Well, after two years in South America, a land riddled with stories of people being robbed and attacked and various other fear inducing things, I guess it was likely to happen to me at some point.
It was Saturday night, walking with two of the girls in my team to the local church, when we crossed through a park on a path that we had often taken during the last week. This time there was a man in his late twenties following us.
I had noticed him earlier, but was not too concerned because he had not been following for too long. He was also whistling which put me further at ease, thinking that a thief would want to be less conspicuous. I was wrong.
As we passed into the middle of this park, following the concrete pathways, the man suddenly lunged at us. At this very moment, unknown to us until later, two other girls in our team had felt strongly to pray specifically for me and the girls with me and for our security. Their prayers had a profound effect on what happened next.
As the man lunged, his hand brushed down over my hand and almost caught my bag slung over that side. In it was my passport and other important documents. I grabbed the bag firmly and wrenched it from any form of grip that he may have had. Then I spun around to confront him.
By the time I had spun around, the cowardly attacker had run off to the shadows. He turned around to check that I was not chasing him, and then walked cockily off into the distance. I then turned to the girls who were with me and we quickly checked that our position was safe from others before continuing on our way.
As we compared notes to what had happened, we realised that it was not my bag that the man had been after, but rather our watches. He had lunged simultaneously for both my wrist watch and that of Carolina who was next to me. He missed both, touching only our hands.
Although we had been the target of a thief, this night we walked away safe, with our watches still on our wrists. It was a warning though, to continually be on alert. For me it was also a warning to be more careful when anybody is walking behind us, even if they seem to be harmless.
Almost robbed. I wonder what the outcome would have been if those girls had not prayed for us? Why too, did they feel to pray for protection at that very time, when they had not thought to do so for the entire week? And why specifically for me and the girls with me?
I for one, am very thankful for their prayers.