Curtis L. Hayes (Amy Vogelsang Photo)
It’s 6:10 in the evening. Their trunk is filled with chicken and potatoes, the first imports of such foods in more than seven months. As the couple drives home, they pass a mansion, and suddenly, 200 Liberian soldiers swarm the car. The soldiers’ M1s and carbines threaten the husband and wife as a young man, maybe 16 years of age, yells, “GET OUT!” The husband, a missionary with Sudan Interior Mission, steps out of the car, not knowing what he has done wrong.
The young soldier, along with his comrades, all have red eyes.
“He was high as a kite!” the man recalls. All the soldiers were.
“Pump,” the young soldier demands. But the man does not understand what this means. The soldier demonstrates: arms held out from the sides and bending knees down and up, doing squats.
“Now I want you to do that until you fall out,” the soldier says. “Then I’m going to take you down to the beach and shoot you and hang you.”
The man and his wife were only able to get away because of their missionary group and identification to prove their purpose.
But it was “the scariest time in my life,” the man, Curtis L. Hayes, admits. And even though much of his life has been filled with fear and mishaps, he has never failed to follow God, he says.
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