an exerpt from my dad's latest journal re-cap letter:
Unfortunately, the armed robbers continue their nefarious acts. A.G., our handicapped friend who heads up the Beautiful Gate Handicapped Initiative was at our house this week and reported that he had had his robbery experience the night before. He was going to take some wheels for the wheelchairs to a little town about an hour south of Jos to a person who puts the spokes in them. He was passing through a ridge of low mountains when he saw a big truck that appeared to be jackknifed in the road. What had happened is the thieves had put big stones in the road and when the truck tried to avoid them he had partially run off the road. However, this place A. thought was an accident was a blocked road manned by armed robbers. They at first demanded his phone and his money. He had about $150 that he was going to give to the man for his work. He handed these things over. He had a little portable DVD player with him [on which] he shows [a video about his ministry].... The thieves wanted to know what it was. They started to take it but A. pushed the play button on it and it started showing all these handicapped children crawling on their hands and knees. They told him he could keep it. A. said that once they found out he was handicapped (he drives a vehicle with hand controls), they were very nice to him. At one point A. asked them, "Why are you doing this?" One of the said, "Sorry, sir, we don't like to do it but we just have to do it." They had blocked off the road and there were maybe ten cars that they were robbing. At one point, they found a woman with a big dried fish. They took it from her but I guess they decided it would be too much for them to carry into the bush so they came around to where A. was sitting and said, "Here, handicapped man, here is a fish for you." They were making everyone get out of their cars and lie on the ground. However, when they saw A. was handicapped, they told him he could sit in his car. A. asked what would happen if one of the robbers came around and did not realize he was handicapped. He said he thought he should get out and lie down too. Finally, the young robber agreed. After a couple of minutes, the robber saw A. was lying partially in the road. He came around and said, "Excuse me, oga (sir), I don't think it is good for you to lie there. If another vehicle came along, they could run over you. Why don't you move over here where it is a little safer?" So while the robbers were quite nice to A. they still took his phone and his money.
Our good friends, C. and B. [...] were also hit by armed robbers three weeks ago on Sunday evening, the 10 th of February. They [...] returned about 7:30 PM. Unfortunately, they met the thieves trying to get in their gate. The gate man had so far kept them out. However, when C. drove up and they put a gun to his head, the gate man was forced to open the gate. The robbers went into the house, stole money and their phones and beat them around a bit. B. had to go to the hospital the next day with some kind of concussion. C. and B. are made out of tough stuff. They [...] have had remarkable attitudes since that time.
We have heard of a number of other armed robbers in the last couple of weeks. One of the Christian ministries known as CRUDEN was hit one night last week. One of M.'s good friends was having a party for a young lady who was getting married with about thirty ladies attending. The robbers came into the party and took all their money and all of their phones. The lady who lives across the street from us was at a Bible study last week when the robbers came into that Bible study and demanded phones and money from all who were there.
The robbers are getting more and more brazen. This makes us sad and also has forced us to be a bit more careful. We have installed a new door in our house that is basically bullet proof and locks automatically when it is shut. We have also installed a new security lighting system as well as an alarm system. We believe that these measures will help discourage thieves but certainly will not prevent them altogether. We rest in the fact that our protection is in God who is abundantly able to take care of us.