November 01, 1993


I got into Opelousas, LA around 4:30 p.m. after riding fifty-four miles from Baton Rouge. I found my way over to the police station to see if they knew of a minister who would be willing to let me stay around the church for the night. The last time that I stayed in Opelousas I got connected with one of the Catholic priests who let me camp out behind the rectory.

It was a welcome surprise when the officer on duty said that he would be able to get me a motel room instead. The one thing he told me was that the motel was sort of in a seedy part of town. I told the officer that it would be okay and I would watch myself.

It turned out that the motel was nice and it was run by a couple from India. I got a back room. There was a quick-mart a few doors down so I went over to get a few things after I put the bike and gear in the room. I think I must have had under ten dollars on me at the time.

In about ten minutes, I was back at the room. I had just opened the door and was about to enter when I got pushed into the room. It happened so quickly and I got shoved onto the bed. My attacker turned out to be a black guy and he jumped on top of me and then started to choke me. He kept asking "Where's the broad? Where's the money?" I guess the guy must have been a pimp and he was looking for a prostitute.

I tried to answer him even though I had a hard time talking because he was holding onto my throat real hard. I told him that I didn't know what he was talking about and that I was a missionary. He didn't get this at first and threatened me by telling me that he had a knife in one of his back pockets and if I didn't tell him what he wanted to know he would use it.

I tried to make him understand that I was a missionary. I had my Bible out and I showed it to him. I was able to reach over and pull out one of my newspaper clippings and showed it to him. Also, I was able to get my wallet to show him that I only had six dollars on me.

Somehow all of these things caused a spark in him. He got this puzzled look on his face and he asked me "You really are a missionary?". I croaked back "Yes". Then he asked me if I was sort of like a priest. I replied yes. He then asked me if I was doing this trip for G-D. When I said yes, the guy's eyes really lit up.

He released the pressure of my neck so that I could properly breathe again and then got off of me. He started to say "Please forgive me, please forgive me, I think I got the wrong room." I said that I forgave him. He then half-heartedly asked me if I could give him some of my remaining money. I pulled out a couple of dollars and said sure he could have it in the L-RD's name. This really got him because he quickly turned around and left the room without taking the money.

All I could think about was how close I could have been killed but the Lord protected me. Some people could have thought that I might have just as well led the guy to the Lord at that time but I didn't want to. I just hope that maybe that I was able to put a spark into the guy's heart that would grow in the L-RD's time.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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