How I Was Robbed–And Wasn’t

From Talking with God – Chapter 2

Before it happened, I had read:

“Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continu­ally are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah. Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins (nooses, snares, traps) for me. Selah. I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah. As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.” ­ (Psalm 140:1-9a).

I felt strongly motivated to pray the above Scripture verses verbatim on the day the brethren drove me to the airport of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where I had been preach­ing, and off I flew to Bogota, Colombia, where I was to preach in several meetings. A brother in Christ was waiting for me at the airport and drove me to the hotel.

After I was settled, I stepped outside to the crowded sidewalk. A man approached me saying,

“Are you Dr. Schneider?”

“No, I am not,” I answered.

“Ah, you look just like him! Anyhow, I am a plain-clothes policeman,” he said, producing an impressive looking badge and identity card. Then he added,

“I am on duty checking on foreigners. We have too many narcotraffikers in Colombia that receive money from abroad. Do you carry a gun?”

“No, I don’t,” I replied.

“Are you a tourist?” he queried.

“Yes, I am,” I replied.

“May I see your documents?” he asked.

I showed him my passport. He appeared satisfied and said,

“You ought to get a tourist card from the police station two blocks away, indicating that you have been checked out and OK’D.”

“I had no idea I needed one,” I said.

“Why don’t you come with me to the police station and I will see to it that you get a card immediately. Come with me!”

After he had escorted me half a block, another man stopped us and asked the police detective,

“Could you tell me where the office of the Argentine Airline is?”

“Are you a tourist?” the detective asked.

“Yes, from Argentina,” said the Argentine tourist.

“Ah, do you have a tourist card like this one?” asked the detective, showing him a tourist card.

“No.”

“Then come with me,” said the detective, displaying once more his identity badge and adding, “I am a plain-clothes police­man checking on tourists. I will get you a tourist card at the police station one block away.”

“Sorry, I don’t have the time. My wife is waiting for me,” said the Argentine tourist.”

“You must! That is an order!” said the detective most forcibly.

Obediently the Argentine tourist and I walked with the detective, greatly intimidated. In my innermost, I had now begun to pray. I wondered if what was happening was authen­tic, or if I was being taken into a con game to be robbed. We walked in silence.

A short distance further on, the detective stopped and informed us,

“The police office is inside this building. You wait here on the sidewalk and I will get you your cards. Because we must check to find anyone bringing money from abroad to local narco­traffikers, I now must check how much money you have on you. You first, Sir,” he said to the Argentine tourist, who took out his billfold and counted out his money.

The detective took the money and said,

“I must take it to the office and have it counted and will bring it right back together with your new tourist card. Wait here!”

“No, don’t take my money!” pled the Argentine tourist.

“But I must!” insisted the detective.

At that moment, another man approached us on the crowded sidewalk. He was a tall, well-built, foreboding man, who said gruffly,

“What is the problem?”

“Not much, lieutenant! This tourist is not willing to cooper­ate with the police!”

The big, plain-clothes police lieutenant glared at us, then turning to the detective barked,

“Call me immediately if they give you any further trou­ble!”

 

Greatly intimidated, the Argentine tourist handed over his money and passport to the detective, who promptly dis­ap­peared inside the building, while the large lieutenant stood by, looking at us menacingly.

In almost no time at all the detective was back, and said to the Argentine tourist,

“Here is your money, Sir. Please count it. And here is your new tourist card, which should save you any further trouble.”

The Argentine tourist counted his money and said,

“May I leave now?”

“Yes, Sir,” said the detective, and the Argentine tourist quickly disappeared.

The detective now turned to me and said,

“Now it is your turn. How much money do you have with you?”

I pulled out about two hundred dollars; all the money I had, praying silently.

The detective immediately jerked it out of my hand saying,

“I will bring it right back to you!”

But I responded, “No, don’t take my money away!”

But he insisted, “Didn’t you see me bring the money back to the Argentine tourist? Just wait here. I will bring it back right away!” With that he briskly walked away.

At that moment on that crowded sidewalk, I spontaneous­ly yelled:

“HELP! THEY ARE STEALING MY MONEY!”

To my amazement, the so-called detective stopped in his tracks, about ten feet away from me. He turned around, his face pale, rushed back to me, and pressed my money into my hands as he exclaimed,

“Nobody is stealing your money! Here is your money!”

He immediately turned and vanished around the corner.

The lieutenant and the Argentine tourist did likewise. The scam had failed. I stood there dazed and amazed.

What a superb performance! Such gifted actors! Highly professional! Sir Lawrence Olivier would have been envious!

Awed by the whole experience I thanked our Lord for His goodness. Suddenly I remembered that on the previous day in Santo Domingo I had read Psalm 140. I had been strongly moved to pray the very words in the first four verses and to claim that promise verbatim! And I believe that was the reason those talented criminals failed! God intervened!

Later, back at the hotel, I counted the bills; it was all there. Not a cent was missing. I later discovered that what had happened to me was a well-known con game used over and over by thieves preying on unsus­pect­ing tourists.

How marvelously God had answered the prayer I had prayed the day before in another country, after reading, Psalm 140:1-9a TLB. I prayed: “O Lord, deliver me from evil men. Preserve me from the violent, who plot and stir up trouble all day long. Their words sting like poisonous snakes. Keep me out of their power. Preserve me from their violence, for they are plotting against me.”

God had led me to pray those very words, verbatim! God also answered me, verbatim!

It will be good if the reader and I now pray:

“Father, deliver me from evil persons, demons, evil spirits, temptations, sin, and even from Satan. Preserve me from the violent, who plot and stir up trouble all day long. Keep me out of their power. Preserve me from their violence, for they are plotting against me. Let their plots boomerang! Thank You, Father. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Posted in Fred Malir, Talking With God

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