The day God hi-jacked the hi-jackers
An article published in Christian Living Today Magazine
Gauteng-based evangelists, Des and Ros Sinclair have overcome many near-death experiences through their faith in God. Al Gibson captures their extraordinary lives and ministry in the book Life On the Line. Here is a short extract:
Ros and Des Sinclair have experienced God’s supernatural protection many times, and have seen how the Lord can intervene to change people’s hearts and bring about reconciliation between different races, but little did they expect what God would do to show them some light at the end of the tunnel when it came to combating crime in their own lives.
White man, you deserve to die
On 8 May 2002 Des was driving to Soshenguve Township north of Pretoria, where he was scheduled to preach at a high school. It was 6:30am when he was held up by four armed men.
“Get out of the car or we’ll kill you!” one man said, leaning through the open window and pushing a revolver into Des’s neck.
“Give me your wallet,” instructed another man.
Des was shocked. Originally from New Zealand, he had heard of many South Africans who had been hijacked, but he had never expected it to happen to him.
As he sat in the driver’s seat, one of the hijackers grabbed his car keys, another took his wallet, and the two others pointed guns at him.
Once they had pulled Des out of the car, they dragged him behind some bushes on the side of the road and, even though they now had what they wanted, they still threatened to kill him. “White man, you deserve to die! Prepare to meet your maker!” one of the hijackers shouted.
A covenant promise
Des responded confidently, “If a man is going to die, then at least let him say a few last words. Do you realise that if you murder me, you will be bringing a curse upon yourselves? My blood will be on your hands!
“God made a promise to me, just as He did with Abraham; that those who bless me will be blessed, and those who curse me will be cursed. You will pay dearly for your actions.”
A look of fear began to fall on the men’s faces, boosting Des’s confidence, even though he continued to stand in the line of fire. “Do you know that you are condemned to hell unless you repent and receive Jesus?” he shouted at the hijackers. “I rebuke you in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ!”
All of a sudden the four men took fright and ran off, as if they had seen a ghost – dropping the car keys in their haste, but stealing all the money Des and Ros had.
Des quickly picked up the keys that had fallen, got back into the car and drove away. He looked around to see what had caused the men to run – whether there was a police vehicle or a traffic officer in sight – but there was nothing. So he continued on his way to the school where he was scheduled to minister.
Fighting two killers
After sharing about the attempted hijacking to the students, and how the Lord had supernaturally protected him, Des had a tremendous response from the teenagers, with about 1500 decisions to receive Christ as Saviour.
Both the principal and the school counsellor were delighted. This was a school where on average, three students a week were being buried from HIV/AIDS-related deaths, and they were convinced that it was only the Gospel that could make a difference.
HIV/AIDS is the number-one killer in South Africa for youths between the ages of 13 and 24, and the hijacking statistics are, of course, staggering. Des had taken on two of the country’s main killers in one day!
On his way home, Des thanked the Lord for His divine protection over Ros and himself, and continued to wonder what it was that had caused the hijackers to take off so quickly.
Face to face
It was not until two years later, when ministering at Johannesburg Correctional Services, a maximum-security prison, that he would find out. Des was praying for inmates at the end of a service when two men came up to him. “Do you remember us?” one of the men asked.
“Have we met before?” Des answered.
“We are the ones who tried to hijack you in Pretoria in 2002,” the other man replied.
“We nearly killed you,” the first man interrupted, obviously wanting to come clean.
The two inmates then told Des exactly what had happened during the attempted hijacking.
“So what stopped you from killing me?” Des asked. “Why did you suddenly drop the keys to my car and run away as quickly as you could?”
“We saw a man in front of you – the tallest man we have ever seen! He was white and shone like the sun!” one inmate explained.
“We were so scared as we saw the power of your God, that we dropped everything and ran for our lives,” the other man interrupted.
“What happened to the other two?” Des asked.
“They are dead,” came the answer. Then the two men told Des how the curses he had warned them against had happened just like he had said. Their two friends had been killed in a shoot-out with the police, and they themselves had been taken into custody and sentenced for various crimes and were now serving time.
Des was amazed by this startling confession. The last thing he had ever expected was to come face to face with these men again, but the best news of all was that they had been coming to his prison outreach meetings and had given their lives to the Lord under his ministry.
“We are serving God now, and we ask you to please forgive us for what we did to you,” one of the men said.
“We are so sorry for threatening you with a gun and stealing your money,” said the other.
This is just one remarkable example of how the Lord has used Des and Ros to transform the lives of inmates in South Africa’s prisons. There have been more than 2000 recorded salvation decisions to date, for which the Sinclairs give God all the glory.
The Lord completely turned this situation around: these hardened criminals had been touched by God, and were now serving the Lord. It could only have happened because Des made a conscious decision at the time to forgive these men and pray for their salvation.
Published worldwide by Monarch / Lion Hudson, Life on the Line is written by international Christian journalist, Al Gibson and is available in bookshops across the country from Pearson Education. For more information visit www.life-on-the-line.com.