Saturday, January 8, 2011

BE SMART AND SAFE!

Its been 2 weeks now since we found ourselves in a life changing moment. Its funny how everyone always assumes life in Doha is dangerous or scary but its nothing compared to the threat of danger that is a reality in the U.S. on a daily basis. Over our Christmas break in Texas we experienced an extremely dangerous incident. My sister-in-law, Nick and some of our very best friends were robbed at gun-point the night before Christmas eve in Houston. Of everyone involved, I experienced the least amount of stress but for anyone who reads this blog I want to take the opportunity to remind you to be smarter and safer. Had I taken the time to think a little bit and be a little more careful I might have prevented such a horrific situation. Thank the Lord no one was hurt. All walked away physically fine but big lessons were learned. God is good all the time and I know He has a plan for everything and everyone. This incident was part of that. Please learn from this situation. We sure have! For everyone involved God has blessed us with a divine peace of mind. We are so thankful for that.

After celebrating Christmas and enjoying dinner with Nick's family on the evening of the 23rd, Amanda, my SIL and I headed out for a quick run to Willowbrook Mall. We left the house about 9pm. (Not so smart idea #1) We parked close and in a well lit area but that's all I considered. We went straight to the Apple store to get a laptop that I needed to pick up. We walked in a couple other stores and left the mall about 10pm. I carried the white, Apple laptop box all around the mall and out to my car without thinking twice about it. (Not so smart idea #2) At some point we were seen carrying around that expensive box and followed in our car for about 20 minutes all the way home without knowing or paying attention. (Not so smart situation #3) Our best friends Jackie and Mark were meeting us at the house to give Georgia a gift. We drove up and they were waiting outside while their kids were asleep in the car. As soon as we drove in the drive way, I parked Nick's truck and greeted Jackie and Mark. I quickly went inside to tell Nick to come out and visit and within 10 seconds the robbers that followed had Jackie and Mark on the ground at gun point and we met Amanda on the doorstep hysterical and screaming something about guns. Without hesitation and very confused, Nick and I continued outside to make sure Jackie and Mark were ok but instantly stopped because one of the masked robbers was standing not far from the front door pointing a gun at Nick telling him to get down. There were 5 men, all wearing masks and dressed in black. They had a precise plan to take the laptop out of the truck and get what money they could from Jackie and Mark. In less than 5 minutes they had Mark's wallet and the laptop and then they were gone. Within just a few minutes the police arrived. We talked for a few hours covering all the details. Everything happened so quickly. What I saw was one guy pointing a gun at my husband. Nick and Amanda experienced more and Jackie and Mark most of everyone. Now that we look back at the situation we know God protected us in so many ways. God has graced us with peace and not fear! Everyone is a little jumpy but maybe that's good and keeps us on guard. We have all continued to talk about the incident and be so thankful for the goodness of it all. BUT I wanted to post about it mostly as a reminder to be safe, smart, careful and prayerful!

We prayed so much that night for God's will and for Him to fill us with His spirit. I've continued to pray for the robbers. We guess that they were teenagers, which is incredibly sad. Its pathetic that "boys" are in a situation where they feel they have to risk their lives and others to steal. Our world, the U.S. and Houston, Texas is lost. I also pray God uses that situation for His good and that those young men come to know Him and hopefully change their lives.

Maybe our prayers were answered because a situation with very similar details ended with better results last week. The link below is from the Houston news. A week after we experienced such horror so did another family but they caught a few of the guys.
http://www.click2houston.com/news/26362662/detail.html

For such a dramatic situation. I would have rather told my close friends and family in person but with Christmas and such a short amount of time with everyone we focused on more positive things.

Don't be scared, be safe and smart. The timing of Christmas and a late night out at Willowbrook Mall was a bad idea. 2 young females are an easy target, take a man! Also don't obviously carry around expensive purchases. And most importantly I think, if you're out at night pay attention to everything around you especially cars that could be following or lurking around.

You never think this kind of thing would happen to you. Nick's mom lives in a very nice neighborhood and tucked away with a lot of crazy turns. Not only did they follow us a long way, they kept their plan even when they realized it wasn't just Amanda and me on scene.

Thank you for reading this if you're still here :) Pray for protection over your family and be safe please.

11 comments:

Sybil K said...

Oh Wendi, I'm so glad that everyone is safe! One never imagines this happening to themselves. God was truly with you and yours (and always is!). Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I'm real sorry to hear about that mess, glad yall are ok! I regret that we didn't get to see yall while you were here, but I know we all had a lot going on. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and yall are doing well back in Doha! - The Bairds

Mary Anne said...

Thanks for sharing the lesson...Glad everyone's ok!

Shannon said...

I don't know what to say....unbelievable......I am so, so thankful for the grace of God and that you, Nick and the rest of the bunch are ok. I truly cannot imagine! Thanks for reminding us that we are not immune to such horrible things! I love you and hope things have calmed down a little.

Jennie and Eric said...

Oh Wendi, I was in shock the entire time reading this!!!!!!!!! I'm so sorry to hear about this terrible incident while at home. Thank you so much for sharing and reminding us to always be aware!

Anonymous said...

Wow, how scary for all of you! When people ask if I felt safe living in the Middle East, they are amazed that I felt safer there than here in the US. Thanks for the reminder to always be on guard. I miss your sweet family--Gayla

Ethan's Folks said...

I had heard about the news article you linked to, but had not heard about your situation. God is good, but people are not. Thank you for sharing your experience and for warning all of us about these teens that need to find God.

angie said...

I still cannot believe that actually happened! I am SO thankful for the Lord's protection, and that no one was hurt. It is really ironic that this happend to you in HOuston instead of Doha...I'm sure there's a lesson for all of us there :). I am praying for you and your children and Nick right now as you get back to your normal daily life. Thank you for sharing this story girl.

Katy said...

Wendi girl! So scary!! I've been meaning to call you about this---Kacey told me last week. Just can't believe this happened to you! wow. Thanks for reminding me to be aware of these things!

So thankful you're all ok. The Lord had His hand on y'all!
love you and miss you...

Lindsey said...

I can not believe that! Praise God nobody was hurt. What a scary situation, couldn't even imagine. Those guys were gutsy!!

amanda said...

thank you, wen, for posting this. so so thankful everyone was okay. has definitely brought more awareness of how careless i can be. love yall!