I have a riddle for you. What do 4 laptops, a kindle, 2 ipods, a wallet, a camera, a flip video camera, a multi-tool, and a USB internet modem have in common?
The answer is that they were all stolen from our apartment while we slept on Sunday night.
I sit down to write this blog 24 hours after we awoke to quite a shock and a day of emotions, police statements, prayers, regrets, and resolutions. I tell you of the details of this event with some trepidation, as I don’t want to make you fearful for us, but more to ask you for prayers and to tell you of the work God is doing in us.
We went to sleep at about 11:00pm on Sunday night, after skyping with Kelly Wilson and our dogs, Molly and Maggie. As per our routine, we left our computers, electronics and other “stuff” in the living area of our apartment and retired to our bedrooms to sleep. We all have a bad habit of sleeping with a fan next to our bed that makes noise, helping us sleep. We had a day off on Monday, so we did not have alarms set and were just going to wake up on our own timing and have the day to get ready for our upcoming trip to Gulu this week. Jake and Jared got up about 7:30am and briefly sat down in the living room to watch TV. Jake noticed that Jill’s computer was missing, as he was going to use it to look at something online. He did not see it, so he thought that she had taken it to her bedroom the night before. Jake and Jared went out to exercise and did not notice anything else awry at that time. Jayne got up around 8:00am and noticed that the sliding glass door onto our balcony (more like a porch since we are on the ground floor) was open.
She looked out onto the balcony and noticed that our backpack that we use to carry cameras, stethoscope, otoscope, hand sanitizer, bug spray and sunscreen in was out under the bushes and all of the stuff was dumped on the ground.
She came to wake us, thinking appropriately that we had been robbed. We called the front desk to report the robbery, then we talked to the head of security and then the police. We subsequently made the list that I mentioned above. It was a little embarrassing to give the police the extensive list of things that we had with us and available to be stolen. This list of luxuries was rattled off in a country where so many have so little. Along with the police, we pieced together the fact that someone likely entered our apartment and pilfered through all of our things in the living room, including digging things out of cabinets in our entertainment center, then left through the sliding glass door. They dumped out our backpack and picked the things that they wanted out of the bag and left the rest. Thankfully, phones, visas, passports, credit cards and Jared’s laptop were in the bedrooms and were left with us.
I am not going to pull your leg, when we realized what had happened and that an unknown person was in our house, we were shaken. Through the day however, we have become more resolved in what we are doing. You see, we are just now getting some “good traction” in our work that we are doing with God here in Uganda. So we know what the enemy is up to. He thinks that he can kick the dirt out from under us and make us lose our “traction” and slide down the slope of panic and fear and retreat from the front line. What he did not realize is that we are not standing on the sand, we are standing on the “Rock”! We sang a song Sunday, in church, called “I need you”. In that song, there is one phrase that struck me. It says that if we stand on God, we fall on Him. We stumbled on Monday, but we fell on Him. We got the breath knocked out of us, but God has picked us up, dusted us off and has encouraged us to shake it off and get back to the Kingdom’s work.
We regret that we had not backed up all of the pictures and other information that were stored on our computers, but we know that all of that was just stuff. We are also missing the referral papers for Nakiganda to go to the hospital on Wednesday, as they were in a backpack that was stolen. The police have some suspects and the hotel owner has made multiple security changes. It has been refreshing that the owner has admitted responsibility because of a gap in security. The hotel’s insurance is “supposedly” going to reimburse costs of this equipment, but it obviously can’t replace the info on the computers.
We are going to get back to the Kingdom’s work and keep our plans to go to Gulu on Wednesday. The enemy has no power over us. In fact, our family collectively is telling the devil that he can take his robber(s) and shove them up his ……… …...................... nose, in Jesus name! Jake showed great insight yesterday when he said “we must be doing the right thing, because someone from the other team doesn’t like what we are doing”! Not only is this “someone” from the other team, he is from the losing team! We are about to go MMA on this “someone”!
In worship on Sunday, we were reminded that we were supposed to pray for our enemies. So here it goes, Dear God, we pray that, after he pulls his upper body out of the devil’s………nose, that this person will feel convicted, and come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. That he will make things right and ask you for forgiveness. We hold no hard feelings against this person and we are so thankful that You kept our family safe through this incident! Amen
Thanks for your prayers