His arm was broken in six places. So was his shoulder, pelvis and left leg.
One year and a month later, he could walk again.
Timothy Manzer (B.A. ’81) was out on his motorcycle on his way to a wedding rehearsal in 2002 when a distracted driver struck him at 65 mph. Manzer flew off his motorcycle and onto the roof of the car. “You never think it’s going to be you,” said Manzer. Almost 20 years later, he’s now running half-marathons and kayaking near his Traverse City, Mich., home.
“The Lord has used the accident in many different ways,” Manzer said. “I asked Him, ‘Don’t waste this pain.’”
And He didn’t.
Manzer’s pain produced many unexpected blessings, one of which was being featured on Runner’s World’s podcast: The Human Race. But it also led to medical missions in Guatemala. He and his orthopedic surgeon, Scott Groseclose, struck up a friendship and did a Bible study together. When Groseclose asked Manzer to go on a mission trip to Guatemala with him, Manzer accepted.
The trip was through Mission Impact, an organization that provides both medical care and ministry to indigenous communities. During that trip, Manzer saw four people come to the Lord. He also facilitated Bible studies and ministered to the team.
When Manzer returned home, he had a new goal. Mission Impact was offered a simple cinder block building in the village of Santa Maria de Jesus to turn into a medical building. The only thing it had was a bat problem, but Manzer was determined to change that.
In his home church of New Hope Community Church in Traverse City, Manzer, a lifelong cartoonist, designed his own coloring books. The proceeds went toward renovating that building. That building now has three doctor’s offices, a pharmacy, a new roof and a porch. It also has a home for a physician’s assistant to live full time and care for the village.
“God prepared it,” Manzer said. “It’s almost beyond my imagination.”
God’s work didn’t stop there. Manzer and Mission Impact are in the process of building a three-story nursing school for high school graduates in Coyolate, Guatemala. It’s called Nuevo Esperanza Nursing School.
Manzer serves in New Hope Community Church and provides pastoral care, counseling, pre-marriage counseling and church planting—his job is 100% ministry care. The church supported Manzer throughout his recovery from his accident and continues to support his medical missions as well.
God uses our pain in a multitude of ways, and Manzer is a prime example of God’s immeasurable goodness.
“I am blessed to be healed,” Manzer said. “I am blessed to be alive.”