Little did I know this morning when I left to pick up the kids from school that I would find myself in the middle of a lynch mob. I’ll tell the story from my perspective first, then fill in with the details I head about later. After picking up the kids, my car was full with Jer, Timmy, and two other E.C. staff preschoolers. After turning onto the main road that leads to campus, I noticed traffic was even worse than usual. I though this was strange, with elections being over. Suddenly we came upon a mob forming. The car in front of me could go no further, due to people swarming the road. I noticed a red car up to my left. It looked to me like there were men fighting. Then I saw a few police and figured they must be impounding the red car, as a man standing nearby was very angry. However, I soon realized the men around the car were trying to get into the car. And the police were trying to drive the car away, but could not move. The men standing near the car started attacking the car, beating in the windows, etc. While this took place, a few guys that decided to start videotaping the incident with whatever they had on hand. I sat there, transfixed, unable to go anywhere, when a familiar head popped up by my window and asked me if I was okay. I was relieved to see another staff member, and my mind started working again. The red car began to move, and I heard Tommy, the other staff, say something about someone having a gun. There were people all around our car, telling me to get the kids down. I was worried about them, and we still could not drive away. My next thought was to try to get the kids out of the car and away from the mob. At this point the red car had moved slightly and was beside the back of our car, so I turned the car back on, and Tommy tried to help me get around the craziness to get out. But a taxi (to the right of me) decided he should get out first, and wouldn’t let me go. At some point I felt a slight bump, and I guessed we had scrapped each other. At another point during all of this I also felt a bump from behind. Eventually, the taxi went ahead of me, and after some confusion (some random person was trying to direct me over to the right, behind parked cars), I was able to get by and on open road again. All I could think about was getting back to campus.
On the way home, I talked to the kids about how God protected us. The little girl I drive (4 years old), proceeded to tell us how God says we shouldn’t kick people’s windows- especially when they belong to someone else. She also said that her teacher says that God died for us for three days and rose again. “God is alive,” she told us solemnly. This bought a big smile to my face! Out of the mouths of babes! I thanked the Lord again for keeping us safe, though I was still a little anxious for Tommy and any students that were with him.
After the truck of students and staff arrived safely back, Tommy informed me of the details of the incident. Apparently a man had robbed a store, had been caught and beaten, and was put in the police car (the red car). However, the mob (armed with machetes and whatever else) wanted to take things into their own hands and tried to get to the thief, not allowing the police to drive away, attacking the vehicle. When the vehicle was near us, the police man was waving around his gun, near us and in Tommy’s face. After I left people continued to try to run the car down to get to the thief. Apparently the police had little to no control over the situation. Praise the Lord we are all safe! And the guaguita (our car) only suffered some minor scratches (a miracle in my mind, considering the mob of people, motorcycles, and other cars!). It saddens me the way people try to take justice into their own hands, creating an even more dangerous situation than before (and even endangering little children)! But God is in control, and He continues to remind me of this.
Oh how I love the days when my trips into town are uneventful!