July 25, 2008
So I think most of you gather I'm doing a program called The World Race this year where we travel around the world doing various different types of relief work whether it be from earthquake to working at orphanages.
On Tuesday night our entire squad (24 people) (minus my team of 5 people) were robbed by gunpoint. My team was returning from Botswana and arrived about 5 mins after it happened. Thankfully no one was hurt! This is an email that our squad leader Rusty Jackson wrote to our parents. I seriously have loved Africa so much and was really shocked all of this had happened, but God is good and everyone is safe.
I leave today for India and cannot be more excited even admist the craziness of the past couple days!
Rusty Jackson's Letter:
Dear World Race parents,
First off I want to apologize to ya'll for just now getting in touch with you. The last couple days have been hectic and stressful to say the least. And my TOP priority has been getting the squad moved out of the hostel and into a location where the folks can feel safe. Not to mention, some of us have been scrambling to get new passports and visas for our upcoming trip to India. So thank you very much for your patience in all this. I can't even imagine the worry ya'll must have been going thru and are still going through.
I'm sure you have heard all sorts of things about what happened two nights ago, so let me just give you the facts. Tuesday afternoon the whole squad, minus Patrice's team, (Patrice, Nate, Angie, Andi and Jen) arrived at The Brown Sugar Hostel in Johannesburg.
I realize it's got a funny name, but the hostel is not in a bad part of Jo'Burg plus we have stayed there three different times while in Africa. So I felt safe about bringing the team here. Anyway, around 8p that evening probably four, maybe five men came into the hostel armed with pistols and told everyone to get on their face in the lounge area. That's where about 12 of us were and the rest of the squad was being held in their dorm room.
Guns were pointed at people, threats were made, but NO ONE was physically harmed. Praise the Lord! However, LOTS of our stuff was taken: cash, cameras, computers, passports, phones, clothes, IPOD's, etc. I'd say the whole thing lasted about 20 minutes. As soon as it was over, the first thing we did was to make sure everyone was OK. Then we started taking an inventory of what was taken, I called AIM, and then people began calling and canceling cards. So anyway, things are just now settling down.
Just so you know, I got the squad at a missionary base an hour away from Jo'Burg. Luckily, when we get to India our team coaches Michael and Kathy Hindes will be there to help us process thru everything. Believe me, we are taking this matter seriously and we do understand the need for counseling at this time.
Now speaking of India, those that needed new passports got them and the whole squad has its visas. So, we will fly out in two groups this weekend. The first will leave Friday and the next group Saturday.
Again thank you for your patience. I love each one of your kids so much and their safety and well-being is my main concern.
Posted by jennifer at July 25, 2008 4:25 AM
Glad you're safe Jen!
Posted by: stephanie at July 25, 2008 2:03 PM
Posted by: jen at July 30, 2008 2:32 AM