New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie
Posted: 02 Feb 2020 11:29 AM PST
Long story short: I was mugged on Tuesday afternoon.
Long story long: I went home for lunch on Tuesday afternoon, worked on my computer at the kitchen table for a bit, then decided it was time to head back to the green office (~ 1/2 block away). I was carrying my purse with a cross-body strap and my brand new laptop, in its case, in my arms. In front of the house on the corner, I recall sensing dread as I heard a moto coming from behind pull up uncomfortably close to me. My next conscious thought, sprawled on the pavement, is that everything of value that I owned was gone. The whole episode lasted seconds, and I remember next to nothing. I think it was two men, but I couldn’t pick them (him?) out of a lineup. In shock, I made my way into the regional office sans my glasses, which were later found on the ground only slightly bent, and with my office keys and my sunglasses case (?) in my hand. Two of our Spanish teachers met me with hugs, escorted me to the couch, gave me a glass of water, and began to notify key people. Within minutes, nurse Jamielynn was cleaning and disinfecting my scrapes and checking me for a concussion (negative), Regional Business Manager Blake had an old phone of his charging for me, and Regional Director Ted was there to read Psalm 82 (below) and pray with me as the shock ebbed into sobbing.
God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!
I spent the afternoon at Jamielynn’s house cancelling credit cards and making a list of other things that needed replacing/addressing. Given that my home was compromised due to having lost the keys, I padlocked everything and headed to Blake’s house for dinner, movie night, and a place to crash. His wife Lizz made chicken soup – aka the most comforting meal ever. Appropriately, we watched the movie adaptation of the popular children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, although I missed most of it fighting with iCloud backup on my temporary phone and notifying family. I was sitting on the balcony adjacent to the “theater” at one point when 20-month old Jo toddled out. I picked her up so she couldn’t get too near the wrought-iron railing, and she immediately settled into my lap where she eventually fell asleep. Baby snuggles for the win!
It’s been a few days now. My body still hurts in some places. I’m slogging through the inconvenience of replacing items and documents, with the added headache of living abroad. I’m a celebrity at the police station. I could focus on what I’ve lost. The most cumbersome thing to replace will be my sense of security. Any moto has me on edge. I’m not sure I could handle coming home after dark, alone, and having to get out of the car to open my garage gates right now. It feels silly to be so apprehensive, but everyone continually reassures me that it’s not at this stage. In time, I’ll re-learn to walk the fine line between irrational fear and a healthy sense of caution.
Or, I could focus on what I still have:
Never once have I considered leaving the field as a result of what happened. It will not break me. Petty crimes aren’t something we should consider a normal part of life. They’re evil, they’re unjust, and…they’re why we’re here, doing what we do. Our all-knowing Savior will use what I suffered to bring glory to His name, somehow, some way. This isn’t the first incident to affect the missionary community, or others in our neighborhood, nor will it be the last. The regional team is already re-assessing how best to keep all missionaries and their belongings as safe as possible, and I have a short list of things I intend to implement personally, as well.
Thanks to those of you who have sent texts, emails, and Facebook messages of encouragement. Please continue to pray for justice for my attackers and all who seek to foil the furthering of the Gospel, and for God’s holy angels to surround my team & I as we live out our various callings where He has placed us.
Until next time, blessings!
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