This is a 2019 repub of a story written in 2007 to commemorate events in June 1997. We hope it is a blessing to you today. 2019 footnotes add amazing insights we’ve learned since then. This post may move to our new website. We’ll work to adjust links.

June 2007

How Much Can We Really Do?
Confessions of a “can-do” high tech wizard


Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent. It’s a story about God’s hand on one common ordinary person.

I work in High Tech. I carry a laptop. My name’s Pete.

I grew up in California… and in rural upstate New York.[2] I’ve lived in Colorado since the early 1990’s. One wife, two daughters, three computers and more pets buried than I can count.

To understand this story, you need to know about two parts of my life.

The first part relates to all those computers. “High Tech” is my background, my giftedness and skill—some might call it an anointing from the Lord.

A couple of years out of college, I was burdened by the sense that God wanted all of me, not just some volunteer time and some dollars in the Sunday offering bucket. So on the day our first daughter was born, and with my wife Leslie’s blessing, I quit my job. My goal was to earn time for God as a computer consultant in Silicon Valley.

God has greatly blessed that side of me. I’ve had the privilege of helping create many of the products that have shaped our world, from phones to computers, diabetes monitors to accounting software, maps to market research.

He also blessed me with a very clear high tech ministry. In the 1980’s He directed me to lead the computer work that resulted in the 10/40 Window model, and to coordinate the equivalent of “market analysis” of global mission. In the 1990’s, our team solved the problem of worldwide group email for leadership teams. And now I lead a small team that’s moving from helping people talk to helping people truly work together.

Bottom line: I’m a high tech entrepreneur, a problem solver, a concrete “can do” guy. I praise God for His amazing grace to give me gifts and skills to solve almost any problem.

Accident Site, Pretoria South Africa

Accident Site, Pretoria South Africa

Now let’s jump to the other side of who I am.

Simply put, I exist as a miracle of God’s healing, and it’s time to boldly declare His power to easily perform what scientists might call “low probability events.”

Ten years ago I became one of those people you’ve read about: dead, gone to heaven, miraculously restored to life by God. I’ve been cautious about making the story public because I know how bad the hype can get. But after a decade, it’s time to share this story of God’s signs and wonders. The signs point us to God, and He gives us something to wonder about!

By the way, if you’re skeptical as you read this, please remember that I’m a skeptic too, well trained in science and engineering. So let’s just review the facts.

June 27, 1997, I was in Pretoria, South Africa to speak about technology at a huge global missions conference. I finished a prep meeting, across a residential street from one of the conference churches. I looked both ways and then started across the street. Suddenly, I heard “LOOK OUT!!!” and that was the end.[3]

[What happened next is not my own memory. Eyewitnesses filled this in afterward.]

A "bull bar" similar to what hit Pete

A “bull bar” similar to what hit Pete

A speeding car had rounded a curve and come over the top of the nearby hill. The driver was going much too fast (50+ km/hr) and slammed into me head-on. The blow crushed my thigh; my head smashed his windshield. Flipping into the air, I somersaulted a couple of times at least 20 feet off the ground, and crashed head first into the ground about 50 feet away. I was completely still, broken and bloodied.

More traffic prevented the man I was with from crossing the street for a minute. Reaching me, he found I wasn’t breathing and had no pulse (“cardiac arrest”). The church pastor’s wife also came running; they prayed against an overwhelmingly powerful sense of cold and death surrounding my body. A few minutes later, a passing doctor stopped to help. She verified that I was clinically dead, and said there was no reason to try “CPR” nor to call an ambulance.[6]

For at least four or five more minutes, the spiritual battle raged—Pete lying dead in a bloody heap, and two believers praying with all their might.

Suddenly, my eyes opened! “What happened???” I asked. The intercessors immediately knew that the battle had been won, and I would be OK. (For those who like to count, yes I was clinically dead for at least eight or nine, possibly ten or eleven minutes.)

I’m told it took 1½ hours for the ambulance to show up, and during the wait my companions talked with me about how to notify my family. Sadly, I have no recall of any of this—in fact, the people with me during the accident were upset later when I didn’t follow through on whatever it was we had discussed! Perhaps I was in severe shock? I don’t know.

Here’s what I do remember; and can never forget. Lying there in a broken crumpled heap, I felt a wonderful sense of being cared for by God. “Wow, I’m on my way to heaven!” I thought. “This is going to be soooo wonderful. What peace! What a wonderful place! And not only that, I’m going to get a new body, and God is simply taking care of everything. Aaahhhhh….”

accident-perfect-peaceAnd then everything changed. I was heading back to earth. And it hurt. Horribly. As I began to scream, God “spoke” two things into me:

One, “what are you whining about?”

Two, “you think it is wonderful in heaven? I Am With You just as much on earth!”

And just like that, I was relaxed and happy. Yes, while in excruciating pain, I was happy.

I felt such peace from the Lord. Then I woke up, and began the rest of my adventure of healing.

