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Close Call

A Bible translator trusts God after being saved again from the brink of death in a border crossing incident.

Being rescued from a well as a toddler wasn’t the only time David Tusang* was saved from the brink of death. 

In 1994 during their summer break, David and his Bible school classmates illegally sneaked across the border back into his homeland to visit their families. Their hearts suddenly stopped as they heard militia holler at them from a distance. 

Thoughts raced through David’s mind as panic set in. This patch of jungle was the scene of a deadly conflict between two ethnic groups. 

God, why are you allowing this kind of situation in my life? David asked himself at the time. I’m so dedicated. I prayed before I started my journey. I was trusting that you [would] protect me and guide me. Why is this happening? 

Exhausted, David and his friends followed the militia’s orders. After being detained for three hours, they were finally interrogated.

“What are your names?” asked a militia soldier. “Where are you from?”

Nervously, David and his colleagues explained that they were Nachik people, returning to their home across the border. 

Realizing that they were not from the enemy ethnic group, one of the militia soldiers responded in David’s regional Nachik language: “We are sorry. We thought you were some of those opposing us. Come in for tea!” 

Wanting to quickly cross the border, David and his classmates declined the offer and continued on their way. Leaving, they looked around and realized that something wasn’t normal. The border market, ordinarily busy with people exchanging goods, was empty. 

“Why is no one here?” they asked each other. “There must be something going on!”

Finally safe across the border in their home area, they told their story to an acquaintance.

“Never do that again!" the man shouted. “It’s God who saved you. Otherwise you’d be dead now.”

The man explained that because of two bloody tribal conflicts, the government had shut down all the borders. The military had orders to shoot anyone who trespassed illegally. 

“You probably came out through the area when the troops changed places,” the man told them.

The timing of the events circled in David’s mind. If he and his companions hadn’t been caught and detained by the underground militia for three hours, they’d likely be dead.

“God knows the time and God know the situations,” says David, reflecting on the event. It convinced him that God truly is good and that his life is meant to serve Him. 

*Pseudonym used due to sensitivity

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