Friday, December 9, 2011

What the enemy meant for evil.....

I was sharing with a missionary today in my office when I got a call that our house had been burglarized and that I needed to get home at once.  The news came in bits and pieces through my cell as we headed home in the busito.   The painters that our landlord had hired were painting the garage.  It occured around 2pm in broad daylight .  The thieves had guns.  The second floor was a disaster area.  The police had been called. Twice. 

All I could think about was Noe’s passport which I had left on my dresser.  It had cost us so much to get it and we had to have it for him to go to Christ for the Nations.  Was that hard won passport now in the hands of unruly men to be sold on the black market?    I imagined the worst….clothes strewn everywhere, drawers pulled out and emptied onto the floor.  Christmas decorations smashed and ransacked.  I dropped the kids off at Elvia’s so that they didn’t have to see the mess.

The landlord and the painters were standing outside the house when we arrived.  The story unfolded slowly as the painter in charge began to explain how the robbers forced the door with a crowbar and herded the painters at gunpoint into the first floor bathroom and set a chair in front of the door to keep them inside.  Then they ransacked the upstairs and left the first floor pretty much untouched. 

I didn’t want to go inside but I knew I had to inspect the damage.    We decided to enter and just look at everything so as not disturb the crime scene should the police ever show up (hope springs eternal)!   I was so thankful that the scene I had envisioned was not at all a reality.  My drawers were open and things were strewn on the bed, but the passport was just where I left it.  I breathed a prayer of thanks.

All my jewelry was gone including my granddaddy’s watch, a bracelet of charms I had collected in Europe when I was a child, my grandmother’s ring, and a gold calla lily pin received from a dear Honduran friend years ago.  But a glimmer caught my eye and thankfully, I spied first one, and then two earrings on the floor…bent and smashed but still wearable.  They were a  pair of gold scrimshaw earrings that my dearest friend from High School had given me for my birthday one year.   In their hurry to dump the jewelry into the pillowcase, the earrings had ended up on the floor instead of in the case. One string of pearls that Hae Young’s friend in Korea had given me lay curiously alone in the now otherwise empty jewel box.  Marlyn found her drawers opened, her earrings gone and her computer case empty.  But a small box of her favorite rings was still there on her dresser hidden behind a frame.  The girls drawers* were all opened as well but they left the boys room alone.

After a while we realized that the police were not coming.  Maybe it was just as well since you never know here if the police will be a help or a hindrance.  The Honduran equivalent of 911 doesn't really exist.  As Marlyn and I prayed through each room to spiritually cleanse them, waves of gratitude washed over me.  I was so thankful that the painters were alive, the house was not a total disaster and that none of us had been home.  I decided to fight back the best way I knew how.  Remembering how horrible it was to have a gun pointed at me, not once but twice, I thought about those painters.  The landlord and the painters were still outside and they were just finishing up when I felt led to take out the sword of the Spirit.  I asked them if they had the assurance of eternal life.  They began to share about how they felt when the thieves held the gun to the lead painter’s neck.  None of them were sure of heaven and two of them said they knew they would have gone to hell if the robbers had used the gun on them.  They were ready to accept the Gift of Eternal Life, the Only True Savior.   We prayed and then I gave them Bibles and it felt good to know that what the enemy had tried to use for evil was now being used for heaven’s gain.

We then went caroling with the kids.  Elvia started this tradition last year and it is a small way for us to show our gratitude to the folks who have been a support to us during the year.  The kids look amazing in their shiny red robes and Isabella is a big hit with her antics.  We visited four families delivering Christmas cheer and brownies to show our gratitude.   The robbers could not take our joy or our gratitude.  I am so thankful to Him for sparing those painter’s lives and for giving them eternal life!  God is good…..all the time!  Keep us in your prayers……we will you!
The real treasures were unharmed

*Jency, after inspecting her drawers, stated that the robbers had taken some of her underwear!  We assured her that they most likely had not taken her panties.