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True Mission Stories: The Great Escape
The dog was barking furiously outside my window
I had gone to bed early and was woken by the sound of our dog, Jua, barking furiously outside. I peeked out from behind the curtain and saw 2 men holding a gun to my husband's head. We had decided to hire a guard service with a silent alarm. The alarm was out of view, underneath the mosquito net on our bed. I had just enough time to hit it and act like I was being woken from sleep when the men ran into the bedroom and grabbed me by the arm. They brought my husband and I to the living room and tied us up face down on the floor. Then they found our ten year old son who was sound asleep and brought him in to the living room as well. He is not easy to wake up and was quite whiny. I worried about what they might do to him if he didn't quiet down.
Men started to pack up our valuables
The men started to pack up the valuables in our home. First they got the new television which we had purchased the previous month. Then it was the DVD player and my husband's watch. They grabbed our phone. When it appeared that they might start running low on stuff to get, I offered to show them where we kept our cash in our bedroom. We had $500 put away in a drawer in case we needed it. I figured now was a good time. I was warned in poor English, "Don't do anything or I Keelll you". He needn't have worried. I wasn't about to try anything. I handed one of the men the cash, then was brought back to the living room and was tied up again. This time I was tied tighter than before. The robbers began carting things out of the house when I heard arguing outside.
Bullet Holes in Our Porch Roof
Shots Rang Out
Shots rang out on our front porch. We had no idea who was shooting. Punches were being thrown and we couldn't see anything. I had to wonder what was coming next. After a couple of minutes several guards entered our home and untied us. The first guard who had entered the compound was badly beaten and one eye was very swollen. He was taken to the hospital. The house was a mess. The muddied DVD player was halfway across the lawn. There were bullet holes in our porch roof. The T.V., cash, household belongings and the robbers were gone but we were alive.
I never slept well in Uganda after that night.
It has taken a long time for me to recuperate from that night. I never slept well in Uganda after that. I did get some verses given to me by the daughter of one of our missionary colleagues which helped. They spoke of God's love and care for me. But I would be lying to say that I slept soundly. After that evening, I woke with every dog bark or strange sound. We hired an armed guard to watch our home at night. We had a tall fence built with razor wire and broken bottles along the top. It was a sad commentary for one who believes in her heart that God is in control. Somehow, I had trouble going from head knowledge to heart knowledge.
Razor wire at Sunset
Conversation with a Braver Missionary Friend
I made somewhat of a breakthrough after a conversation with a missionary friend. I may have a few of the facts out of kilter as our talk was eight years ago, but the gist is the same. He was a pilot and had just flown into DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) to transfer some wives of the Bible school students back to the school. He was met by the rebel leader in the area and had a gun held on him and was told that he would be flying the rebel soldiers instead. He boldly told them that they could shoot him if they would like but he was going to fly the student wives. When I asked him how he could deal with the situation with such bravery he shared this story.
I felt pretty good about what I had to offer God.
"I grew up in Africa as the son of missionary parents. I learned how to fly planes. I knew the language. I was almost ready to marry my sweetheart. I felt pretty good about myself and what I had to offer God. Then I flew into Sudan and was captured by the rebel army. For two weeks I awaited my fate. I talked with God about my life, about my love and all the things I had thought that I could do for him. I gave them up. I gave up the wife I hoped to marry and the children I hoped to have. I gave them back to God, where they belonged. The morning of my execution came when all of a sudden helicopters came in shooting and I was able to escape. Now each day I thank God for an extra day of life, knowing that my days our in His hands and I will not leave this earth before His time. There is nothing that my worry or concern will change."
I try to remember that when I start to fret about the affairs of the day and remember that I have an all powerful God who is in control of my life.