An attempted rape on the Port Elizabeth beachfront was dramatically averted early on Sunday morning when the victim began to pray out aloud that she was protected by the blood of Jesus.
Recounting the incident, well-known PE public relations practitioner and entepreneur, Michelle Campbell said a calm came over her as she felt God’s presence and guidance from the moment that she started to pray.
Her ordeal began when she and a friend, John Lovemore, were confronted by two armed men as they were taking a stroll on King’s Beach early on Sunday morning. The men demanded cell phones and money after stabbing Lovemore in the arm and hitting him on the head and neck.
“When we told them everything was in the car, they asked for the keys and at that point, we made a conscious decision to just cooperate,” Campbell said.
Campbell, who is the owner of Michelle Campbell Publicity, said that while one man left to ransack the car, the other grabbed her from behind, pushed her and told her he was going to rape her.
“He started to undo his zip… He told me that if I screamed or resisted, he was going to slit my throat with his knife. Then he said that he can run faster than me.” At that point Campbell started praying aloud and said that she could immediately feel calmness wash over her as God began to guide her and show her exactly what to do.
“I said ‘I am protected by the blood of Jesus’ (out loud) over and over, a few times. He immediately stopped, got off me and we both stood up and faced each other. I put my hands on his chest and told him ‘In Jesus name, you don’t want to hurt me.”
Campbell said she remembers feeling God’s presence and a sense of surety that everything was going to be okay, as the prayer diffused the situation.
“I recall seeing fear in his [the attacker’s] eyes and knew that he too was just a victim of circumstance.”
Campbell said that she felt pity for the attacker and introduced herself and Lovemore to him, in an attempt to humanise them to the attackers. She also asked him his name, but he did not reveal it, apparently out of fear.
“His face just crumpled and he started to apologise, telling me that he was actually a good person. I told him that I believed him; that I forgave him and God forgave him too.” The attacker showed remorse and Campbell reassured him that everything was going to be okay. After a while the other man came back, handed them the car keys, and they left.
Campbell said that she had always believed in God but about seven or eight years ago she began a one-on-one relationship with Him. The relationship has continued to grow from strength to strength.
She believes that the Lord turned the attack on her and Lovemore around for His glory, and wants her to tell her story to as many people as possible. The night before her first media interview she woke up with voices in the room and a sensation of being choked. She knew that the enemy was trying to silence her and that gave her the resolve to spread the story as far as she could.
“The Lord once again showed me that He will always be there for us. God told me that He would bless me for giving my testimony and boy has He done that!”
Campbell said she has received an overwhelming response both locally and internationally, as people have responded to her story, sharing that their faith had been renewed. She has made a promise to God to use her prominent role in society to give Him glory.