Saturday, July 8, 2017
Our home has been vandalized
Last Sunday while we were at Children’s Church with 159 orphaned/abandoned children and our staff, our house was vandalized. They tried to get in to Chloe’s room using a crowbar, but the steel doors only bent, they did not break open. Then they moved to the kitchen window, which is made of shatterproof glass, and viciously attacked the window, only to find no latch on the inside to open it. Then they tried another steel window and final destroyed the doors to our living room and entered our home.
They opened every drawer, looked in every cupboard, obviously in search for money, but there was none. They left the house, doors wide open, taking my laptop, another laptop, a chainsaw out of the garage and a few other useless (to them) items.
We are quite certain that this was an “inside job”, and that perpetrators know us very well, and know our dogs very well. We have reported this to the Police, the Chief and the Community Police.
Since this happened my world has been turned upside down. I guess I am still in shock, but I am not dealing with this well. My brain is stuck in a spin cycle of trying to understand why people would do this. Why the violence? Why the betrayal? And now the whole community has started in the spin. People are pointing fingers at each other from the Supervisor level to the gardener. Everyone has a theory, an accusation, a suspicion and everyone is angry about the attack on us.
Ian put out a substantial reward for the capture and conviction of the thieves and the return of our laptops. This has caused havoc in the community, with people crawling on top of each other to point fingers. The traditional healers (some might call them Witch doctors) are busier than ever with individuals seeking “muti” (special potion to bring strength, knowledge, power) so that they can be given a vision as to where the laptops are and then be able to collect the reward. We have even heard that one department at PC has taken up a collection of funds to collectively go to the Witch doctor so that he can help them find our laptops and the vandals.
As a a follower of Jesus, and as someone working in Christian ministry, I can’t even begin to get my head around this. Many of the people involved in this are also followers of Jesus, but, I guess, want to cover all their bases in the return of our valuables?
I am frozen. My head feels like a computer screen that has frozen. It needs a hard shut down and reboot, but I don’t know how to do that.
I am rarely at a loss for words, but I can’t yet find the words to express how I am really feeling. Betrayed, hurt, discouraged, angry, heart-broken, despondent?
As I have spent most of the week alone and in prayer, I also know, with all my heart and soul, that God saw the thieves, He allowed them to break in to our home, and He knows where they are now. He sees their hearts and He weeps for them, just as He weeps for me when I screw up.
We were protected (we weren’t home at the time), and Jesus is still securely on the throne.
Police and social welfare officers tell us daily that the crime rate is escalating in Swaziland. This was predicted by the former Deputy Prime Minister of Swaziland when he told us that he feared the day when the tens of thousands of children who had been orphaned a decade ago would become teenagers and young adults. They would have no moral fibre to keep them on a good path, no jobs to support themselves, no love to keep them safe and no hope for their future. He feared what would happen then.
Someone asked me this week, “How could ‘these people’ do this to you when you are here doing all these things for them? You give them jobs, love, food, clothing – why would they bite the hand that feeds them?”
My response was quick (in fact so quick that it surprised me). We are not here to serve the Swazi people or the Swazi children. We are here to serve God, and Him alone. He has given us a hard assignment, and one that does not come without sacrifice and danger. But He is our protectors, always. And for that we give thanks, and go on.
Please pray for me, for Ian, for the safety of our children, staff, volunteers and please pray for Swaziland.
Live from Swaziland … I am not sleeping well so this blog is a very early post.
PS – thank you to the friend who quickly contacted me and offered to replace my laptop. I love you, always.