5.15.2007

God's Provision

A sunset in Nigeria

As some of you know my Grandparents and an Aunt and Uncle and their children are missionaries in Nigeria, West Africa. Last week they had some robbers come to the compound. It was a very scary incident, but God's loving provision and protection is so evident in this story!
Here is the story from my Aunts perspective. I have edited it a little bit for clarification. Tom is my Uncle and Julie and Ben mentioned in the story are my cousins.

"It turns out the insurgents came in a black 4x4 jeep.
I had just left theater (I think that is the operating room!) and come to my office to pack things up to leave for the night; it was just after 9:30 pm.
While packing up I heard noise outside my office door and thought that it was probably my TB patients having one of their squabbles.
Someone then knocked on my door. This BIG guy with black trousers came in along with some other guys and I remember thinking; 'why are police coming at this hour and not wearing complete uniforms?' Then the big guy came closer and I could see he was pulling a pistol out from behind his belt and that it was a locally made shotgun pistol.
I knew then these were not police and thought 'OH-OH!! See me, see trouble!!'
He very nicely told me to just co-operate and they wouldn’t harm me.
He asked for money and I showed him a box by my feet.
He said that little bit wasn’t money, and one of the guys with him said "just shoot her". He refused, and I showed him the rest of the money.
The greedy thieves ransacked my office and took every last penny the hospital had except for 70 Naira (which is less than $1.00), and the little bit of X-ray money they didn’t find.
After that they asked for my car keys, I told them they were in the car. They took me outside and forced me to start the car, turn it off and start it again and then they said leave the keys in the ignition and get out.

While I was in the office they told me they were going to kill my husband and if they didn’t get him they would kill me.
The guy asked, “Your husband has guns”?
I said very matter of factly, "yes, he has a gun."
They said they were going to get the kids to use as shields because Dad wouldn’t shoot them with his kids in front of them. Then one of the guys put his gun barrel to my throat and grabbed my neck with the other hand and ordered me to lead them up to the house, while four others were instructed to stay down with the car. I told the guy squeezing my neck to leave me alone as I wasn’t intending on going anywhere but he just held me tighter!! Nasty man!
I was procrastinating, hoping that somebody, somehow would make their way up to the house to warn Tom, and I was thinking, trying to figure out how I could let them know at the house this was happening before we got there.
Then I turned my head as much as I dared and looked at the guy holding me and said, "why are you doing this, behaving like this. We are all human beings now."
Stupid me, I should have spoken Igala to see if they spoke it as I know it would have thrown them off guard. Anyways, I’ll file that trick for next time!!

When we got to the gate they remembered to ask where to guards were. I pointed to them lying down in front of the print shop and started planning again. Already there was a lot of talking and shouting going on. Dr. Ighodaro came out of the house so I started calling to the guards to leave their GUNS alone and NOT to SHOOT. I said it in Igala and in English hoping Dr. would hear. He went back in and told those in the living room that something was happening outside.
Brave Ben came out to investigate. I SHOUTED at him "Ben get back inside quickly". He jumps in and locks the door. Tom sent him for his torch (flashlight) so that he could come and check things out, then, moments later as we are nearing the house one of the guys shouts “open the door”.
Tom doesn't open the door, but shouts back "who are you"?
The guy replies in a menacing voice "just open the door", and leers "go get your gun if you want to".
Tom saw only two choices to make; get the gun or open the door and face the menace without it. While he was arming himself they shot into the house, shooting at the guys making a noise in the rec. room.
Meanwhile my escort and I were at the living room window, I somehow engineered him over there because I wanted to see what was going on inside.

Others shot again; they shot three times into the house. Meanwhile one of the guys was shouting for Ben to unlock the door. Ben rushed over and unlocked it, then he ran back to hide in the rec. room. Unlocking the door wasn't good enough; they wanted Ben to open the door so they could grab him. He was actually on his way to opening it when he saw Tom come from the office leveling his gun.

Wisely, prudently, he dived into the rec. room again, just as Tom started shooting. The robbers were already three to four feet inside the front door brandishing their guns; Tom says “this was no time for negotiation”.
The sight of Tom and the sound of the gun going off in the living room they panicked, one fell, the other stumbled over him, and then fell down the front stairs, they both got up, and ran for their lives; they were gone in a flash. When the guy with the gun at my neck ran and why he didn’t shoot me before he took flight I don’t know. YES, I do. It was entirely the Lord’s working. Tom followed them out the door and shot off some more rounds.

Tom came back into the house for more ammo, and then promptly went out to see if the compound was clear. The insurgents were gone, running away with all the money the hospital had and my car. Tom did not know that they were holding me hostage out side the door when he came shooting - just as well he didn’t. They had called to him that they had is wife but at that time he was in his office getting the gun and didn't hear them. The Lord over ruled in so many ways. Julie and Dr. Fred had just left my office and they actually walked past the guys on their way home. I am so glad I was in my office and that there was money there for them to take away. If they had gone to our house there wasn’t 2,000.00 Naira there, and they would probably just have started shooting. And then the fact that Ben bounced inside and locked the front door instinctively – that made a real difference in timing and Tom’s ability to react. People now tell me that I shouldn’t come to my office at night again but I argue that point. Things could have been so much worse if I hadn’t been there. They say I should hide/bank all the money but I don’t think so, it was because there was money there that we were saved from a lot more trouble. True things will be very hard for the hospital financially for a long time but at least we are alive to struggle for it. It is so fantastic to see how the Lord over ruled in all of this.

On Monday I went to Ankpa with Kamal to file a police report and they sent a signal to Lokoja about the car. We will wait and see how the Lord works this one out, I don’t have much hope getting my car back in any thing like the nice shape it was in. Yesterday we also heard that after the insurgents left us here they went to Inye, they shot and killed an Ibo man while raiding his store."

4 comments:

Becki said...

Becki said...
Wow! What a story! And what a blessing that the Lord kept them all from harm. I'll be praying that He supplies all their physical needs, with the loss of all the money.

The Rock Chick said...

Oh my...this is just frightening. God not only took care of them, but he gave them the strength and wisdom to survive something like that. I have no other word but WOW! It's just amazing.

Baby Bon Jovi shirts??? Hmmmm...I don't have a baby, but I do have a Build-A-Bear that I think could use one of those...I'm going to Target tomorrow :)

Jessica

Bethany said...

Wow. Isn't God so good to protect everyone there? So scary too.

Mel's Mom said...

I must say our faith has been sent a severe blow. However, I believe He is good and hold onto the fact He knows best. His intervention here is so amazingly wonderful.

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