Every week Pastor Karro Rao gathered the tithes and offerings
from the churches of his district in southwestern Papua New Guinea to
take to the mission office. The week’s offerings usually amounted to
close to 3,000 kinars (U.S. $1,500).
As he made his way along the narrow path, a bamboo pole
suddenly fell across his pathway, and four robbers surrounded him. One
wielded a knife; another, a homemade gun. “Are you carrying money?” they
“Yes,” the pastor answered truthfully.
“Then hand it over,” one man ordered.
“I can do that,” the pastor answered. “But you must know that
this money does not belong to me. I am a pastor. This money was given by
my church members for the work of God. I have five kinars of my
own money that I will give to you, but I urge you to not touch God’s
“Give us all of the money!” the robbers ordered threateningly.
Pastor Rao gave the bandits all the money he was carrying.
After the bandits disappeared, Pastor Rao hurried to a telephone and
called the mission office to report the theft. Then he asked the office
staff to pray
that God would help get the money back. Six days later Pastor Rao
was walking along the same pathway when a bamboo pole again dropped
across the path in front of him.
This time the pole had a plastic bag attached to it. It was
his money bag. Before he could retrieve the bag, the same four criminals
surrounded him. “Please take this money and give it for God’s work,”
one man said.
Curious, the pastor asked, “What happened to change your mind?”
“We wanted to buy some beer and get drunk. But when we tried
to open the bag of money, our hands began to shake so violently that we
could not open it.”
Pastor Rao answered, “Thank God! He loves you so much, and He
has a better life planned for you. I am sure that you do not want to
spend the rest of your life hurting people.”
Pastor Rao developed a friendship with these men, and within a
few months one of them was baptized. The others are still preparing to
experience that better life that pastor Rao has promised them.
J. H. Zachary was coordinator of international
evangelism for The Quiet Hour radio broadcast.