So, some of you may have seen my request for prayer on Facebook the other week. You may have been wondering why I was struggling with fear. Well, here is the story.
The afternoon of February 21 seemed like any normal afternoon as I sat at my desk doing checking. Then, just like that, the electricity went off and everything was dark. There was not a storm, so I was guessing someone hit a pole and messed up the electric line. I thought maybe I would hear sirens, but never did. But there was still enough light coming in through my windows to continue checking. I talked to Connie on the phone as I checked. We got done with our conversation and hung up. The lights still weren’t on, but I kept checking.
Around 5:00 a strange blue-green astro minivan with a dent in the side pulled around behind the school (the side where my classroom is). I didn’t freak out right away as it is not totally unusual for people to stop by the church/school, thinking they will find the pastor or secretary there. But they didn’t park by my door. They pulled up by the dumpster. I thought, They must be going to throw some trash in our dumpster. I wasn’t very impressed by the thought, but it seemed harmless enough.
But, no. This blonde-haired women with brown leggings gets out of the front passenger door and heads toward our storage shed. I watched for a little but she went out of my sight behind the school building. I waited for a little and then thought, It seems a little strange. Maybe I had better go check what is going on. I locked my outside door and then stealthily walked across the gym to the doors looking out the direction she had gone. But, she was nowhere to be seen. Well, at least she’s not trying to steal out of the storage shed. I thought, Maybe she went over to Jen’s classroom. I had better go check with Jen. But, no. Jen had seen the van drive in but nothing more. Not sure what else to do I headed back to my classroom.
When I got back to my classroom. I pulled the curtain over the door window as stealthily as I could, hoping they hadn’t paid attention to whether it was closed or open when they drove in. Then I proceeded to sneakily peer out around my curtain. I thought maybe I would see the women come back to the vehicle or some action of some kind. But I couldn’t see any action. Maybe she had went back to the vehicle while I was walking through the gym. I tried to get back to my checking, but it was rather hard to concentrate.
Every so often I would sneak a peak out the window to see what was happening. I eventually decided someone was sitting in the front passenger seat because I saw just the slightest movement every now and then. I also saw someone, possibly the driver, moving around—possibly from the back to the front. Of course my imagination was going wild. What was he doing back there? Did they have some type of hostage? The van really didn’t look that reputable. But, if they were doing something wrong, why did they park where they could be seen from the road? They could easily have parked behind the building. But where did the woman go?? I wondered if I should call the police. I have a friend whose dad is a police officer, but I had neither her number or her dad’s number.
The electricity came on between 5:10 and 5:15. Good, maybe that will scare them off, I thought. Maybe when they realize someone is actually here, they will leave. No such luck. The whole time I was praying to God asking for protection. I wasn’t really that scared for myself as Jen was there and all the school doors were locked and the people had made no point of trying to come in. But still, it was rather nerve wracking not knowing what in the world they were up to!
Around 5:20 Jen came over to my classroom and was ready to leave. We weren’t sure what to do. Our car was parked out back of my classroom where this strange van was. We didn’t really feel comfortable walking out and exposing ourselves or with leaving and having them know the building was unattended. We decided to call Arlin (our CO dad) and see what his advice was.
Arlin said that no, he didn’t think we should leave. We should either call the police or call Brian, as he lives close. Jen decided we should call Brian. He said he would be right over. By this time it was 5:30. Although it didn’t take Brian but 10 minutes or so to get there, it felt like an eternity. Meanwhile Jen got a phone call.
Brian got there and the van was gone! I guess while Jen was on the phone they must have left and we didn’t hear them. I really wished I would have been watching out the window instead of trying to do checking! It would have been nice to know why they were there, but I was thankful at the same time. Thankful that Brian hadn’t had to confront them and perhaps endanger himself.
So, we left school and headed into Olathe. I watched carefully to see if I saw that van lurking anywhere watching us. But I saw nothing unusual. We stopped at the grocery store and then headed home for supper.
For some reason that night, FEAR gripped me like it never has before. I was fearful of going to sleep for fear of having nightmares. But thankfully, through the prayers of others and myself, God gave me peace and I slept just fine. But I still had to fight some fear the next couple days. I kept my outside classroom door locked and when we drove to and from school I kept my eyes pealed for a blue-green astro minivan with a dent just in front of the right rear wheel.
I kinda wished we would have just called the police. Then maybe I wouldn’t have to wonder what they were doing there.
If it happened again I would handle it a bit differently, but I sure hope it never does happen again!!