Caught In The Cross Fire - Trans World Radio Canada

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    • Jun20Wed

      Caught In The Cross Fire

      June 20, 2012
      Filed Under:
      Africa, Prayer

      Media Ministry Caught In Regional Conflict

      When you work in so many different parts of the world, as we do, it's inevitable that you encounter setbacks and trouble. This story from TWR's David Katana demonstrates that while TWR avoids getting involved in regional or national conflict or politics, sometimes we get swept up in it. Several years ago, David was going to install a satellite downlink at a Christian radio station and things went horribly wrong.

      David arrived in the eastern border town and spent two days with colleagues and seeing the local sights. He enjoyed the walk from the hotel to the radio station. On the third day after lunch, David began the main task that had brought him to the town - setting up the satellite dish on the roof.

      Things Went Horribly Wrong
      While installing the equipment, David heard the unmistakable sound of a large crowd. He peered over the side of the building to the street below and saw a large crowd of people running away. The station director suddenly appeared on the street and waved frantically to David -- to come down.

      David grabbed his tools and rushed to a waiting car. The car headed for the compound where the radio station employees lived with their families. Inside the compound, they took cover from a sudden barrage of flying bullets. The house was full of people.

      The gunfire lasted through the night, the bullets lit up like fireflies in the night. When the chaos abated, David and a pastor left the compound. The streets were dark and empty. In the rearview mirror, they noticed another car following them. Hearts racing, they rushed for the safety of a walled-in hostel. The pastor jumped from the car and pounded on the gate which seemed to signal the beginning of a gunfight.

      Gunfire erupted between the men in the car following them and an armed group in the bushes next to the wall. David and the pastor fell inside when the door was opened to them. Bullets hit the building like heavy rainfall that never seemed to abate. David makes a phone call from beneath a mattress inside the hostel.

      It's almost impossible for David to hear the person on the other end of the line. More gun shots ring out. "What are those sounds I'm hearing?" says the person on the other end of phone.

      Someone in the next room takes a bullet to the chest and screams.

      "Right now, I'm hiding under a mattress," David said, yelling to be heard over the chaos. "They say it slows the bullets. Here is my number." David and the others remained pinned down in the hostel for three days while his TWR colleagues contacted the United Nations and arranged to get him out.

      Finally the UN soldiers arrived and distributed helmets and bullet-proof vests. The UN cleared the road. Bodies riddled with bullets littered the street. The border guards David had spoken with just a few days before lay dead still at their stations.

      David was reunited with his wife in Kenya shortly after the rescue. It wasn't until he saw his own children safe in their beds that he cried. Overwhelmed by fear and helplessness, the reality of the situation he had survived finally hit him. He then realized how God had given him the strength to endure such a traumatic situation.

      Remember TWR's missionaries and field workers in your prayers. Learn more about TWR Canada's Africa ministries.SaveSave