I want to share a letter from a missionary in Kenya Africa who heads an orphanage "Grace Children's Home Ministries" friends of Kenya Evangelic Missions. Diane is on the left and long time friend, Lois is on the right.
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good." - Genesis 50:20
I unsuspectingly stepped out on to our porch on my way to check the jiko fire (the charcoal burner we cook on) - when all of a sudden I was whacked in the face by a wasp! The angry insect got a grip and subsequently stung me right next to my eye. I yelped in pain as I swatted it away – my whole face felt as if it was on fire. The offending insect went on his way – but I was left with a stinging face and swollen eye that lasted for more than a week. I remember thinking that was the way spiritual attacks come – you are just peacefully moving along in your spiritual life when whack you are smacked upside of your spirit and if you are not ready for it, you are left reeling.
Well, this evening Jackson and I, having finished our business for the day, were hurrying through Nairobi town so that he might catch a matatu back to Kangundo. I was staying over for other business during the next two days. All of a sudden I was whacked hard on the side of my head with a large club and as I yelped in pain the man behind me grabbed my purse and ripped it from my body. I screamed at him and swung the 4 ft. level we had just bought like a bat, but narrowly missed him. All I saw was his back as he jumped the guardrail and disappeared into the darkness with just about everything important I own. Inside was the very last of my personal cash that I had brought to town to exchange, my passport (which I never carry unless I am exchanging money) my credit cards, my modem (which I had brought to town to have repaired so I could get back online and write to you) my phone (ouch – that one hurts – every contact I have is in that mobile) and the memory chip from my camera with every picture I have taken since I came to Kenya – including the GCH family pictures and the individual pictures of each child for their sponsors we took on Saturday. I had even lost the usb drive that contained the accounts that I was to take to our accountant in the morning.
My head was reeling from the blow as Jackson helped me make it to the nearest police station to report the crime. A Nairobi police station after dark is not a pretty place - we waited to file our complaint as we watched young men chained together get brutally beaten (not sure what they had done). After what seemed like hours we were through and we were able to leave for the hotel where I was staying. Just a few feet from its entrance we came upon a crowd gathered around a young man lying dead on the sidewalk. We never knew what happened to him – but the thought came to me that it could well have been us lying dead on a sidewalk too. My heart was filled with gratefulness to God for His protection.
I instinctively knew that this was a test – a big test – for me. In crisis times, what is my attitude? Could I find it in my heart to still praise God and thank Him and trust Him for the results? The whole time in the police station I was repeatedly asking God to fill me with faith and trust in Him. I was happy to reach my room where Jackson and I knelt and prayed – even for the salvation of the man who robbed and beat me - and the confusion and the upset was lifted from my spirit. Clearly that man did not mean it for good, and equally obvious, Satan did not mean any good to come from it, but God did. I have no idea how that might play out, but God does and I am so thankful for His precious promise in Romans 8:28. It means everything to me right now. Presently it is midnight and I can’t sleep – my head is hurting fiercely and wouldn’t you know it – my pain relievers were in the purse too. Oh well…..
I hope that this incident highlights for you how much we need your prayers. I am so grateful for those of you who continually pray – even when I am not able to communicate. (communication this trip has been the most difficult ever – my modem keeps failing and the network has been poor and erratic.) I am also so thankful for Jackson who stayed in town with me to help me with the fallout – a true friend. Tomorrow we have to go back to the police station and then we will try to deal with some details of things that have to be done here. After that I’m looking forward to leaving Nai-robbery and journeying back home to Kangundo.
Next day – Monday-
So after a long night with a pounding head we returned to the police station where a very kind officer helped us understand the procedure to get my abstract (police report). When he was looking up my case he had to backtrack through many many pages – all crimes that were reported after mine last night. I pondered that - I was sure so many of those victims had suffered much worse than I had. I was filled with thankfulness for God’s Presence with us as I remembered the body of that young man on the sidewalk. How do people make it through life without the Lord?
Earlier Jackson had called Lois, asking her to call the accountant and inform him I could not meet with him because the accounts on the usb drive had been stolen. As we were on our way, we got a very strange call back from her. She had just been told by the accountant that my purse was at the Nairobi Golf Club. What??? We detoured there and found out a caddy had found the handbag on the green in the early morning – they looked inside and saw the business card of the accountant (whom I was supposed to be meeting with) and called him asking if he knew me (my credit cards with my name were in the bag) How crazy is that?? That business card had been in my wallet for years and I never even knew it was there! We eagerly received the bag and looked inside. Yes, all of the money, my mobile phone and my passport were gone – but there was the usb drive, my modem and the memory card with all of the pictures intact! I was so happy to receive them. The manager treated us to coffee and then we were able to go and do my business with the accountant and get the modem fixed on the way to the bus station and home.
By this I knew God was reminding me that He was in control of every detail of what had happened last night - that He had allowed satan to go so far and no further. In spite of what I had lost, I felt so protected and loved. God doesn’t promise us we won’t go through fires of tribulation – in fact He promises just the opposite – but He does promise we won’t go through them alone and that He will use them for our good. I felt positively snug in the very hand of God, shielded from every harm and evil. I returned to Kangundo this afternoon with Jackson and a very grateful, thankful heart.
Nothing about my situation has changed - Yes, I am still a penniless, undocumented alien without my mobile phone (you Americans should appreciate what that means!) but I am rejoicing because the most valuable thing I have could never be taken away….I have a very attentive Heavenly Father who sees me and knows me and takes care of me. He never leaves me alone, loves me immensely and He will meet all of my needs. I don’t need to try to understand all of His ways – I can simplytrust Him. I remembered the prayer I had repeated over and over in the police station last night – for trust and faith – and I marveled at how completely God had answered it. I find myself utterly at peace and rest in my heart – with joy and even thankfulness that this has happened. Only God can do that and I give Him all the credit for it.
I also have a strong feeling that this has happened for the benefit of the man who beat and robbed me. Will you pray for his salvation with me? I truly believe that one day in heaven I am going to meet this man and hear the story of his redemption and I am imagining how joyful it will be…
I have so much more to share with you – but I will save that for a future email. For now, I am going to put my bruised little head on my pillow and sleep. And I know it will be a peaceful, restful sleep – free of anxiety and worry and care. My Father does all things well.
Lala salaama, (good night)
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