(By:  Michael H. Imhof)

On December 17, 1981, I was hijacked at gunpoint in Southern Lebanon. After reviewing what happened to me years later I realized a spiritual principle was in effect without me knowing it. It's true that God protected me; but, I believe that protection was initially generated by my proclaimed words before I ever arrived on Middle Eastern soil.

I was a young Christian, and I was getting ready to be assigned to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in the Middle East for a one year tour of duty as a United Nations (UN) observer. 

As a young Naval officer, I was looking forward to this assignment. It was my first overseas assignment and I was going to Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon for duty. I also would be working with different nationalities. I was excited about this assignment to say the least. 

My parents and others were concerned about my safety and I told them that I was going to be alright. I told them and others that I believed that I was going to come back safe. Within me, I believed this to be so and my words proclaimed what I believed. I repeated words of this nature numerous times before I left the United States for Israel during July 1981.

I initially arrived at Tel Aviv, and then to Jerusalem for in-processing. My first assignment was for about two and one-half months in Cairo, Egypt. I then transferred to Amman, Jordan, for two months. After Amman, Jordan, I was transferred to Nahariya, Israel, where I would work in Southern Lebanon.

As a UN observer for Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), I lived in Nahariya and went across the Southern Lebanese border for duty. I performed observation duties at different locations in Southern Lebanon as well as conducted mobile patrols. It was a rewarding experience in many ways.

On December 17, 1981, I was at an observation post in Southern Lebanon with another American officer and a  Swedish officer. The Swedish officer and I proceeded to go on a mobile patrol. The American officer remained behind at the observation post. The Swedish officer had been assigned to OGL for a much longer period that I. He served as the driver, and I communicated via radio at different checkpoints to home base. Communication at the checkpoints was a safety measure to protect and track the observers in this potentially dangerous area of operations. 

Different sects live in Lebanon. There were the Druze, Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims, Maronite Christians, and others as well. Sometimes it was tough to determine what group people belonged to unless someone told you or you asked them. Some people were friendly to Americans while some not so friendly.

The Swedish Officer and I departed in the jeep from our observation post. En-route, I communicated at fixed points back to home base via radio, as was standard procedure. Up ahead, to the side of the road was a vehicle with it's hood up. There were three Middle Eastern men looking under the hood. As we slowed to pass them, all of a sudden they jumped out with weapons pointed at us. I barely could grab the radio hand-set when I had an AK-47 pointing towards my head. I released the radio as the Swedish Officer and I were directed to get out of vehicle. As UN observers we did not carry weapons. We were marched down the side of a hill about 10-15 yards apart for perhaps 70 yards with our hands up and weapons pointed at our backs. The three Middle Eastern men then all of a sudden left us, took our vehicle and departed.  It's interesting; I even had a U.S. flag on the sleeve of my uniform in full view. Although I could have easily been taken hostage, I was not. (One may recall that Lieutenant Colonel Rich Higgins, who served with the same UN organization, was taken captive during February 1988 in the same area of operations and later executed).  

The spiritual law I learned from this incident was that our words have a direct affect on our destiny. The truth of Mark 11:23 became a reality to me as I analyzed what transpired that day under God's protection. I believed in my heart and set things in motion with my words before I ever arrived on Southern Lebanese soil. 

Believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth are words to live by. Thank You, Lord, for protecting me. To God be all glory and praise!

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW!  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)