If you don’t follow my personal page, you won’t know this, however, a couple of months ago....South Africa’s crime eventually affected my family. Finally seems like such a better word than eventually, but finally makes me feel as if we were waiting for it. Which we were not. In fact, I had been living quiet blindly up until now.
I love this country and am grateful that we choose to make our home here. I’ve mentioned on several occasions how much I miss America and this is wholly true. Yet, I love our life here. I love the values this country is instilling in my children and myself as well as the cultural diversity we are exposed to daily!
The fact remains that crime is an issue for our land. I don’t believe any one any where is exempt from crime....it just seems so much more prevalent here. Until now, though, I guess I just saw it from an outside perspective.
It slowly has crept into my life though. In early 2012, I was doing some shopping in town with Lil Mister and Hubby when I first experienced it. I had my first brush through the affects of an attempted mugging. Yes, I say attempted...Praise to God that they were unsuccessful!
In June of this year, I again experienced it when a man attempted to enter my home on a Saturday morning while I was alone with the kids. Yes, again attempted! The banner of the Lord has always protected us within our home and he retreated as soon as he crossed the door of our home! Praise the Father again!
Again....life resumed to normal. I had been in South Africa for just over four years and had two slight, non damaging incidences.
We prayed over our house after that and asked God’s protection over it and our family.
A little over a month ago....3 am Lil Mister fell out of his bed! He has NEVER done this! I was instantly wide awake. I went to his room calmed him down and brought him into our bed. After about 5 minutes, he was again fast asleep curled up with Papa. Just as I lay back down, LJ woke up. Exhausted, I grab him thinking to God....why won’t you let me sleep!
I heard a strange noise in our yard. I thought at first I was just being paranoid. We have a neighborhood cat which likes to come visit some nights and the lizards that are busy sometimes move a toy of the kids outside if small enough. But something inside me told me that I needed to go look.
As I round the corner from the bedroom to the lounge, I saw a very distinct shadow move beneath our living room curtains which hang before our sliding door. I knew it was a person and woke Hubby up with a furry. He rushes to the door and throws it open since we have the security gate still locked.
Lil Misters bike had been sitting outside that door and was gone. I tell Hubby that I KNOW that bike was there and now that man has it. Hubby screams at the unknown suspect to let him know we are aware he is there. We then hear him take off running out the complex.
After that of course, we could not resume sleep. At 5am when the other men in the complex are heading to work, we go outside to let them know what happened. Sure enough, one of the bukkies had been broken into and we found the tools laying in our front yard. Blessedly, we had been woken up and the criminal took nothing.
After this, we started bringing everything into the house at night. I mean every toy and chair and well....everything!
Sadly, it didn’t remain this way. The weekend before we left for holiday, Hubby and I attended a concert. We picked the kids up after work and left straight for the concert, not expecting to be back so late we hadn’t brought the toys inside. We had such a great time together and with the kids and got home around 2am. We headed straight for bed. Saturday morning, I was busy in the house and at 11 when Hubby came from work, we again left straight away for the Sunday School Picnic.
That evening when we went outside to begin the braai....I realized something was off. I walked all around the house and through the house and came to notice...Lil Misters bike was gone. Yep, they’d come back for the bike. It had to have been Friday night because it was there during the day Friday.
What is worse is that this means they had been watching us. You see....they didn’t just happen back on the exact night we weren’t there and the bike was outside. They waited and waited.
Since then, I can’t sleep. I wake up to every noise. I wake up if the curtains blow a shadow. I wake up if it is too quiet. Does this make me love South Africa less? No....this is our home. I love this country.....but to the person that stole from us:
You think you got away don’t you. We don’t know who you are or what you look like, but our Lord and Father does. It is because of things like what you did that gives this beautiful land a terrible name.
We aren’t in a financial place to replace that bike. Were you even aware of that at the time you took it? Did you think about the child whose heart you were breaking? Did you consider the lasting impact you were making on his conscious when it came to how he views the people of this country?
What’s even worse is that you took advantage of the type of people we are as a family. Hubby and I are the type that is always willing to help. If you had come to us during the day....said you needed help...you have a child you can’t provide a Christmas present for...then we would have probably done something to try and help you! Given you work around our place to earn a few bucks or got in touch with some other people who could possibly have helped you!
Did you even need the bike? I mean it isn’t worth a lot. Was it a Christmas gift for your child or nephew or did you sell if for drug money like so many others have done? The money isn’t even the point....it’s what that bike symbolized then and what it symbolizes now. To my son...that was a haven. It was a fun and exciting adventure. It meant movement...it meant freedom. Now, it’s a symbol of all the pain in this country. It’s a symbol of the things he will have to fear for the rest of his life.
In all honesty, I’m not even mad at you. I pity you. My heart screams out to Christ for you. I pray that you find God and get away from this lifestyle you’re living. I pray that if you are a child still, that Christ can become that Father you need. That you can lean on Him and turn your life around before it spirals completely out of control. I pray that the conviction of guilt of the Holy Spirit tugs so hard at your soul that you drop to your knees in overwhelming repent. I pray that the Holy Spirit washes over you and takes away all you’ve done wrong in this life. I pray for your soul. I pray for your future. There is only one that can save you!
I pray that if one day we meet again, although I won’t know you, that the Holy Spirit will convict me to speak out to you. I pray that the overwhelming power of His majesty and grace consumes me until I cannot resist reaching out to you! I pray and beg the Father that our paths do cross! I pray that you KNOW me! So that I can be a witness to the power of the Almighty God in our life! That you may know the ultimate forgiveness!
I pray that bike is bringing some unfortunate child extreme joy right now. Let’s face it....my children aren’t short on toys and my family has learned a lesson from this. So I pray that whatever happened to that bike....that some child who otherwise wouldn’t have expe
rienced the fun he is having now has the largest smile on his face!
So...thank you. Thank you that you broke those false beliefs that we couldn’t be affected and brought us into reality. Thank you that through this awful event there is possible joy at the other end. And thank you....thank you for giving God the opportunity to work in your life! Whether you realized or not....you opened the door to relentless prayer on your behalf! So...PRAISE GOD!