The following is a really long e-mail I received from missionaries I know in South America. Please pray for them. I know this is very long, but I would rather give you the opportunity to hear it all than edit and summarize.
Please bear with the screwy set up. It doesn’t show in the edit stage so I can’t resolve the problem. I have removed last names and place names for the sake of privacy. Here is the e-mail I received a little over a week after the events described:
David was away overnight Friday. Keli had planned to go with him,
but decided to stay home.
About 4:30 am, Keli woke up when she heard the front door and the screen door open and close quietly. She thought it might be David returning to
surprise them or the kids sleepwalking. She got up and checked on the
girls, who were asleep in bed. Dori was semi-awake and spoke with Keli.
Leaving the bedroom, Keli saw an Indian from behind peeking into her
bedroom. When he turned around to face her, she saw that he had one of her
kitchen knives in his hand, which he waved wildly over his head. She
recognized him as a 15 year old kid from the village and by the smell of him
and the look in his eyes, she could tell he was drunk.
The girls woke up hearing Keli speaking in W…. The girls went into the
bathroom and hid in the shower stall, uncertain about what they should do.
Keli was very bold with the boy at first. She told him repeatedly to leave,
moving through the house slowly while he backed out of her way. She turned
on all the lights she could easily reach, and took the spring off the screen
door so that it would stay open and he would have easy access to leave. He
had a tee shirt pulled up over his head so that only his face was visible.
As she turned on more lights, he pulled the tee shirt over his face more.
Keli asked what he wanted; told him to take whatever he wanted, just leave.
He only responded with “no” at first, but then began repeatedly asking if
she knew who he was. Although Keli spoke in W…, he only answered in
broken Spanish. Keli knew who he was but said she didn’t know him and told
him to leave. Keli placed herself in front of the girls’ room door to make
sure he never went in there.
The girls, still not having received any instruction, didn’t know what to do and about this time, began to open the door and peek out. When Keli heard the door, she whirled around to close it and that’s when the boy drew back and stabbed her in the back twice. One of the wounds went deep and punctured her right lung. She screamed out in pain and the girls began screaming loud cries as well.
Keli was bleeding heavily, so she immediately sat down against a wall near the girls’ door pushing her back up to the wall and wedging herself there by pushing against the opposite wall with her feet. With the girls screaming, the Indian became frantic and opened the girls’ bedroom door yelling “Be Quiet” in Spanish. Keli was threatening him not to go in there, which he didn’t and as soon as the door was pulled to again, Keli called out in English telling
Dori to lock the door. She locked it and went back to the shower stall
where the girls huddled together.
Now the Indian started telling Keli to take her clothes off, which she continually refused to do. While she was still sitting on the floor, he pretended to stab her in the chest with the knife, turning his hand at the last moment and hitting her hard with the handle instead. Keli told him in W….. that she was going to die and she needed to call Zack, their partner.
She was hoping this would scare him off. She crawled and staggered to the phone aware of him right there
beside her but began losing consciousness by the time she got to her desk
chair. She doesn’t think she was out very long but sitting in her chair,
she slowly became conscience of him pulling her by the feet toward the door
of the room, and tugging at her pants. She also became aware of the girls
who were in the other room screaming out prayers and verses to God. “God,
please protect our mommy. Keep our mommy safe.”
Without moving a muscle,Keli assessed her situation and says that with the girls’ prayers, a fight grew up inside of her which came out with a loud yell of “NO!!” followed by an attempted kick to his groin. He jumped to the side and she flew out of the chair after him, slamming his head into the wall. They struggled and he ended up pinned between the open screen door and Keli’s back. She was slamming her back into him shoving him into the door. He was facing her back and held the knife around in front of her. Keli had her hand over his hand on the handle of the knife and fought to keep him from being able to stab her in the chest. He moved the blade tip close enough to make a tiny
prick in her chest before he quit the struggle, dropped the knife and ran
out of the door. At the time, Keli had no idea why he quit the fight but
now thinks he may have heard the start up of the motor boat that she
Keli ran behind him to the front door and loudly slammed it. She tried to
lock the door but was again losing consciousness and wasn’t able to get the
right key into the lock before she passed out and slid down the wall. She
came to in a fetal position leaning up against the door, the keys still in
her hand. She stood up and this time she locked the door and as she did,
saw the boy run crouched down across the yard. She went to try to call
Zack, but saw that the phone cord had been cut.
