06/20/2009: We Were Hijacked By Gangsters
On Thursday, October 30, 2008, my wife, Florence, had gone to Chepseon, a village about 130 kilometers (about 80 miles) from our home in Kenya to inquire about a 12-year-old orphan that had showed up at our door asking if we would take him in. So with the boy she went to learn more about the situation from his relatives.
My brother, Nelson, and I were in Nakuru City. Around 5 o’clock in the evening, we gave Florence a call on her cell phone to see how her day was going and when she would be home. She said that she was waiting at the bus stop for the matatu (one of the common forms of transportation in Kenya). I figured that she would be able to make it to Nakuru City within the hour and then we could all travel back home in our little car. I knew she was too late to catch a bus or any public transportation to our home that evening, so I would need to wait for her and take her home.
After I had waited on her for forty minutes, I called again to see what her progress was and she informed me that she was now 30 kilometers (less than 20 miles) away from Nakuru, but that the road was completely blocked because of a head-on collision between two trucks. We all just waited for the trucks to get cleared off and for Florence and the orphan boy to make it to Nakuru, which they did about 8:15 p.m.
We immediately headed for home with my brother driving. We were driving along pleasantly when we noticed that a stalled car on the side of the road was flashing its lights at us. We continued driving toward the car, which began driving straight toward us and then pulled across the road blocking us from any further progress. We were only three kilometers (1 ½ miles) from our home.
Within two minutes, four gangsters came and surrounded us with their guns pointed straight at us, demanding that we opened the doors of the car, which we all did as nonchalantly as possible, then they grabbed my brother and me and yanked us out of the car. Next they demanded that we give them all of our money and the cell phones. I handed over the money that I had in my pocket, but they wanted my wallet too. I handed that over too, but all that it had in it was $1. They then got in the car and grabbed my wife and the orphan boy and threw them out of the car. They yanked my wife’s purse from her hands and then stripped it of all of the money that it contained and took her cell phone.
At this point, I thought of all the important documents that were in my wallet: all of my ID cards, my ATM card as well as other important information and documents. I meekly asked the men if I might have my wallet back since they now had all the money that it contained. Believe it or not, after all of that rough treatment, they obliged me and gave me back my wallet. Then they tried to fit the four of us and the four of them into our little car that was full of produce that we had purchased for our orphanage. No matter how they tried and how they crammed, they could not make us fit in that car. They then made Florence, the orphan boy and me get out of the car and they intended to take off with it and with Nelson, but unfortunately for them (and fortunately for us) the car had died and they could not figure out how to start it again. They demanded that Nelson start the car by means of a gun stuck in his cheek. He started it three times for them and then they made a U-turn with it and then sped away with Nelson as their captive.
What were we to do? We were stranded. And what would become of Nelson? Then the miracles started happening for us. A neighbor had heard all of the commotion and so came to check on what was happening. When we told them our story, they helped us report it to a policeman, who immediately called it in to the police station. After only ten minutes, two police vehicles with ten policemen, along with the owners of the car that the hijackers were using when they stopped us arrived on the scene. They took us to the police station so that they could interview us and write their police report. Then they escorted us home, while we drove our other car.
We finally arrived home about midnight and I was hoping that I would find my brother there ahead of us, but it was not to be. I called the policemen back and asked if they knew anything about the whereabouts of my brother and my car. He informed me that my brother had been found alive and the car in fine condition. I thought that I would return to the station right then and get my brother, but they told me that my brother was locked in the station until morning. They did agree to let me talk with Nelson and he told me the whole story of what had happened to him.
The gangsters had driven Nelson to a place that he did not recognize. They then stopped the car close to their residence and asked him if he knew where he was. When he replied, “No,” they gave him the car and commanded him to flee very speedily. Nelson started driving, but he did not know where to go so he was driving slowly, when a policeman came up behind him and stopped. The police were looking for my car and they had my license plate numbers, so they recognized the car. Before he realized what was happening, he was surrounded by forty police, all with their guns trained on him. They figured that he was one of the gangsters. But thanks be to the Good Lord in Heaven, not one of those antsy policemen fired a shot.
The next morning when I went to the police station to get my brother, I was in for another interesting day. When I met the OCS (the officer in charge of security) and explained that I was the owner of the car and that I would like to retrieve my car as well as my brother, he, without even saying a word, pushed a bell and ordered the policeman that responded to take me also to the prison cell. “What was this about?” I thought.
I was asked to write a full-detailed report on the incident and kept in the prison cell in order to do that. They kept me in there until 5 pm on Friday, October 31. As you might guess, Nelson and I were praying and praying together that we might get out of this situation. But, praise the Lord, we had many opportunities to witness for our Lord with the other inmates. I was able to contact Florence, who was fortunately allowed to stay free. Through her the message spread to all of our orphans and our workers about what was going on. They all started sending up prayer petitions on our behalf that we might be let free. Finally, at 6 pm, (shortly before the Sabbath drew on) I was released, but they refused to release Nelson or my car.
When I walked into our place and all of our children/ orphans saw me there was a sound of rejoicing in the air as they ran up to me, while praising the Lord that I had been released. I then told them that they needed to pray for the two officers that were continuing to hold Nelson and the car in detention. These men had twisted our story around to say that we were part of the gangsters.
On Sabbath morning, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me that I should go speak some words to those to men. So with two new Bibles in my bag, I headed over to find them. When I found the first officer, who had been so stern with me the day before, I delivered my speech. I said, “You, Mr. Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigation have been put here in this position by the Lord of Heaven. He is the one who takes care of you as you take care over God’s people. The people you are in charge of belong to the Lord. You have the power to release my brother and our car or to keep them. You know what the truth is though. You know very well in your heart that we are innocent in that matter and that we have been offended after being hijacked by being accused of crimes of which we are innocent. I am here, as the servant of the Most High. If you let me go to do His work that will be okay or if you decide to detain me, my brother and our car here, nobody will even ask you a question about it. But be warned, the God of Heaven knows the truth on this issue and He is watching too.” I then took one of the new Bibles from my bag and placed it on the table and told him that it was a gift for him and for his office.
Immediately he placed a call to another office about our case. He asked the person on the other end, if our papers might be presented to him and he asked me to produce the logbook for the car. He then confirmed that the car was indeed registered in my name. He commanded the other officer to hand the keys over to me and told me to go to the officer who was detaining my brother. I walked out of there boldly and then repeated to that officer the exact same words that I had said to the first officer. I was amazed that I had the courage to speak like that. I gave him the second Bible. as well as a book entitled The Ten Commandments Twice Removed. Upon receiving these gifts, his attitude toward me totally changed. He became very kind and went right away to release my brother.
This incident was a sore trial, but we can now see that it was the Lord’s will, for we have been able to witness to all of those inmates as well as the officers who are now studying the books and Bibles that I gave them.
By Benson Nganga. The Fiwagoh Mission Orphanage. P.O Box 14390, Nakuru – 20100, Kenya East Africa. Telephone: +254- 722-589-195 or +254-720-224-465. Website: www.thefiwagohorphange.org.
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