In our Christian walk we like to say “God is faithful”. I am glad to be able to testify to the absolute truth of this saying. I have seen it repeatedly in my own life. God has shown Himself as my faithful Protector while serving at UCSA.
Last year in November Carla and I had to go to Jeffrey’s Bay to attend our Personnel Meeting. We had to pick up the Service Year team in the Strand, and as we wanted an early start, we left at 03:00. On our way to the Strand we were chatting happily when we heard a bang. We were not sure what it was and continued driving, since nothing felt out of the ordinary.
Then we realized that a tire had burst and we would need to pull over. Unfortunately it happened in a dark, overgrown area along the N2 highway. We called the Service Year Team Leader to ask for his help. To our relief he promised to come and help us.
We then got out to assess the damage, and as we were looking at the damaged wheel, we realized that we were in a bad situation, two women alone on a dark highway. Just then Carla heard a rustling in the bushes. A young man approached us asking what the problem could be. I realized immediately this was not good and could hear in Carla’s voice she was also aware of our situation. He insisted on “helping”, taking things out of Carla’s hand. Suddenly two other young men appeared. I just remember a voice telling me: “Stay calm”. And, indeed, strange calm came over me.
The young men became aggressive and started to take our possessions. Carla tried to talk sense into them, but to no avail. One of them wanted to pull off my top to see if I was hiding anything. I spoke calmly to him; he took my rings and cell phone. They did the same to Carla.
While they were busy with Carla, I ran into the road and tried to flag down a car, but the motorist just sped past and with a chill I realized that people were too afraid to stop. One of the men ran me, pulled a weapon on me and began to threaten me.
I got into the bakkie and started praying aloud for God to protect us. One of the men was anxious to get away, but the other two threatened to harm us if they did not get any money. They became more aggressive. I realized I had money, but did not know where Carla had put it. I remember saying inwardly: “Lord, please”. As I was praying, Carla joined me and suddenly I heard a shout: “I’ve got it!” He sounded relieved and begged the other two to leave us alone and go. I remember Dorian was on his way and just felt I had to put it out there, so I told Carla not to worry as Dorian is on his way. This made one man anxious, but the other two still wanted to harm us. The first one then grabbed the money, one of my bags and started to run away. This made the other two follow him.
We got into the bakkie and proceeded to drive away. We praised God that we were not physically hurt, knowing it could have been tragically different. My belongings and some of Carla’s electronic equipment were stolen, but we were unharmed. When Dorian arrived we went to a police station to report the crime. The officers were amazed that we had not been harmed, and kept on saying: “Do you know how lucky you are?”
We knew better. We serve a God who does not slumber or sleep. He kept us safe. We live to serve and praise Him another day. We were never alone; God was a very present help to us. He watched over us.
I had an opportunity to pray for the men with some of our colleagues and I am trusting that somewhere along the way, they will come face to face with the reality of God and be spared to make a choice to follow Him and to change their ways.
God took away all fear from my heart and I praise Him for his complete peace in those circumstances. He is the faithful One, ever true.