I would be lying if I said the crime here was not affecting my fear factor. Yesterday the story of an American tourist's murder here on East Bay Street, or "tourist row," where I walked with my kids the other day, reached the papers. He was a 34 year old former teacher and current sailor, hailing from the Chicago area. And how was he killed? He was trying to fight off 3 men who were mugging a woman...attempting to steal the jewelry she was wearing. He was a hero, falling victim to a crime while trying to prevent one.
Normally we do not hear of tourist's murders. We've been told that most criminal activity is due to drugs and gang involvement or domestic squabbles. But in this case, tourists were attacked and one was murdered...in a place I drive by several times a week. One of the identified murderers lives off of Kemp Road, the road we travel every day to get to church and back. It is our church neighborhood, of which I've written on my family blog in a post entitled "oh think twice, it's just another day in paradise." Here's a snippet of that post:
"Every time we drive to church, we must drive down Kemp Road. I've told you the name of it so that if you're praying for Nassau, you can pray quite specifically. Kemp Road has everything happening on it. Churches meeting, homeless people wandering, prostitutes sauntering, children running loose with no supervision, stray dogs decaying in the heat. At night, I'm afraid to drive it. So I've stopped. I go a different way at night, if at all possible. Kemp Road intersects with the street our church is on. By the time I arrive at church Sunday mornings, I've already been praying for the people I've passed. My heart is heavy. The need here seems so great. And literally, all these people, so lost, so empty, are just steps away from my church.".........that's what I wrote back in the fall.
As it turned out, I didn't stop driving that road at night. It's just the fastest route by far. But maybe I'll rethink that. It is one thing to say "The need here seems so great. And literally, all these people, so lost, so empty, are just steps away from my church." But when you realize that the very people you're wanting to help could very likely kill you just because they wanted something you had...it is hard to keep the same perspective. By nature I am a trusting person. I never locked my door back in Lancaster! In fact, even here I am not as careful as I should be. But lately, I'm seeing that wisdom would tell me to be much more guarded.
Pray that we will not become shaken by the potential crime. Pray that we will continue to have compassion on those who need the gospel. Pray for protection for us and our church. God has called us here and we know He will be faithful to complete all that He's going to do.