Family and friends,
On Thursday evening, July 21, our family suffered a traumatic and life-threatening armed robbery by seven men over a three-hour period in our home located on the Pastor’s Training Center project site near Lasso, Ecuador. We were held hostage at gunpoint while the men took everything of financial value, things of personal value, all appliances, thousands of dollars worth of tools and even the tires and battery from the car. Chris was bound the entire time, but beyond that we were miraculously spared the further physical harm that so often accompanies crimes such as this.
We have returned to Arizona for a sabbatical of healing, rest and counsel. We have experienced already the overwhelming beauty of the body of Christ around us. Our hearts overflow with gratitude for the Lord’s provisions through His people who love us.
Most importantly, we have seen God’s protection and favor throughout the whole experience. Even before the invasion, we were being prepared through Bible passages, missionary biographies and through our home school studies. During the ordeal, we remembered specific Scriptures and stories which comforted our hearts and gave us courage. Afterwards, we have marveled again and again how God surrounded us with His favor.
The work of Fuel the Mission is still going on: Chris will be providing virtual assistance to our Ecuadorian architect on the Pastor’s Training Center, and we are praying about the timing of future projects in India and Southern Sudan. For now, though, our primary “work” is focusing on our family’s well-being and recovery. We are receiving counsel from several pastors, our Board of Directors and others that we trust about all aspects of our family’s needs. We are not in a hurry, but rather are waiting on the Lord.
Thank you for walking with us through this unexpected and difficult valley. And thank you for your devotion to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is alive! We have hidden in the shelter of His wings, and we proclaim His goodness in the land of the living.
We are praying for protection over the workers still on the project site. We are praying that our attackers will remember hearing Chris share his testimony and his prayer over them. And we are praying that God will become even more famous as a result of this experience which He allowed in His providence. We are honored to serve Him. We are honored to have your participation in this work.
To God be the glory,
Chris, Janet and Elijah Nevins
Dear Nevins family,
Thank you so much for this update. I rejoice and give thanks to Jesus for the way you have honored Him through to this tragedy. It seems like you are handling it exactly as I would hope I would handle a similar situation. I also thank the Lord for surrounding you with good friends to walk with you through this time. From what I have heard, others have not always been so fortunate; dealing with the advice of well-meaning friends after a major crisis can sometimes be very traumatic. So I am not even going to attempt to give you advice, other than to feel free to ignore the advice of friends when it does not line up with Scripture or how the Lord is guiding you!
I remember reading that Elisabeth Elliot experienced a lot of pressure from stateside friends to return to the states after Jim’s death; they thought she was not adequately grieving her loss. But (as you know) she instead stayed in Ecuador and ministered to the Aucas, and I think she did the right thing. On the other hand, even though at first he didn’t think he needed it, YWAM’er Dan Baumann (Imprisoned in Iran) took the advice of friends to get professional Christian help recovering from the trauma of his torture in Iran—and he was glad afterwards that he did. I am confident that Jesus will guide you in what is best for your family.
If for some reason you need a place to “get away” for a few days, my parents have a very nice, fully furnished 3 bedroom, 2 bath guest house here in Rimrock that is usually vacant. You would be welcome to stay there at no charge.
If there is anything else I can do, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
In Jesus’ love,