God intervenes to protect missionaries during robbery

by Heidi Soderstrom, posted Wednesday, May 05, 1999 (20 years ago)

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (BP) -- A bullet and a nightgown don't have much in common.

At least they didn't until five armed robbers awakened International Mission Board missionaries Anne and Steve Seaberry at their home in Libreville, Gabon, in late April.

But even while the Seaberrys watched the robbers pack everything the couple owned -- including their wedding rings -- into their own car, God used the two signs -- a bullet and a nightgown -- to give them peace and hope.

Peace came when Anne realized she was wearing a longer nightgown than usual. Bowing her head, she thanked the Lord she was modestly attired in front of the robbers.

"God immediately said to me: 'I have gone before you and made sure you were covered. I will protect you and Steve,'" Anne said. "Throughout the rest of the time I'd look down at my gown and remind God of that promise."

The clock seemed to stand still in the hour or so it took the robbers to stow everything in the car. All the while, the Seaberrys wondered if they'd live to see the sun rise again.

Then, as the thieves were preparing to leave, one turned in the doorway, pointed his gun at them and cocked it.

"Oh Jesus," Anne prayed out loud.

A bullet immediately fell to the floor. Shocked, the man looked at his gun and realized that was his only bullet. He left the room, presumably to get more bullets. The frightened couple began whispering Jesus' name, over and over again, until two men came in to tie them up. Closing the bedroom door, the men left the house several minutes later, Anne said.

"We know that Jesus protected us. In looking back, we believe that our calm, thus God's peace, also helped save us," she said. "We did nothing to provoke them to harm us and probably surprised them with such calmness. God's grace is sufficient."

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