I thought she was dead.
The masked gunman had her pushed up against the wall, with the gun aimed at her head.The gun went off and she dropped to the ground.

While sitting in the back of our car, Duncan described an attack by two masked men on him and his travel companions the last day of their five week backpacking trip.

College kids adventuring in Peru.
One was my kid.
My kid was still in Peru.

My kid was the one on the ground.

One young man  and three girls had two hours left before leaving this beautiful country decorated with lush jungles, deserts, glaciers, and beaches. A mixture of everything.

They had just gone to the grocery store with their Peruvian friend, Diego, so they could whip up a final meal together.

Getting out of the car, arms filled with groceries and last minute souvenirs two men charged them. The men’s hands holding guns. Guns cocked and ready to fire.

Confusion filled the moment.

Was this a prank?

No, no, no! 
Diego knew it wasn’t. He took off running. Understanding his car was the prize.

Not understanding, Kendra and Danae, ran after them.

The confusion was no more when they saw the men, the beating, the pistol whipping, and the guns.

Hey! Stop it! Leave him alone.

Now they where the next target.

Car keys in one hand and a gun in the other the men went for their next victims. Confiscating wallets, iPhones, credit cards. Whatever could be quickly snatched.

Time was the enemy’s enemy.

Anyone slowing them down was an obstacle that must be dealt with.
My daughter, frozen with fear, was too slow for them. Pushing, grabbing and shaking.
The cord attached to her bag was strong. The masked man stronger.
Adrenaline filled he pulled the cord, tossing her to the ground while shooting his gun.
She dropped.
Head ringing, pounding. Sound silenced.

I’m shot…
Did he shoot off my ear?

Danae, standing near the attacker, KenGet up. Get up. Hurry.

Kendra looked up and saw the gun pointed at her, his angry eyes glaring through the slits in the mask.
Kendra had fallen near the object of the attack. The car.
The gunmen couldn’t get in. Couldn’t escape.

Kendra dazed, Will he shoot me again?

A familiar voice broke through. Get up! 

Danae kneeled down and pulled her arm.
They ran-off into the safety of a Peruvian home. the other two, Duncan and Rain, did the same.

 The community, now fully aware an attack in their hood was taking place, stepped in to help.
One young man flung  piece of metal at the car windshield. Unable to see, the robbers crashed the car, got out, shot again, and ran.

And God was there.

God protected the 5 young people from serious injury.
Miracle of miracles Kendra was not shot.
God provided people to help. People to provide safety, compassion, funds.
Kendra’s passport was among her stolen items.

No passport, no money, no leaving Peru.

A man in-line behind her at the US embassy gave her $140.00 U.S. dollars.
What’s your name?

God letting Kendra know He was with her.

My family and friends prayed for God’s protection, provision, and for people to step up and help.
Diego, stitched up, stepped in to navigate the Peruvian bureaucracy.
Kendra’s two girlfriends stayed behind, missing their flight, so she wouldn’t be alone.
It only took one day to accomplish what should have taken at least two. God speed.

Kendra’s home. 

Praise you, Lord.
She’s reliving the wonderful moments of her trip.
Beautiful country. Beautiful people.
And a big and beautiful God.

Thank you, Jesus. 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed,
 for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 

This blog post is dedicated to Kendra, Danae, Rain, Diego (and family), Duncan, and the Peruvian community. Thank you for the courage you showed and for loving each other so much you were able to push past fear and do the best and right things at the right moment. Your acts of unselfishness were bold and beautiful. Many thanks to Delta airlines for making a difficult and stress-filled situation easier. Your swift cooperation, compassion, and hassle-free and cost-free ticket adjustments were so appreciated. To Matt at the US Embassy, thank-you for your kindness to Kendra and for your patience when speaking with  two highly concerned parents. And to Israel, the retired GI, we are grateful for your generosity. May the Lord bless each of you.  
On this Martin Luther King Day, two of my favorite quotes about courage and character come to mind. 
“We must substitute courage for caution.”
Martin Luther King Jr. 

“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles;
Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
Courage breeds 
creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you. 
Deuteronomy 31:6

Lori Wildenberg, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting and co-author of 3 parenting books including the newly released Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love and Raising Little Kids with Big  Love.

© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.

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