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I (Julie) was at a conference this week in the capital. I arrived in Asuncion in the early morning and I waited at the bus station for a few hours before I had to catch a local bus to get to my meeting. The last sentence I wrote in my journal before leaving the station was, "God, keep me safe today and protect me." 6:30 a.m. happens to be a peak traffic hour because businesses open at 7:00 a.m. I jumped on a very crowded bus and went to pay the bus driver when I felt someone touching my purse. I looked back and a middle aged man was touching the zipper of my purse! I gave him a dirty look and he threw his hands up in the air as if he was innocent. Then, the man on my left and the man on my right started pressing into me. I looked up at the bus driver in desperation and he told the men to move on back. They didn't move, they just kept squeezing me for what seemed like five minutes and I held onto my purse and carry on bag so hard that I had marks on my hands for a whole day! Suddenly I see my cell phone drop to the floor and quickly bend over to pick it up. I look down at it and at my purse in front of me and it's closed. I yell, "Someone cut my purse!" really loud and the 3 men jumped off the bus. I relax a little and when I do other things start falling out of my purse. I looked inside and even though my purse was cut to pieces, those three big men got NOTHING!

I thank God that He kept me and my documents safe. After being here for six years this is the first time I've been assaulted. I am just grateful for God's continued protection on our lives.


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