ovember 14, 2015. It was two days after
my nineteenth birthday and a Saturday
afternoon like any other at Appalachian
Bible College, filled with homework, laughter, and
friends. I had been anticipating horseback riding on
this particular day,
but I never imagined
how the day would
turn out—and how
God would use it to
draw me closer to
That Saturday while horseback riding, I was thrown from my horse at a gallop.
I’ve fallen before, always brushing the dirt off and getting right back on. This
time was different. I went flying through the air, landing hard on the ground
before rolling to a stop.
My riding companion, also an ABC student, dismounted and came right to
my side. Michelle asked if I was okay and I simply responded with, “Nope.” I
couldn’t stand up.
While an ambulance sped our way, Michelle and I prayed aloud, asking for
God’s peace and comfort and protection. That was the first of hundreds of
prayers following my accident.
After finding out I had broken my collarbone as well as my spine, I was
transferred to a hospital in Charleston, WV. I spent several days in the ICU,
unsure if surgery was needed or if I would be paralyzed. I was finally released to
go home and rest, wearing a back brace and sling. I’ll be honest: while I should
have been incredibly thankful to be alive, I was devastated to leave college.
ABC truly feels like a home and family to me, and I was crushed to be leaving it
early, not knowing when I could return.
Whole churches prayed for me: my home church in Ohio, my church in West
Virginia, and many other believers throughout the country. I was prayed for in
countless classes at ABC, and my roommate says she would walk in the dining
hall and hear groups of people praying at their tables. My story spread quickly.
The doctors told me I’m lucky to not be paralyzed, that it could have easily
killed me if the break had been a bit higher on my spine. But thanks to God’s
enduring love and the faithful prayers of so many, I returned to ABC in January.
I’m continuing my education and growing daily in my relationship with Jesus.
Every day multiple people ask about my back and tell me they’ve been praying.
The outpouring of prayer shows me how, even when it seems hopeless, God
answers His people. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we
ask any thing according to his will, he hears us…” (I John 5:14).
Kayla Maas just finished her
freshman year at ABC. She
is from Cincinnati, pursuing
a B.A. in Bible/Theology and
Elementary Education. Her
injured collarbone still causes
problems, but her back is
healing well and she says she
can’t wait to ride again!
student stories