In August 2011, David and Kathi Byker were awakened at 4 am by sounds in their home in Grandville, Michigan. Two men wearing ski masks and dressed in black stood over their bed.
Armed with knives, they demanded money. Leaving a cell phone and instructions on how to pay a ransom with David, the intruders kidnapped Kathi (60).
With a knife at her neck, the kidnappers duct-taped Kathi’s hands, mouth and eyes and threw her into the back seat of the Byker’s SUV which they stole. As they drove off in the middle of the night, Kathi was terrified about what lay ahead. She believed they would kill her.
The two kidnappers eventually met up with a third person — the ringleader. He and one of the kidnappers remained behind to arrange the payment while the third drove off with Kathi in the back seat. Driving with a knife in his hand, he would turn and threaten to stab Kathi if she didn’t stay lying down on the seat.
Terrified and not knowing what to do, Kathi finally started praying. But it wasn’t any kind of prayer, she began to Speak in Tongues.
In Romans 8:26, the Apostle Paul says:
26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
One of the unique features about tongues is that it is an unknown prayer language either of human or angelic source (1 Corinthians 13:1). But through this gift, the Holy Spirit uses your mouth to pray what needs to be prayed.
Kathi also prayed the Blood of Jesus remembering the story in the Book of Exodus how the blood on the lintels protected the Israelis from the avenging angel. Verses popped into her mind of trusting in the Lord and God’s divine protection, and she chose to believe them.
Kathi said that in the middle of this ordeal a sense of overwhelming peace came over her — considering her circumstances it was a peace that made no senses (Philippians 4:7).
After driving for some time, the driver pulled over. He dragged Kathi from the SUV and duct taped her to a telephone post in the middle of a cornfield.
The driver told her that someone would be keeping an eye on her. However, as soon as she heard him leave, Kathi quickly freed herself. She said the duct tape tore easily when she tugged on it, that in itself was a miracle.
Freed from her captivity Kathi didn’t know which direction to go. Still speaking in tongues she sensed the Holy Spirit telling her to go straight ahead. She obeyed this prompting. She later found out turning left would have put her back in the hands of kidnapper who had returned to the vehicle for more duct tape.
Running into the night, she had no idea where she was and spent time hiding and praying. Sensing the Holy Spirit speaking and guiding her, God eventually led her to a parking lot full of semi trailer trucks. In the midst was one red truck with its lights still on.
Sliding up to the vehicle and opening the door, she shocked the man who was sleeping inside. Bare foot and in pajamas, Kathi told the stunned man she had been kidnapped. He quickly radioed the police. The man had showed up early because he was applying for a job that morning. He had never been at the depot before.
The police arrived and Kathi explained what happened. The three men involved in the kidnapping were later arrested and are now serving long sentences for their crime.
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