Tuesday, March 27, 2007
My church was looking for people willing to travel to Nigeria on a missions trip. I volunteered and soon found myself on a giant military cargo-plane with a few other men. When we landed, it was easy to see what civil war had done to this once peaceful country. The war-torn land was immersed in violence and the inhabitants were terrified. As we made our way to the missionaries house in an old volkswagon van, something seemed out of place. Upon arriving at their home, the missionaries informed us that the entire trip was a setup. The Nigerian government needed funding for their war effort and wanted American prisoners so they could ransom them for money. They told us that Nigerian soldiers were on their way and there was no chance of escape. They would try to hide us but there were no guarantees. One of the missionaries quickly showed me the false ceiling in an outer building and I scrambled up as he went to hide my friends. As I was slipping the ceiling tile back in place behind me, I noticed my footprints on the floor and on the table I used to climb up. I rushed back into the house to tell someone to sweep up after me or we’d all be compromised. I turned to go back outside, but through the window I saw a truck pull up and a dozen soldiers jump out. They were all uniformed soldiers, each carrying semi-automatic rifles and sidearms. The next few moments were a blur. The soldiers were yelling at us and rounding everyone up into the main living room. I think most of them were searching the grounds and only a couple of them were watching us. I went for one of their sidearms and squeezed off a few quick rounds rendering our two guards helpless. We took their weapons and began an assault on the other soldiers. As we gathered up the weapons and moved away from the compound, I realized that the three men I was with must have had some military background that I knew nothing about. We made our way across the countryside toward the airport where we’d landed. We knew that our plane and a small contingent of U.S. military personnel would still be there and we could hitch a ride back to the states.