Known for their cruelty and fear-producing tacts, robbers are a constant threat for people in Congo’s rural communities. While Congolese missionary Thomas Ongasa understood the risk in his humble country home, he didn’t realize that his involvement with Train Them 2 Fish had received the attention of local criminals. “He must be rich,” they thought. Cars with important-looking people inside visited the Ongasa household. Locals saw that Thomas had connections to America and the Congolese government, and felt certain that he must be wealthy.In actuality, Ongasa lived on a quarterly stipend. He stretched it to support his family and accommodate his active role in ministry. This is why he lived in a simple country dwelling without the security of more-expensive city-living – where help was only a call away and robbers less likely to come calling.In the darkness of night, robbers broke into the Ongasa home. “Don’t move,” a robber barked a command. Machetes gleamed in the moonlight as strange men in masks flooded the room. “Let’s kill him and then take everything he has.”Ongasa awoke to a living nightmare in his room when he heard the staccato command of the ringleader. As he quickly rose in his bed, he felt the sting of machete blades fall across his arms – and knew that heavenly intervention was his only hope for survival. Suddenly, a commanding voice broke into the murderous plans. “Do not lay a hand on him.” A tall man in a mask stepped to the forefront.”We have killed many others,” the ringleader sneered. “We will do the same to him.”Another robber lunged toward the bed with his machete in hand, but before he could hurt God’s missionary, the tall stranger used his powerful arms to the shove the would-be murderer out of the way. “You will not kill him,” he asserted.Ongasa watched as an argument ensued among the robbers. The ringleader’s shoulders finally slumped in defeat. One by one, the evil men slunk from the room – followed by the tall man in disguise. While the robbers ransacked the house, the tall stranger’s firm command was carried out. No one touched Ongasa or his family.”He didn’t act like a robber. And while most Congolese aren’t very tall, the man who intervened stood head and shoulders above the others,” Ongasa recalls. “I believe God sent His angel to give me more time on this earth.”The robbers stole everything of value they could find. It took time for Ongasa to recover financially from their visit, especially when he moved his family to a safer (but also more expensive) area. But he praises God for the extra time he has been given to lead people to Christ. “As long as God sustains me in this life,” he vows, “I will be His faithful witness.”

 Today, Pastor Ongasa continues to train and mentor Bible workers and church planters, coordinating free medical outreach to needy communities and ministering to Congo’s widows and orphans. As a result, thousands have come to know Jesus as their personal Savior and experienced freedom from the oppression of spiritual darkness.