Three men were flung into eternity this morning, only feet from my door. A norwegian man, who had started several christian academies over here, and two young men from off the street.
Three Kenyans drove up in a vehicle to the front compound gate and said they had business with Jan, (pronounced Yan) our neighbor. One of the men were dressed in police clothing and not suspecting anything, the guard let them in. The men went straight to Jan's gate, opened it and met him in the front yard and then the driver left. It was over in minutes.....Jan met eternity before we even knew what was happening.
It was about that time that we heard shouting and screaming while in language class. We ran to our gate and stepped out, and found out that Jan was already dead and the police had captured one of the thugs. You know, it's funny how your mind doesn't comprehend at first what's happening. Through the shrubbery we could see a man on the ground being beat by police while crying and screaming filled the air. Meanwhile, the other man had escaped, over Joseph and Becky's (our bishop and next door neighbor) house roof and then jumping to the roof of the schoolhouse (connected to our house) and from there to the wall and into the street. By then a crowd had gathered and were screaming thief in Swahili. The man was surrounded and the police quickly grabbed him and within minutes we heard shots ringing out. By this time i was in a bedroom with the children. Our house borders the street, so we had one thief being shot on one side and i'm not sure where they shot the other thief. I wonder now why i didn't head to a back room before but our sheltered minds simply can't comprehend how cheap life is here and how quickly things spin out of control. And yet for the christian? Never out of control because our God is always on the throne.
They have carried the bodies away and every so often a blood chilling wail and loud music comes from Jan's house and there are still police and crowds of people around. There were hundreds of people milling around outside the compound and we are to stay in our private yards. We don't know why Jon was targeted. Money? A grudge? Random? He was a friend of the missionaries here and the children loved him. He had just come back from Norway and the most i had seen of him was to wave as he drove by. Why we don't know but we do know this. God has called us here and His hedge of protection is over us, even including death. A comfort that is hard to explain but one we are holding onto. Please pray for the whole compound and pray for the families of the victims. My heart aches to think what must have led those young men to commit such a violent act, knowing that they would probably die. Also pray for the guard who let them in. He was innocent but he could pay a very high price for letting them in.
A verse kept going through my head while the shooting was happening. "some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Amen and Amen!!!
Update: The three thugs were all brought back to the house where they had beaten and strangled Jan, beaten and shot execution style. The gate keeper was taken to prison, although he had followed proper procedures, but the next day two of our missionary brothers went to the prison and asked for his release and the police left him go. PTL!!! There are more stringent rules and various safety procedures being set up for more protection but at the end of the day, when darkness falls, we place our trust in God Himself.