Friday, August 21, 2015

take along

A few years after our college graduation, a friend from nursing school was kidnapped by enemy soldiers while she was working as a nurse in East Africa. Updates about the kidnapping were frequently in the newspapers. I was a public health nurse at the time and as I traveled from house to house, my patients would bring the news articles to my attention. The end of the story is that after a month her captors released her and she rode out of the camp on a camel. They had taken good care of her. She was four months pregnant when kidnapped and after her release, blood tests showed she was healthier after the ordeal.

From what I remember, she had nothing but a comb, a towel, a bit of soap, and a white shawl which served as a sheet. Somehow she got a needle and would occupy herself pulling threads from the multi colored towel and embroidering scripture verses on the shawl … scripture she knew from memory. I've often wondered what I would do in a similar situation.

There are certain things I like to take with me whether I'm gone for a day or three weeks: a small Bible, my camera, a book, something to write on, and my crocheting. I like to have my large cozy shawl or wrap that my son brought home from India; it serves as a light blanket. I guess I'd include my phone.

But I could reduce the list to a Bible and crocheting. I do love having handwork with me.

On a somewhat related subject, don't we all think from time to time about what we would take if we had to leave home quickly? The first things I always think of, as in the case of fire, are photo albums. But let's say the bag is very small--what would be on your list? If a challenge came to us such as my friend experienced, I think many of us would deal with the situation just as she did. We never know how strong we are until we are tested.


  1. That's a very sobering thought.

  2. Crochet is always the first thing I sort out when packing for a trip. It certainly helped on the return flight since it was cancelled and delayed 24 hours and I spent hours upon hours in airports and airplanes. Very scary ordeal your friend must have been through. It's good that she was treated well. Certainly could have turned out quite differently. Best wishes, Tammy

  3. Such a sobering post. In fact, I don't know what I would do, but today I will reflect on it. Your friend is, indeed, a remarkable woman. Thank you!

  4. Isn't it amazing what we can learn from each other. This is why I like to blog!

  5. Your friend's story is both terrifying and wonderful. Yes, we never know what we will do in a difficult situation. Like your friend, I think most of us would discover hidden strengths and much grace from God.

  6. How frightening, Dotsie! I'm so glad your friend was safe and stayed calm in the mist of danger. I don't know what I'd do, but I hope I would stay strong and rely on God's help. ♥

  7. I'm glad your story had a happy ending, a scary ordeal even for back then. When I travel my Bible is always tucked in and it's not all that small but the one I like for daily reading. My ereader, phone and camera are must haves too. Hopefully I'll never be in the predicament to have to choose and had better give this some thought as the other readers are doing I'm sure.

  8. That's a different type of story, glad she made it ok not all turn out so well.

  9. I asked my son if he had an emergency bag packed as he is in a State of Emergency area because of fires in Washington State. For some reason our passports come to mind, cash, my favorite Bible...
    It is amazing what we really can live without when we have God on our side...

  10. I would want my Bible, my phone and a charger (smile), I like handwork too.


  11. This is such a thoughtful post today...much to ponder. I do value my Bible, my photo albums/memory cards, lots of family mementos and memorabilia, but when it really comes down to it, "things" can be replaced or done without. It is the eternal...the gifts of the heart...that are lasting and necessary. I know I forget that sometimes, but it is good to be reminded.

    I agree with you that God would grant to His own an extraordinary measure of His grace at the time that it is needed. Again, I tend to forget that and am sometimes moved by fear, but I know that He is to be trusted.

    Thanks for making me think tonight...

  12. Podso,
    Amazing how little we can actually survive with, dear friend!!!
    When our son, Bill and I joined "Mr. Ed" in Germany,
    I had all the necessities packed into a red foot locker!!!
    Three years later, we needed a "tad" bit larger trunk (s)
    for son #2 had been born!!! Military life kept us packing light!!!
    Thank you for the gentle reminder of what is truly important in our journeys!!!

  13. Photos of course. Important documents. My animals, and a few token sentimental items.
    I have missed your posts! Hope you are well.
    xo Kris

  14. I'd grab my computer back-up hard drive, stick it in my purse, and grab my cat, wrapping her in a sheet because I know she'd be in a panic. My dog would follow me, so I wouldn't have to worry about him.

  15. What a wonderful story.

    I would take photo albums, important papers, Lulu, but I'm not sure what else.

  16. I'm so glad your friend's story had a happy ending, Dotsie! It seems like we don't hear many like that these days. She sounds like a very brave person with a strong faith in God. I'd like to think I could be that strong, but I hope I don't have to go through a similar experience.

    Like you, I always think of family photos in case of flood or fire. Those just can't be replaced. Thanks for sharing this story; you've led such an interesting life with the places you've been and people you've met. I always enjoy your posts. :)

    Hope you have a good week!

    Big hugs,


  17. This story gave me shivers up my spine but also melted my heart. What an incredible woman. I wonder what became of her and her child.

    In the situation you described I think I would take the bible. My religious beliefs are my own but I think this is the one thing I would benefit from the most.

    Great food for thought and a touching post.

    Jane x

  18. In light of the news coming out of the Middle East, this story is intense. It must have been a great sorrow for all those who knew and loved her. The mental anguishes are often the very worst. What a good way for her to stay occupied and grounded in The Word.

    My family laughs to hear the story of my grandmother's home going up in flames. She was asked what she'd most like rescued from the living room and she said that she wanted the carpet on the floor. This meant that she got all the furniture sitting on top of the carpet as well. I'd want my purse, the oil paintings, the Family Bible with all the records, the hard drive, and the Lacie. Too much?

  19. After 9-11 everyone in NYC was told to make up a "go" bag in case there was another terrorist attack--we were all paranoid at the time another attack would happen soon! We were told to make copies of important identification and finanancial papers and put them in the bag, plus extras of medications that we needed, cash money, food and water for a week, flashlights and extra batteries, a first aid kit, and plastic and blankets to make a shelter if needed. All basic things for survival. Happily we never needed such a bag. In a fire it is important to get out as fast as possible and not hesitate to grab anything, but I'd want to grab my computer backup and lock box of important papers if I could!

  20. What a frightening situation your friend was in and I'm happy to hear she was released unharmed. I also think of what I'd take or do in such a situation and I guess we don't really know until it happens to us. The other night as hubby was sleeping I turned on the dining room light which is a ceiling fan only to have it spark and blow out. It scared me so badly. I couldn't see or smell smoke or burned wires so I checked the fuse panel downstairs and it was ok. I turned the light on again and it did the same thing so I thought I'd better wake the sleeper to check it out. I didn't want to awaken to a fire in our house! Needless to say, I got my laptop, cell phone, camera and hard drive gathered closer to the front stairs - just in case. Now whether I would have remember them in an emergency I don't know. All was well with the light which has been removed and will be replaced (been wanting a new chandelier for a couple of years!!). We did awake to a sever thunder and lightening storm in the middle of the night and I worried again that the house would be hit. I was prepared. :)

  21. Wonderful story about your friend, how she survived and was then released. I'm afraid that's not often the case. What would I take with me? My family first. I read a story once about a siege of a castle in medieval times, and after some weeks, it was decided the women would be allowed to leave. They were told they could leave with whatever they could carry on their backs. When the women came out, they were all carrying their husbands on their backs!! Not sure if it is a true story, but I love it.


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