Kidnapped AT Knifepoint -
YET MIRACULOUSLY FREED
(By: Kathi Byker)
Over the years, I've really struggled a lot with fear. I'm a sensitive person and things in the past have just hit me really hard. Eighteen years ago I had breast cancer and that was hard. Another time, we were in a near plane crash. Another time, our little granddaughter was diagnosed with a childhood cancer called neuroblastoma when she was three years old.
As of 2012, she's l0 years old and doing very well, but it was very hard to see her lose her hair and go through so much trauma. Fear is a tool of the enemy, and the devil really does use it to try to tie us up and render us ineffective and distract us from what God's calling us to do. That's why I'm completely trusting God to help me to overcome this fear (Which He is doing, thank you Lord!) I cannot do this by myself; it is something that God has to help me with.
Sometimes to come against fears, to get victory over it, we have to confront them and that can be really scary; especially when they are brought to your doorstep like it was mine. About four months ago (as of early 2012) I really had to confront this fear. A fearful situation came into our lives that was totally unexpected.
We woke up at 4:00 in the morning to people yelling in our bedroom. I opened my eyes and someone was standing over me, on my side of the bed; a man totally dressed in black, except you could see his eyes, and he had a knife in his hand. I just couldn't believe it. I closed my eyes and I thought I was having a nightmare, and I opened them again and he was still there, and I was utterly terrified. He pulled out some duct tape and he was working with it while holding the knife. He was trying to tie my ankles up and my wrists, and it was dawning on me that he was going to take me away.
The thought of having to leave my husband was terrifying and putting duct tape around my ankles and getting me ready to go out of the house was tortuous. I started kicking the man and my husband said, 'Stop, Honey; he's got a knife to your neck'! I didn't even realize it, so I calmed down. There was another man dressed the same way with a knife over my husband. My husband had a very peaceful demeanor through this, and I'm so thankful that he didn't blow up or get angry and set them off any more. They were constantly yelling and swearing at us through this whole ordeal. I found myself getting pulled and yanked out of our house into my own vehicle. He started putting duct tape over my eyes and my mouth, wrists and ankles and commanding me to lay down on the back seat. To feel so vulnerable and helpless and to be under someone's control like that was just HELL.
He pulled out of the driveway in the dark, away from my husband, our home, my safety place. I mean, it was awful. I didn't have a clue where we were going, what he was going to do to me, or how long this would last. He was driving with his left hand and had his right hand over the back of his seat with the knife in his hand, and he kept demanding that I lay down in the back seat, and if I sat up he'd kill me, and I believed that he would. He had the knife right to my neck.
At that point, I remembered God. I did. I remembered to call out to God. I remembered He was there. I prayed in the Spirit. I remembered that praying in tongues will bring me to a place where my spirit is talking to God's Spirit without my mind getting involved, and I just called on God. The next thing I remember after I prayed, I remembered to plead the blood of Jesus over my body. In the Bible it talks about the blood over the doorposts being protection, and I realized I needed God's protection. And as I brought God into the picture, the next thing I remember is that Proverbs 3:5 and 6 came to my mind. Then some other verses came to mind reminding me that God is my refuge. I surrendered totally to God and His Word as the Holy Spirit brought key scriptures to my mind. The supernatural peace of God came into me. The situation hadn't changed, but I remembered God. The fear factor was lessening as the God factor was going up; and the realization that God was greater than this fear. And if He can help me through that, He can help anyone through anything.
It wasn't too long after that, and he stopped and pulled me out and pulled me into what I thought was a forest. And I remember thinking: 'I am NOT going to be one of those people who are never heard from again, In Jesus' Name'!
DUCT TAPED TO A POLE
There was a pole, and he started to use the duct tape on my knees, and he was tying me to this pole. He said, "There's somebody behind you and if you try to escape, he'll kill you." I did not believe there was anyone behind me. I just did not sense it.
I could hear him leaving, and I just waited a little while, not very long - like maybe 15 seconds. Then I wiggled out of the duct tape on my wrists and pulled it off of my eyes and mouth, and I realized I was in a cornfield, and the corn was like 8' tall, and I looked around and there was nobody behind me. It was still dark, and there was nobody around. I looked down and the tape was around my knees, and I pushed it apart and honestly, it was a miracle. The duct tape that was holding me to the pole ripped as I just put a slight pressure on it!
I broke away from there, and ran to the road. I thought in my heart: It's important which way I go, straight, left, or right. I paused and felt God leading me to go straight. Little did I know that the man had run out of duct tape, and he had run down the road to my vehicle to get more, and he was coming back and if I had turned left, I would have run right into him!
No one prepares themselves for this kind of situation, and I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to keep running or find a place, like I ended up doing, to hide. I just didn't know what to do. But the thing that I remember is that I never felt so alone in my life. I have never had a time in my life where nobody knew where I was. It was like, nobody.
It was dark - I was in my pajamas - I was barefooted ... duct tape hanging all over me. I just started running. Through the fields and hiding for awhile and praying -- then I would run some more.
At one point, when I stopped and wondered what to do, I noticed a line of trucks by this trucking business. There were all these white cabs lined up, except there was only one red one. The parking lights were on and the motor was running and I knew somebody was in there and I ran. I was so relieved to see that the gate that should have maybe been locked, to hold those trucks in there, was open. And I ran in there and ran to the truck and pounded on the door and no answer. But then pretty soon I opened the door on the driver's side and called in there, and a man was in there and he had been sleeping, and he helped me.
