In and out of line, we spent three hours at the Zimbabwe immigration office filling out the necessary forms to travel into the country. It was hot and many people were gathered. Finally, we had everything in order and crossed the final gate to begin our journey to Mangazi.
I found the border toilets not to my liking and asked if we could stop in a few miles for an outdoor potty break. Sometimes a squat in the bush can be much cleaner than a toilet. We then loaded back up and continued on the dirt road. It was 5:30PM and dusk was fast approaching. Doug and I were traveling in the middle of three vehicles. We were surprised when we saw William’s brake lights come on once again.
As we pulled up behind his vehicle, we noticed a group of men to the side. Then, I noticed that one of them had a gun. I tried not to show on my face the fear inside. The first thought that came to my mind was that they were going to take all of our stuff. Then, I realized I was the only woman here and a much darker scenario began to play in my mind.
“Good evening, mam. We are with border patrol.”
Border patrol? They were not dressed in uniform nor did they have any ID. As they began searching the vehicles, I began to pray. Providentially, the men did not seize anything and let us move on.
Now, I don’t know if having our mission logo on the vehicles deterred them. We still wonder if they were really border patrol or not. As we drove away and my heart stopped racing, I thanked the Lord for His protection. Sometimes I think we can take events like this for granted. We don’t acknowledge that this may have been a time of intervention on the Lord’s part.
For me, this was the first time that I felt any fear here in Africa. I share this story for others to realize that there can be dangerous moments and that is why your prayers are so important to the ministry. I’m thankful to God for keeping us and our belongings safe.