Brad wrote to all of his supporters after the robbery. Much of what he says is so humbling to me, and has blessed me personally. Please be encouraged by what he says, and glorify in the sovereign and good Lord we serve.
*As anyone who has been in a similar situation knows, when one finds himself in a situation that
puts the safety of their loved ones in immediate danger, all other “things” loose value instantly.
Maybe more accurately stated, all other “things” are seen for the value they truly have. From
a fork to a van, it was if the men were asking for used rags. Oh the foolishness in seeking and
treasuring these “things”.
*I had plenty of time to wish for different things while there with the robbers, but I found
myself wanting only one thing (aside from it all to end)… a phone. I wanted to call my family in
Christ and get them praying. I believe, though do not understand why completely, that there
is something different and powerful in the prayers of a multitude. I wanted that power. The
following day, a missionary couple in Oregon called to encourage us. The wife Arlene told Lindsay that
she was unable to sleep during the time we were being robbed. She said she felt led to pray
for God’s protection over the missionaries in Mexico. She prayed for our protection. Like
God said, “I like hearing many of my children pray to me. Arlene, wake up! Pray for Brad and
Lindsay.” I didn’t need a cell phone.
*Theology is not for the intellectuals, those in the ministry, and those with too much time on
their hands. Theology is for those with guns to their heads. Two hours past with Lindsay and me unable to see our sleeping children. We could hear the door that connects the bathroom to their rooms open and close on several occasions. At one point I even heard what sounded (though maybe only in my stressed mind) like choking. Legs totally numb, holding back the nausea, feeling faint, I could only disown my children. “God, they are not my children. They are yours. I cannot provide for them, only you can. I can’t protect them, only you can. They cannot be my responsibility right now. I know this doesn’t mean you are obligated to save them, but it does mean it is your decision, not mine.” God’s sovereignty and goodness was our hope and strength. There is a truth I have preached for a long time that became so intimately a part of my being. It is that God is in total control and He is always good. When they would point the gun at me, or walk towards me with an ominous look on their face, or whisper
among themselves, I knew that I was, in that moment, as safe as I am sitting around the dining
room table at my parent’s house in Chicago. I was, quite literally, invincible. They were totally
unable to do me any harm unless my always good and all controlling Father said they could.
However, sometimes He says they can. I could not write in clauses and pretexts for upholding
the theology of God’s goodness. He’s good no matter what. I have no right to demand the lives
of my family. We have no claim to health or wealth. My theology gave me peace. And that truth applies just as much to me as to my family and anyone reading this letter who can call God their Father and not their enemy.
*We as a body in San Miguel de Allende enjoy greatly the unity among us. The truth is, it is
easier to teach that we all need one another than demonstrate it when I am rich, I don’t have
problems (that they see), I am a super-Christian. I can talk of my struggles, my problems, the
encouragement they are to me, but sometimes it takes a little more for them to experience it.
The poor, the rich, the babies in the faith, the mature, the needy and those with it all figured
out, flooded to our rescue emotionally the next day. I needed them, they knew it, and they
responded in force. God knew they needed that; they needed an opportunity to help me
when I was helpless. It was so great. That feeling of being surrounded and loved extended
well beyond the San Miguel boarders to all of Mexico and then to all of you. God is so big. He
has given us family, a family that cries when I cry, rejoices when I rejoice, and comforts me.
It is a feeling only those who belong to this true and spiritual and eternal family understand.
*This truth made me smile even there with those men. I watched, shaking my head, as they
took “things” out of the house and thought, “you are not causing me any damage. You are not
creating in me any need that won’t be filled the moment you leave.” Not that I feel I deserve
any of that, or that God has an obligation to restore to us any of those “things”. But, I know
you all. I know your hearts. I know that Christ’s prayer in John 17 was answered. I simply knew
what was to be the response of my family. When we arrived at Bernardo’s house at 3:30am I
thought why call and wake everyone up? It’s over. But then I found myself craving their tears
and prayers. I needed your tears and prayers and calls and emails. And God supplied them.
Even Eric and Holly, our non-believing neighbors could have protected us. We were safe with
them and they begged us to stay with them. But we needed family. The evening wasn’t over
until we were in the arms of our family.