In Proverbs 3:6 where it says that: If we acknowledge Him in all our ways He will direct our path. HE DID! He directed me to go straight. If I would have gone left, I do not know what would have happened.
FORGIVENESS IS A CHOICE - NOT A FEELING
The two men who kidnapped me were caught soon thereafter and sent to prison, along with a third person who had masterminded my abduction. Because forgiveness is a choice and not a feeling, I have chosen to forgive these men before God. And therefore God has miraculously removed bitterness and resentment from me and He has freed me. I have found that forgiveness opens the door for emotional healing. I am sad that they have brought the penalty and consequences of this on themselves. I am sorry that they have ruined their lives by the decisions and actions they've made. There are a lot of people who are going through things spiritually that I went through physically. They are bound up. They are being held hostage. The devil does that; he doesn't play fair; he hates us all, and God is there to rescue us all. I can testify He is there at the most hardest times we can imagine. He's not just there for me; He's there for everyone. This is why Jesus died, so that we can be free. We are born to be free. We are born to be free in our spirits. We're born to be who God created us to be. And all of this stuff that comes at us; it is attempts by the devil to try to get us away from the original intent God had for us, and that is to be in relationship with Him and to just function in a way that is pleasing to Him. He wants to be the Lord of our lives. And believe me, He is worthy and He is able.
Subsequent Followup Testimony: We showed the video (above top) at Resurrection Life Church in Rockford, Michigan and then Pastor Doug Bergsma interviewed my husband, David, and I on January 1, 2012:
Pastor Doug: Kathi, God preserved you. It's nice to see you here in one piece, delivered by God. It's awesome! God really helped you and there are a number of things we didn't put on the video due to time. What did the lady detective who was working on the case say about the duct tape on your knees?
Kathi: She said that it was regular strong duct tape and that I had to have had help from above. I really believe it. When I looked down and it ripped, I just said, 'WOW GOD, I'm out of here!' I am really extremely thankful for what God did. I just can't thank Him enough. Freedom is a wonderful thing. We are all used to being free. When we're not all of a sudden, it is an awful feeling.
Pastor Doug: What are the chances that when you ran in your pajamas that there would be a big line of trucks, and the one truck you go into that the trucker's girlfriend goes to Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, where you go?
Kathi: I know, it's true. He was in town from Kansas, and he said, "I'm just sleeping in my truck and waiting until this company opens so that I can apply for a job." I am so thankful he was there - there was not anywhere else I could run for help. It was out in the country, so I praise God for that man being there.
Pastor Doug: So even though you went through a very hard time, God was with you in your time of trouble and at key times when you really needed him, He supernaturally provided and made a way for your escape, He told you which way to go when you were running. You didn't know which way to go but He spoke and told you to go straight. So, Psalm 91, ... that He'll be with you in time of trouble.
Kathi: I just want to say that God is really real and I'll leave you with this verse to claim: II Timothy 4:18, "The Lord will rescue us from every evil attack and will bring us safely to His heavenly Kingdom forever and ever." Amen.
Pastor Doug: There's another side to this that wasn't on the video clip. But Dave, Kathi's husband, was in the middle of all of this, and Dave, you were involved in it from the start. What was it like for you and what happened?
Dave: There were actually two of these guys, one on my side of the bed with a knife, too. I woke up at 4 a.m. and thought it was a bad dream. I rubbed my eyes and I wasn't dreaming. I finally got up and said to the young man on my side, "God loves you and you don't need to do this", and he just said, "I have to."
Later on when they were taking Kathi out of the house I said to him, "Listen, if you are in trouble, I will help you." He just said, "I have to do it."
What a difference it makes in his life now that he is in prison, but he had every chance to change at that moment. As soon as they drove away, I called 911 and went to our kitchen table with our Bible and asked myself, 'What chapter covers this one?' We had recently heard a teaching on Philippines 4:6-7 about not being anxious and that God would give you peace. He didn't say He would solve all your problems. He said He would give us peace. And I was praying fervently, "Lord, protect my wife; keep her safe and help her to get away."
And about an hour and a half later, a police officer who was at the house came to me and said, "Your wife has escaped and she's unharmed, and she's at the police station."
It is a real miracle. As one of our pastor friends says, he really believes that God sent an angel of confusion to confuse these people, because it would be hard to explain all the things they did in the natural. It just doesn't make any sense. I spent an hour with the police officers after we found out Kathi was okay; we couldn't make any sense out of what was happening.
Then we went for a week not knowing who it was, and we had so many people praying for us; we were just covered with prayer. It was a beautiful thing. Just the peace that comes when you are part of the Body of Christ, and I want to thank all the people who prayed for us.
About a week after it happened, I saw one of our neighbor ladies walking up her driveway. She looked so tired, and I knew she hadn't slept in a week, and we were concerned about this, so we asked the people who were praying to please pray for our neighbors, too, and I think God really helped them, too. We give Him all the praise and all the glory. We know that all things work together for good to them who love the Lord (See: Romans 8:28-29). And that's what we are seeing God do. It won't be just a bad incident, and God can do this for us.
Staff Note: Kathi's ministry website: http://www.godmyrescuer.com/
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