A few weeks ago I was in Cape Town, South Africa, for a gathering of world Christian leaders from 200 countries. One of the speakers was the Anglican archbishop of Jos, Nigeria. His name is Benjamin Kwashi, and he shared a story that was horrific and inspiring at the same time. Jos, this city in Nigeria, has been rocked by sectarian violence for years now, primarily between Christians and Muslims. There have been endless cycles of violence and vengeance and hundreds of people killed. In March of 2009, a gang of people broke into the bishop's house to kill him. He wasn't home, but his wife was. They did unspeakable things to her, and they beat her and left her for dead. He found her, and she was still alive, but she spent most of the following year in recovery. A year to the day after this gang beat her, in March of 2010, they came back. They broke into his home again, and this time they did find Benjamin. They dragged him out of his house, and they were about to kill him. They had machetes and clubs. Benjamin asked for just a moment to pray before they began. So he knelt there on the dirt and began to pray.
1. A moment later he felt someone holding his hand. He looked up, and it was his wife. I still can't believe the courage of that woman. She could have run, but instead she broke through this line of the same people who had attacked her a year ago and knelt with her husband to pray with him, knowing that her life was over as well. And then a moment later, he felt someone holding his other hand. He looked, and it was his teenage son. Benjamin begged his son to leave so that he wouldn't be killed as well. And his son said, "Father, they've all left. They're all gone."
Why did they leave? Benjamin said he has no idea. And he knows they'll be back. I'd like to believe that the reason they left is that when this bishop and his wife were kneeling in the dirt in prayer, the manifold wisdom of God was put on display before the powers and authorities in the heavenly realm. There was wisdom and power there that these people could not comprehend, and they became afraid and they fled