The Robbers Repent
Every week Pastor Karro Rao gathered the tithes and offerings from the churches of his district to the South Western Mission of Papua New Guinea to take to the mission office. The weeks offering usually amounted to close to 3,000 kinars (U. S. $1,500).
As he made his way along the narrow road, a bamboo pole suddenly fell across his pathway and four robbers surrounded him. One wielded a knife; another a homemade gun. “Are you carrying money?” they asked.
“Yes,” the pastor answered truthfully.
“Then hand it over,” one man ordered.
“I can do that,” the pastor answered. “But you must know that this money does not belong to me. I am a pastor. This money was given by the church members for the work of God. I have 5 kinars of my own money that I will give to you, but I urge you to not touch God’s money.”
“Give us all the money!” the robbers ordered threateningly.
Pastor Rao gave the bandits all the money he was carrying. After the bandits disappeared, Pastor Rao hurried to a telephone and called the mission office to report the theft. Then he asked the office staff to pray that God would help get the money back.
Six days later Pastor Rao was walking along the same pathway when again a bamboo pole dropped across the path in front of him. This time the pole had a plastic bag attached to it. It was his money- bag. Before he could retrieve the bag, the same four criminals surrounded him. “Please take this money and give it for God’s work,” one man said.
Curious, the pastor asked, “What happened to change your mind?”
“We wanted to buy some beer and get drunk. But when we tried to open the bag of money, our hands began to shake so violently that we could not open it.”
Pastor Rao answered, “Thank God! He loves you so much, and he has a better life planned for you. I am sure you do not want to spend the rest of your life hurting people.”
Pastor Rao developed a friendship with these men, and in a few months one of them was baptized. The others are still preparing to experience that better life.