Speaking of which, let’s focus on healing now, since this is a story about God’s power.”[4]

Broken femur, before/after surgery

Broken femur, before/after surgery

At AD2000 meeting, one week after accident

At AD2000 meeting, one week after accident

Camping at Turquoise Lake, July 24 1997

Camping at Turquoise Lake w/o pain, July 24 1997

First, what did the doctors expect?[5]

  • More than 8-9 minutes of clinical death, outside a hospital, and no emergency treatment. You’re dead. At best, you’ll recover as a vegetable.
  • Shattered femur (thigh bone). The most painful possible break. Two to three years of excruciating pain before recovery.
  • Overall leg condition (lost more than five units of blood, I had no muscle left in my upper leg, and no feeling in several parts of my leg and foot.). Five to six weeks in the hospital, three months in a wheel chair, three more months on crutches. In half a year, you’ll begin to learn how to walk again.
  • Head trauma resulting from high speed vehicle-pedestrian impact. Severe concussion and some brain damage expected. Long term memory loss.

Here’s what actually happened:

Home with Leslie

Home with Leslie

  • For two weeks, I couldn’t ignore God’s healing touch on and in my body. (I’m told thousands were praying!)
  • A CAT scan showed I had no concussion or brain damage. The doctors were so shocked, that they performed a second scan just to be sure!
  • I was discharged in one week not a month, and attended the final meeting of the conference. And I returned home in time for my 18th wedding anniversary.
  • In three weeks, all pain was gone (not three years). I didn’t even need Tylenol!
  • In less than a month I was done with my wheelchair (not three.) I went camping with my family!

WOW! Did I, or the doctors, accomplish any of that? No.

God healed me. God did it, and spoke peace and joy into my life along the way!

How did it change my life? All the skills are still there, but I have zero doubt where they come from and who empowers me to use them. I need to be where He wants, and do what He wants, no matter how hard.

My life journey is completely tied to God. I can’t measure my life by human success… My goal is to hear and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. Period.

“That’s fine for you Pete, but…” OK, you’re right. I have an “advantage.” Even so, I see something even more amazing every single day.

I’m surrounded by people who also know that God is with them, no matter what. My wife Leslie, my coworkers, our intercessors and more. They too walk in “hard” places. They too know the incredible joy of total dependence on God.

Come join us! You’ll only experience miracles when you are in a position to receive them!

So, that’s my story on this ten-year anniversary. I’d love to hear your story. How are you learning to totally depend on God, to follow Him no matter what?

[1] A hint

[2] God blessed me—burdened me might express it better—with many gifts and skills. Finishing high school in the 1970’s, I already had strong opinions: disgusted with how computers detract from real relationships, I determined to avoid computers for the rest of my life. (Really!) But I was fascinated by science and technology, and dreamed of making the next Six Million Dollar Man.

Neither dream came true: the expenses of college led me to begin a computer career the second half of my freshman year in college (even though I avoided computer-related classes.) And while I quickly absorbed my semiconductor “chip” classes, I bombed out on the pre-med side of things.

[3] Something that was a personal blessing to me: at the warning, I never really had time to react. Some assumed I looked the “wrong” way, because they drive on the “wrong” side of the street in South Africa. I don’t recall and it doesn’t matter. I did not even react. I’m told the car was going so fast, I could not possibly have jumped out of the way in time. So I have no horrible memory of being hit!

[4] Many other “unusual coincidences” could be shared from this one incident. Summarizing just a few:

  • I was hit by the “perfect car” – rather than rolling over and crushing me, the “bull bar” broke bones and sent me flying.
  • My accident was minutes from a just-built private hospital, specializing in bone surgery!
    (2019 Addition by Pete. I never shared the following until 2017, because I personally could not believe it! It was far more than what I shared here. Today in 2019, Pretoria East is (and for all these years has been) considered the very best hospital on the continent of Africa. I checked this myself in 2017: the only hospital in Africa with equipment and actively performing Davinci robotic surgery. So yes, not just nearby, but the best of the best!.)
  • The insurance adjuster prayed for us, and arranged payment for my flight home (some call this the biggest miracle!)

[5] I’m no medical expert; I’m sharing what my care providers in South Africa and the US told me. I was treated by the best in the business, including the chief orthopedic surgeon for the U.S. Olympic team. He was not a believer but this sure made his jaw drop!)

(2019 Additional note for this paragraph.) I’m a stickler, so are my friends. Several have asked me to add up the time I was “gone.” To me this is not a big deal but I agree it is evidence. My understanding: (at least a min for first guy to cross)+(at least a min for pastor’s wife to arrive)+(at least 3 min for doctor to show up while they prayed)+(at least 4-5 min later I woke…. sense of people on the ground. (~1+)+(~1+)+(3+)+(4 or 5). Should be min 9-10, but let’s call in 8-9 minimum. And find more evidence 🙂

[6] (2019 Additional note) 20+ years later, we would question many things about a doctor who would not suggest CPR. Please remember, life was different back then worldwide. And Pretoria in particular was in turmoil.