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While conducting evangelistic meetings in Manila, Philippines, I received the kind of phone call every parent dreads. My eldest son, Micah, was in a serious accident with a bulldozer and was being rushed by air to the nearest emergency room which was the Ukiah SDA Hospital.
As this was happening, Karen was flying in from San Francisco to join me in Manila for the final week of our meetings. In a state of perpetual prayer, I went to the airport to meet Karen with the heartbreaking news that our son was in critical condition and we needed to catch the next plane back to San Francisco.
Fortunately, Gary Gibbs the Senior Vice President of Amazing Facts and a competent evangelist, was with our team and was able to step in and successfully continue the meetings. Before we left Manila, we received word that Micah did not survive. It was a very long and sad trip home.
A few words about our son. Micah Levi Batchelor was born November 4, 1977 in Fort Bragg, California. He was a beautiful, blond, curly-headed boy with large confident, blue eyes. Ever since a child he longed for anything that had to do with becoming air borne-from being tossed as a baby, to hang gliding, to swinging out of the trees, to jumping motorcycles. Micah loved flying.
When Micah was only 19 months old he became critically ill with spinal meningitis. It required several painful spinal taps which broke my heart to watch. He miraculously survived! He was especially fond of children and old folks and always defensive of the underdog.
When he was 7 years old he made a grueling hike with me up to my cave high above Palm Springs and back all in one day. The next time he hiked up to the cave was with our family in February of 1995. This time he helped to carry his little brother, Stephen, on his back.
Micah attended several schools from the Little Red Schoolhouse in Covelo to schools in Delta, Colorado, Redding and Sacramento, California, as well as a few seasons of home schooling. He graduated from Sacramento Adventist Academy in 1996 and later attended Pacific Union College where he received his pilot's license while studying industrial arts. In 1999 he began working full time as a contractor in Covelo.
Most importantly, Micah believed in God. The first song that he learned to play on the guitar was, "Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God." Micah joined the Amazing Facts evangelism crew that went to India in 1999, and was deeply affected by the poverty he saw. I had invited him to join me in Manila, but he had several pressing construction commitments.
Micah was a hard worker with countless ambitious dreams. His dreams were cut short by a tragic accident the afternoon of April 30. While loading a bulldozer on a trailer, the tractor slid off the side and rolled completely over. True to his style, Micah held on to the steel bronco and rode it the full 360.
The fiberglass canopy collapsed and he received serious internal injuries, but remained calm and alert and was even able to stand and walk to the truck as his friends transported him to the clinic. He was airlifted by helicopter to the hospital in Ukiah, but after several hours of surgery and heroic efforts by the doctors to save him, he was pronounced dead 46 miles and 23 years from the place of his birth.
I was very thankful that I called and spoke to Micah from the Philippines a few days ago. We loved each other very much. The day before the accident he called Karen and they talked for almost an hour.
Karen and I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of kind words, encouragement and prayers. This tragedy has laid us very low (Psalms 142:6) but we continue to trust God in spite of our confusion. Please continue to pray for our family and Micah's five siblings. We do sense the prayers of God's people.
Doug Batchelor and Family Picture of son at Doug's site, Thanks All....
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