By Wale Orekan

The bus taking me into Abuja, Nigeria had a mechanical failure. I was on my way to the capital to renew our passports. Because of the breakdown I had to spend two nights in Owo with the other passengers. I decided to take another bus from that place instead of waiting. After traveling for about two hours the driveshaft malfunctioned on that bus resulting in another breakdown.

At this point I decided to hitch a ride into Lokoja, the next major city. A car stopped. The back seat was fully occupied. One of the occupants was a woman. I sat in the front seat. After about thirty minutes to Lokoja, one of the passengers in the back hit me in the back of the head with a blunt object, and I blacked out.

When I regained consciousness, I was in a small, dark room with four other men. When they heard me stirring one of the men pointed a gun at me and demanded the pin codes to my two ATM cards. I gave it to them. They asked me if I was hungry. I said no, but that I was thirsty. They gave me a bottle of water. After I drank it I experienced memory loss. I couldn’t remember anything. I had been drugged!

On Wednesday, around two or three in the morning I regained consciousness and became aware of my surroundings. The place was very dark and I was sitting on the floor. I remembered that I was kidnapped and listened carefully for a while to try and pick out any voice or sound. Eventually I heard birds and other bush sounds. I continued to be still. I was not afraid, but I worried for my family. I thought of my friends and my ministry; yet, I was not afraid to die.

After a while I heard the Muslim call to prayer and roosters crowing. Then a young man came into the room. He was a young man of about 25 years old. He asked me how I was feeling and if I wanted anything. I said no. I asked him what was going on. He said that the other men had went to town, and that I should remain calm. I was told that they would not hurt me a long as my family paid 10 million Naira ($25,000 USD).

I laughed, and he was taken aback. He asked, “Are you not afraid to die?” I told him that life was like a vapor and that everyone will die. I said, “It is better to die in Christ.” The Lord gave me the courage to continue talking with him. “You seem like a nice guy,” I said. From his broken English I could tell that he had had some college education. He, more than likely, fell in with these thugs because of a lack of job opportunities.

I told him that crime does not pay and that it would not end well for him. If they killed me, my blood would be on them. I said, “I don’t think that you want to get yourself in such a mess, and if you die without Christ you will loose eternally.” He turned nervous. The atmosphere became quiet and tense.

After a time of silence I said, “You should just let me go!” He answered calmly, “I have no problem with that, but I am afraid of what the other three will do to me.” I told him that it is never easy to do right, and that I believed God would help him. He thought very carefully, and then told me to follow him.

Upon exiting the little house I noticed that it was a mud hut. Three other similar huts were visible. He put me on a bike and drove me six minutes and stopped. He was afraid that the others would be coming back that way. He instructed me to go into the bush and stay off the path. He pointed me in the direction of a village and said, “You can get help there.”

After walking carefully, at times crawling through the bush, I came to the village. I spoke with some men. They led me to the hard road where I flagged down a bus to the nearest town. The bus driver said that he would not take any money from me. It was a good thing; I had none—both of my accounts were emptied. The driver then paid for a bike taxi and instructed him to take me to the police. I was able to contact my family at the police station. After filing a complaint with the police I took another bus back to Lokoja. Brother Shola, one of our deaf ministry workers, lives there with his family. They cared for me for two days. From there I took another bus to Abuja.

I finally made it to Abuja to conduct the business I went for originally. I was also able to preach for an American missionary, Mark Holmes. Someone paid for a flight back to Lagos anonymously. I have been reunited with my family. God is good! In all of this I was reminded of the power of prayer and experienced the presence of God. Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

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