Sunday, May 20, 2007

Behind Bars


Isaiah 58:8 The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

I once knew a missionary who said, some things are best unshared with supporters, and I once met another, who said, be real, be honest, share it all!

I think i tend to align myself with the latter.

Sometimes I get frustrated with my living situation. I am used to living in a house, on a street, without a fence, without the need for security (aside for a few months when at Rachel's place in Indy.) Here I sometimes get tired of the 8 foot privacy fence that surrounds my yard, that I have guards on my property 24-7, that in addition to a fence, and a huge iron gate and padlocks and guards, and bars on my windows I am still vulnerable enough that I pay $90 a month for a security button in my house so that in an emergency I can call for help. I sometimes equate my lovely home to a prison, cause really, when you are constantly locking and dealing with bars, it starts to feel that way. This morning i jokingly said to Katie (who is spending the weekend with me) that I really look forward to going to America and not having a handful of keys to lock the front door. My current key chain has 4 keys for the front door alone. CRAZY!

But, as frustating as this is, it all came in handy this weekend. I arrived home from Nairobi Kenya friday night after a very long and obnoxious bus ride (it was 1 1/2 hours longer than it should have been!) and Katie and I were eating dinner on the couch when it started. We heard a "pop" "pop" "pop"and I looked at Katie and she looked at me in shock. I said, "was that a gun? " she said, "i think so." So I pick up the phone and called the guard on duty, he tells me in swahili, "don't worry Pamela, I have killed a leapord before, I will protect you." I said, "Stefano, that's great and all ,but where are the shots coming from?" Outside the fence. That's what I thought. Then a few more. In all Katie and I decided there were easily 10 shots in that 3 minutes, most likely more like 15.

But this is where the system worked. The guard did his job. I pushed the security button and the security company showed up in record time, less than 3 minutes after I pushed the button. I spoke with the guys and they reassured me that the guy was not shooting at my house, but that they found out on their way up the hill that there was a domestic dispute in the village on my road and that the man was just running around shooting a gun in the air. (that didn't really make me feel any safer...) but they also reassured me that they were patroling the entire area and that they would get him.

Tedi had made some chocolate chip cookies, and I thought, it would be in my best interest to make friends with these guys, so I gave them a few on their way out of the gate, and thought to myself, "for once, things happened as they should." And I was thankful, that God kept Katie and I safe, and took care of the situation. The reality is, that it isn't the fence, the guards, the gates, the locks, the metal bars or the security button that keep us safe, but it is really the Creator of the Universe, the one who passionately loves each of us, that keeps me safe here.

So, let this be a reminder, that the safest place for each of us, is where God has us. Let's also use this as a reminder to pray for the people living in Arusha, both the Tanzanians and us foreigners, for our safety, and our protection, as even though there isn't a physical war out there, there is a spiritual one, and the enemy doesn't like losing.

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