The guiding power

Prisca - Worcester, Massachusetts
Entered on May 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30


I believe in the power of the providence. I believe there is a guiding power of the universe that keeps some people safe and healthy. Regardless of whatever happens, being in an accident circumstance, or in the times of war and terror this guiding power will protect and guard you along the way.

I come from Central African Republic located in the heart of the African continent. I am also from an ethnic group called Yakoma who like to live in community. In our capital Bangui there is neighborhood named Kpetene. Almost everybody in this neighborhood is Yakoma. Like a good Yakoma we were living there too. My country has been through several riots.

First of all, I didn’t grow up in my country but in Belgium, a small country in Europe. When my dad decided that it was time for us to go back home, it was so exciting because I was going to see my grandma and all of my big family’s members. After living for ten years in Belgium we finally arrived home in August 1995. During the first month arrived in my country everything was peaceful, so there was no war not even the hint of war.

Suddenly, one night, out of nowhere all we heard was the sound of gunshots coming from far away. That night my dad tried to figure out what was the cause of all this noise around us. The answer was that the former president attempted a coup d’état to overthrow the president in power and he failed. Since, the former president was a Yakoma the governmental soldiers regarded everybody that belonged to that ethnic group as enemies and decided to kill them. They knew that the best place to find the Yakoma’s ethnic people was at Kpetene. There was a extreme violence between government soldiers and rebels. The government soldiers came there and the rebelled military were fighting against them. But as the governmental soldiers came closer, so the gunshots became louder. The noise was so close and high that we could neither sleep, nor go outside the house. For almost a week they fought intensively day and night. Our neighborhood was isolated from the rest of the city. Business activities, school, communication with the outside world and electric power were shut down. Nobody was able to leave or enter the neighborhood.

After a week a strange calm, remarkable silence and it was a scary silence. We were wondering, what is going on? My dad went out and got some information in the neighborhood. The soldiers had taken over the town and were entering every house to kill every male. If it was a young man or a man they shall die. At that time, my three brothers and my father were at home. They were progressing door by door killing all male and even raping some women.

Pretty soon, they would reach our house, so my dad took all of us in the last room in the house, and we were hugging each other prayed and cried. I was terrified in the way that I had never been before in my life. With all my heart, I prayed, asked God to save us. It was five pm in the afternoon, we were in this room waiting our turn to die, but nothing happened, nobody came to knock at our door. Almost two hours later, my dad decided to look outside the window. They were no soldiers in the street anymore, just some dead body laid down on the street. We could just hear the crying of women, mothers, and sisters who have lost their beloved one.

We couldn’t believe that they passed our house. I cried without control because of the miracle. Really, it’s was a miracle, the guiding power was on our side. In the moment my dad made a strategy for us to leave the neighborhood, specially, for my brothers and him. No longer after he planned everything, we heard that the soldiers were coming back.

We thought that somebody must talk about us, so my dad decided to hide my brothers and himself in the ceiling of the house. A few minutes later the soldiers knocked on our door two times and smashed the door. They asked two times for my dad, so my mom said that he was not here that it was just my sister, her, and me. The way they were looking at us was so scary that I thought that they were meditating to rap us and kill us later on. I was right because they talked about how we were pretty and sexy…etc. My God, I started praying in my heart for God to save us. It is hard for me today to explain all the feelings and emotions that I got that day. I couldn’t realize how they didn’t do anything to us, but one thing I knew it was the guiding power working on our behalf, because they just spoke in their language and said to us that they will be back and left the house.

After, they have left, my dad decided to leave the town that same night with my brothers because they were the first people targeted and in danger in the house. After my dad and brother left the neighborhood we also left the house and found refuge in my grandma’s place. Two months later everything became better. We received a letter from my dad telling us that he was in Cameroon and wished for us to meet him there. Cameroon is neighbor to our country. How they reached there was another story that my dad related to us later on. We were back together, nobody was hurt, and we did lost nobody.

Truly, since that time I believe that it was the providence that saved us in that time of war and terror. We all have a guiding power that guards and protects us in adversity. One thing I have learned and noticed in this story is when your time has not come yet to leave this world, whatever happens to you, you will survive and live.