This morning, we got up and were excited about going down to Lomé (the capital city) for our Valentine’s date. Just me and Anthony. Since we were going to take the car down to a mechanic to have some work done on the car, we decided to take advantage of having a meal at a nice restaurant. Arrangements have been made for our teammates to keep the boys after school.

We dropped off the car at the mechanic in Lomé and walked out to the main road to catch a taxi. We waited for a while and a taxi stopped. There were 3 other people in the taxi which is not uncommon. We just wanted to go down a little way to an art and crafts shop so weren’t too bothered about the cramped space. I started to go to the front seat but was told by the driver to get in the back. Anthony sat in the front seat beside the door with another guy in the middle. Not long after we got on the way, the front “passenger” was fidgeting about and started pushing the seat back. Anyway, the seat suddenly went a little too far back and the passenger beside me gave a big yell as his foot was “caught”. There was a lot of pushing and I asked the driver to stop but he kept on going. After a while, he stopped the car and asked that Anthony change places with the other front-seat passenger. Before long, the passenger started moving the front seat again and the guy whose feet was caught earlier fussed again. Then the driver stopped the car and told us that “it isn’t working and we had to take another taxi” The second we were out of the car, he took off. It was then that Anthony found out that not only his wallet was gone and but also the cash he had in his back pocket. It was with a sick feeling that we realized that we had been pick-pocketed. Obviously, the four guys in the taxi had been in cahoots.

You would have thought that after being in Africa for 13 years now, we would have known better. It was a scam and we fell prey to it. It reminded me what Peter said in 1st Peter 5:8 about being alert for the enemy; the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Just as we are pick pocketed because we let our guard down, Satan can attack us when we least expect it.

Despite the unpleasantness of the situation, we are thankful to God for keeping us safe. The men could have driven us somewhere and robbed and hurt us. Anyway, we found another taxi and went back to the mechanic to get our car and ended up at a small restaurant for a light meal. It wasn’t the Valentine’s meal that we had envisioned but we are thankful nonetheless for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day.

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