Here's more detail of what happened. Tuesday is family fun night. We all went out to dinner and then went back to the girls' place. Maybe 15 or so minutes after we were there, gunfire ensues. Right outside of our apartment building. People outside were running and diving behind things to hide. It was literally right in the street in which we had just walked past to get home. 15 minutes or more and we could've been walking by or sitting and eating while it happened. Apparently it was a kidnapping and the police were involved but there were a ton of gunshots. Leah started crying. It was so sad to see people scared and running (we were on the 5th floor so we could see out the windows into the street where everything was happening).
That is the 3rd time in the past few months of someone on our team just missing gunfire by minutes. The other 2 instances were with 2 of the girls on our team and once with Bart. It just makes us really wonder why in the world we're here. We don't want to live in fear, but what on earth? We live in a "safe" neighborhood and the 3 gunfire scenarios that have happened have been within 2 blocks of our place (2 were in public mall areas in broad daylight). From what we know, the shots from this night were mostly from police who were already ready to apprehend the man.
Our hearts feel heavy right now. It's hard to even know what to tell our kids. Luckily we were able to distract them with a movie so they didn't understand what was going on. But I just don't really know what to feel right now. Being here just does feel worth it. And honestly living with the feeling of not knowing if some idiot is going to kidnap our kids because they think we have money is something we just don't want to think about anymore, let alone one of us getting shot.
So we're wrestling with lots of thoughts right now. Should we stay? How much can we function here knowing that there is a potential for an "express kidnapping?" Or being robbed? Or worse being shot? But then there's almost an overriding factor. The fear or anxiety that we feel, people here feel it too. One of the Venezuelan guys on our team had so much trouble sleeping that night. He watched from a window with the rest of the singles on the team as the police pulled the lifeless body out of the car and just tossed it into the back of a police truck.
We're not alone. People who live here might be a little more used to the normalcy of robberies and gunfire, but it doesn't scare any less. And so many people here have no hope. No future. No freedom from fear. No salvation. And that's why we'll probably stay. We don't have to live in fear. Praise the Lord that he is in control and we're not! Our lives are not our own. Our kids aren't ours. Simply on loan to us. And we have to choose to live knowing that. Or live with anxiety and fear.
But the one thing we do have to offer is hope. Hope for the hopeless. We can stay here so that maybe one (or more) can know about the surpassing grace and love of Jesus. And that makes it worth it. How can we withhold out of our own selfish desires?
Will you pray for us that we would live and breath and move knowing that Jesus reigns (and truly, gratefully embrace it in our hearts)?