She became aware of the sound of an approaching boat. She went to the front of the house and turned on all the lights so she could be easily seen and began waving her arms to bring the boat over, while she leaned over the kitchen counter. She heard the boat pulling in. She climbed up on the kitchen counter and lay on her back to be visible. She could not focus on whomever had stopped to help, but she managed to say in W…., “I’ve been hurt. Go get Zack. Don’t leave me alone.” She got off the counter and lay on the floor, propping her legs
up on a bench. The Indians who came to help told her to give them the keys
so they could come in. She didn’t think she could, but did manage to crawl
back to the kitchen and with a knife, she sliced the screen and pushed the
keys out. She remembers looking at the clock and it was 5:10. The Indians
couldn’t get the keys to work so Keli called Dori out of the room to help
them. Dori knew these Indians; they were two guys from the village. Zack
arrived in his boat across the river, got Keli and the girls and loaded them
all into his boat. He left the girls with his wife, Michelle, and picked up their other partner to travel with them and care for Keli.
Zack reported the crime to the National Guard . They borrowed his boat as well as David’s boat and went into P…… where they found the kid in the jungle. He is in custody. The villagers said that he had been bragging about what he planned to do since David was away. It was because of what he had said that the guys in the boat decided to come up and check on Keli. David and Zack are doing all
they can to press charges.
And then this was an update from Keli herself:
Dear Partners in Ministry,
I have been carried along by your prayers, and your out pouring of love has been overwhelming and sustaining, both. I can’t even begin to say”thank-you” without tears in my eyes. If you read through the long, scary horror report, now read this and hear of God’s faithfulness. What happened to the girls and me was not God. The look in the eyes of that young Indian boy was nothing short of demonic. But God was all over the whole experience – before it, behind it, and in the midst of it. I knew His calm and peace.
A thousand things could have turned out differently. If I start with the, “I should have…”, there would be no end to the scenarios that I could imagine with completely different outcomes. But I have peace and confidence that every decision leading up to that event was made in fellowship with God, including me for ONCE forgetting to lock the front door. So I have to believe and cling to what I have taught the girls since they were little and dealing with nightmares: that we are safe in God’s hands and nothing touches us but what he allows it for our good and his glory. At the time, I couldn’t bring to mind any particular verses of scripture to claim and that bothered me since I have worked to memorize passages with the girls for situations such as these. But the girls’ loud quoting of verses and their cries out to God gave me hope and strength. When I heard them say, “God protect our mommy”, I determined that if I had anything to do with it, they wouldn’t come out of that room and find me dead. The thing that did stay in my heart and which I said over and over again was, “I trust you, God.” A friend here in town told me I wasn’t quoting verses, I was living them and she reminded me of, “Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusts in thee.” There were moments of intense fear, but I felt the struggle within me and chose peace.
I was released from the hospital on Tuesday… the same day my parents arrived from the States to be with me. We are staying in a missionary’s vacant house here and are able to just be together as a family. It’s the perfect setting for healing, which isn’t going as fast as I would like. While the wounds look really good, and the X-ray of my lungs shows them to be clear, the pain of recovery is so intense. I can imagine I might not feel a lot different if I went through a car wash without the car! The nights are long, but with every day, I have hope for further improvement.And yesterday, after I read the Apostle Paul’s list of sufferings in 2Corinthians, I bit my tongue! I really can’t complain; I just didn’t know recovery would be so hard and take so long. It’s too early to say what our plans are. We’ll save that for a future update. At the moment, it’s all we can do to handle each day.
Pray for David as he is juggling so many balls, and there is still so much uncertainty about what our future here will be. Pray also for his own emotional healing and for wisdom as he continues to press for the prosecution of the Indian.
I forgot to mention the girls. There is evidence of the trauma in them, but they openly talk about everything and have mostly good nights’ sleep. They believe God answered their prayers. Thank you again for your love and support. I love you and am happy to be able to write and tell you of God’s goodness to us.
Keli, for all
David and Keli
Dori, Audrey, and Olivia
David’s mother and mine were college suite mates. I have had lunch at a Bob Evans with this family. There girls played with my kids while David talked with my mom and I talked about mothering and marriage with Keli. The reality of this is incredible.
There was uncertainty about their future in this country due to political pressures before the attack. Please pray for their future and safety and healing for all of them.