At a particular steep point in the hike, the crew of boys came across a massive glacier. James told me it was huge. And on the other side lay the trail to continue. Half way across, the leaders decided it was too dangerous to cross and urged the boys to another route. James had almost made it back to solid ground when his boot slipped and he lost his footing.
He slid about 20 feet down this glacier. His leader (Greg's former mission companion) said the speed he picked up was almost terrifying to watch. None of them could stop him. James told me later he had zero control on directing his body and that he truly thought those moments were his last. He said his thoughts jumbled around the phrase, "This is how I'm going to die."
He landed in a rocky pit at the end, completely dropping out of sight from the boys at the top. It was either the pit or the cliff's edge - which would have dropped him another 20 feet down to a lake. When his leader hiked down to him, he said James was sprawled like an upside down turtle with his pack cushioning him from the jagged rocks outlining the pit. James was stunned and shaken - but otherwise totally intact with no broken bones.
The poor guy's bottom side was bruised (he's going to kill me when he finds out I wrote that). He couldn't sleep well that night because no side felt comfortable. But he finished the hike and hiked back out the following morning. No glacier crossing this time.
Luck? Tender mercies? Miracles? It doesn't matter. All I know is he was protected by a power higher than my mediocre mothering skills. And while I'm stressing and praying about so many moving issues right now that can't seem to stabilize, and sometimes feel that God isn't hearing me. He truly is looking out for us in ways I don't fully appreciate or fail to recognize as I should.