Our big God adventure: episode 21 — A stolen car and God’s miraculous intervention

  1. Our big God adventure: Episode 1 — God saves us and delivers me from racism
  2. Our big God adventure: Episode 2 — God sends three angels
  3. Our big God adventure: Episode 3 — A ‘scary’ woman takes off her shoes
  4. Our big God adventure: Episode 4 — Countdown to Kenya
  5. Our big God adventure: Episode 5 – Finally setting out for Kenya
  6. Our big God adventure: Episode 6 – Water from Heaven
  7. Our big God adventure: Episode 7 – Reaching the unreached
  8. Our big God adventure: Episode 8 – A ministry and a child are born
  9. Our big God adventure: Episode 9 – How our small playgroup became one of the largest ACE schools in Kenya
  10. Our big God adventure: Episode 10 –Election violence, cookies and a poem
  11. Our big God adventure: Episode 11 — How God used an attack on our lives to soften hearts
  12. Our Big God Adventure: Episode 12 — From the deep hole of depression to the ‘one set of footprints’
  13. Our big God Adventure: episode 13 – The blessing of the boy under the bush
  14. Our big God adventure: episode 14 — Six homeless boys bring Isaiah 58:7 to life!
  15. Our big God adventure: episode 15 – God rescues a little Samburu girl from certain death
  16. Our big God adventure: episode 16 – “… and you will dream dreams and see visions (part 1)
  17. Our big God adventure: episode 17 – “… and you will dream dreams and see visions (part 2)
  18. Our big God adventure: episode 18 — God ‘interrupts’ our lives to plant school in remote village
  19. Our big God adventure: episode 19 — Two cakes, a dog and a birthday party
  20. Our big God adventure: episode 20 — Another story of Butch, our loyal protector — and beloved rascal
  21. Our big God adventure: episode 21 — A stolen car and God’s miraculous intervention
Our Toyota Surf vehicle that was stolen in November 2012

Veteran South African missionary in Kenya, Lydia Venter, shares more testimonies of trials — and blessings — on the mission field.

On November 3 2012 my husband Wilco met a guy, claiming to be a mechanic, at the Shell Petrol Station on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway.

We had placed an advertisement to sell our Toyota Surf and, one of the people who had shown some interest, was a lady from Nyahururu. Because she was far, she asked if she could send a guy to meet us as she’d like him to check out the condition of the vehicle.

Wilco, being a practical guy, felt that that was a fair request, so he headed down to the agreed location — alone. Everything went well until they opened the bonnet to look inside the engine. As Wilco was closing it, they guy asked if he could get in the car just to start it and get a feel of it. Again, this was something that Wilco would definitely do when looking at a vehicle, so he thought nothing of it.

As Wilco was closing the bonnet, the guy suddenly took off with our Toyota Surf 2.4 Diesel. I still remember the moment when Wilco phoned me. I was in South Africa browsing aimlessly through a clothing shop in a small town called Fochville, waiting for a fellowship to start at my friend, Ina Van Vuuren’s home.

Oh, the shock and devastation in his voice! I remember I heard myself prophesying– completely forgetting where I was. Afterwards a lady who was in one of the dressing cubicles came to me, told me how God spoke to her through the words I uttered. I later learned, as I arrived at the fellowship, that she was also part of Ina’s group of ladies. I mean really! How amazing is our God!

Another amazing incident at that time occurred when Wilco shared the news of the theft with Mr Joseph Mburu, the born-again director of Seas Motors where we usually take our vehicle for repairs. He immediately started praying over the vehicle, along the following lines: “Father God, Wilco needs this vehicle back as they use it for ministry, so let this be so in Jesus’ Name.”

Heb 11:1 — Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

A year later Wilco was coming from Nairobi in a “matatu” (minibus taxi) when suddenly he saw our Toyota Surf passing them. He got the taxi driver to turn around and drive to a nearby police stop, where Wilco reported the incident. Long story short, this got the Criminal Investigation Department involved and on October 4 2013 – through a series of miraculous events – our vehicle was recovered. Hallelujah! God remains the God of the impossible. What are the chances of this happening!

On September 5 that year Wilco accompanied guys from the CID to a town called Karatina, where they repossessed our stolen Toyota Surf from the “new owner”. 

Wilco, with some of our children, in front of our recovered vehicle at the police station

Of course the Surf had to stay at the Nakuru Police Station until all the court procedures were completed, and this unfortunately dragged on for more than a year. During that time we saw the vehicle deteriorating. You can imagine the damage the sun did to the tyres, the dashboard and the outer body. 

During this time – after loads of walking and using public transport — the Lord provided us with a 1993 2.0 Camry Lumiere 16 valve. We were its third missionary owners and our friends, the Brooks’, got it as an old car, lol. At that point we had 10 people in our house and the Camry could only take five (six at the most).

I remember one day — it was the 29th of July 2014 to be precise – when a fellow missionary friend, Gloria, who looked after several girls in her home, invited me and our children for a meal. I had to pass by a shop to grab a few things, so as we entered the Westside Mall, the gate-watch, who inspects entering vehicles, looked into the car and saw our nine children (the two bigger ones were at home). He stared in amazement and all he could do, eventually, was to shake his head and go like Tom and Jerry: “Tsk, tsk, tsk”.

The old Camry we acquired while our Toyota Surf stood at the police station

In October of that year we finally got the stolen vehicle back. I remember one day, on October 11, we set off to Nairobi as a family to see how our newly-recovered vehicle would behave. Oh my, that wasn’t the brightest idea, as our entire family got stuck in Nairobi. Thank God for our family friend, Mr Mburu, the director of Seas Motors, who sent out one of his guys all the way from Nakuru to come and help us .

We finally realised that we had to sell the Toyota Surf and trust God for a strong, reliable vehicle, as, by that time, we were sooo tired of vehicle problems.

Wilco spotted “this other” dark green Toyota Surf at a second-hand car dealership in Nakuru. He was slightly apprehensive about taking me there as he knew how I roll! He was scared that I wouldn’t like the vehicle. And, because I had kept quiet years ago about a Land Rover we bought, which I clearly knew was not in the will of God, Wilco knew that I would not budge if I felt any opposition in my spirit.

It was like a courtship. Wilco would go there — take the Surf for a ride — come back and mention nonchalantly that he had taken it for another drive and how fantastic it felt. He was clearly gathering courage to take me to the dealership. So, one day he told me that he wanted to show me the Surf.

We drove to the dealership and parked about 5m from this other Toyota Surf. I remember I got out, walked to the vehicle and said: “It’s our car”, and climbed back in our old Surf. For only $2 000 extra the vehicle was ours. God is faithful, unchanging, unfailing.

Trading one Toyota Surf for another

”Dear God, Thank you for Your amazing power and work in our lives, thank You for Your goodness and for Your blessings over us. Thank You that Your Word teaches us the power of gratitude. Thank You that You are able to bring hope through even the toughest of times, strengthening us for Your purposes.

“Thank You that You are always with us and will never leave us. Forgive us for when we don’t thank You enough, for who You are, for all that You do, for all that You’ve given. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on You afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with Your peace and joy. We love You and we need You, this day and every day. We give You praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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