rempel. "I am deeply grateful to God that Elsie nor any of the others involved have been seriously injured or worse," he wrote. "My main apprehension about her sojourn in Zambia had been about a traffic accident and now it has happened,  but God has protected her and the others."

Since the accident, Rempel has had to postpone a workshop so that she can keep her feet up for healing. She has kept busy by creating hand-drawn primary readers for the teachers she is mentoring to use in their classrooms.