THE STORY OF JOHANNA
My brother, a friend and I were on a backpacking trip in Australia. I had been homesick for some time and I didn’t really like Australian culture. We had been involved in a car accident and had no cash left. If you had asked me then, I would have said things could not get any worse. But they did.
That very special evening changed my whole life. I went out with my brother in order to make a phone call. We wanted to call our mother for that day she had her birthday. We had our car parked in the car park of a hostel and we could use the hostel’s toilets and kitchen. Of course we could also have used the hostel’s phone, but somebody was there before us that night. So we went to a telephone booth. My brother spoke to my mother first. After a little while he asked if I agreed if he could go home then.
He had to get up earlier than me, because we worked at two different factories that week. Of course I agreed to him leaving then, since I didn’t want him to be tired at work because of me. I wanted to make that phone call and hear all my beloved ones whom I missed so badly. Before my brother left, he looked me in the eyes and said: Whatever you do, Johanna, when you're done with the call, come home quickly, be careful, talk to nobody. Well, that was weird, because I was neither a person who was scared easily, nor was he the kind of brother who used to say things like that. In fact this was the first time he ever said something like this to me. So when I could talk to my mother and my family I was really happy. It was actually the first time since we had left that I heard them for more than 10 minutes. At some point in the conversation I realized that there was a guy walking up and down the street next to the telephone booth. So I stopped talking and asked him if he wanted to make a call. His answer was yes. I told him that he would either have to wait a little or find another telephone booth because my call would take a while. He seemed to agree to wait, so I continued talking.
After another 45 minutes or so I finally finished talking. I left the telephone booth and told the guy that he could make his call now. He looked into my eyes with a strange look and went up to the booth. That was the moment I realized that he might be some kind of creep. His eyes told me this wasn’t about making a phone call. So I left as fast as I could and when he couldn't see me anymore I started running. But when I turned around I saw him coming after me, on a bike. I stopped running because I didn't want him to think that I was afraid of him. When he was next to me, still on his bike, he told me he had made his phone call.
“Good for you.”, I said. Then he asked me to sleep with him. He did so over and over again and all I answered in return was “Fuck off, leave me alone!”. It was quite obvious that he knew where I lived, because he knew the exact direction that I was going. He knew our shortcut to the hostel and made it impossible for me to use it. So I had to walk on. Suddenly he passed by me on his bike. That was my only chance to escape, so I turned around and ran back to the shortcut from where I could see our van. When he realized what I was doing he also turned around and came right after me. He smashed down his bike in front of me to make me stop and held a gun against my head.
As shocked as I was I didn’t do anything. I was just staring. At that moment I wasn't sure this was really happening to me right then. After a few seconds, which seemed to last forever, he said: “Take off your clothes or I'll shoot you!”
I answered: “No.”
Was I scared? Yes.
Was I shaking? Yes.
Was I afraid to die? Yes.
But there was something inside of me that rather wanted to die than to be raped on the street and have to live with the consequences.
I was pretty sure that there was no such strength in me to say no to a guy who was holding a gun against my head. But somehow I did. “I won’t take off my clothes so you can rape me.” I answered. He kept repeating his threat and I kept saying that I wouldn’t do what he wanted me to do and that he might rather shoot me.In the meanwhile I was searching for a way to get out of this situation. Many thoughts ran through my head, such as “Will I ever see my family again?”, “Where will he shoot me? Head? Heart?”, “Who will find me when I'm dead? My brother? My friend? A stranger?” I saw myself lying on the ground, bleeding to death. When I came to the point that I had absolutely no idea how to get out of this situation, two small thoughts crossed my mind: Confrontation and Jesus. So I decided to ask this guy what he really wanted. I looked him in the eyes, and spoke out these words:
“Jesus Christ. What do you want?”
The guy looked back, took down his gun, picked up his bike – and left.
I don’t know what this guy saw at that moment. I didn’t look scary. I had no fire in my eyes or something like that. Well, that would have been cool but nothing like that happened. And still, I spoke out these words and he left. The only explanation that makes any sense to me is that using the name of Jesus is a powerful thing to do. That experience changed a lot in me. There are still some struggles I have with faith from time to time. But when it gets really bad I always remember how Jesus saved me out of a situation where I was completely powerless. What happened then, when I more or less faced death, and how it turned out, makes me stay close to Jesus.
I don’t know if I am in a position to make another wish, after what Jesus did for me that night. But, as His daughter whom He loves so much that He saved her life, I guess I can ask Him for another favour... when I'm in heaven I really want to know the details about what made the guy go away.
BACK TO OVERVIEW