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"Even the Sparrow Knows:
Trusting your Savior with a Troubled Heart"

The Day Al Qaeda Attacked my Family- Part 2

The Day Al Qaeda Attacked My Family

It is so unfair and cruel.  That these people can destroy lives with a simple pull of a trigger and I wonder if they feel any remorse…

That night my family gathered at my grandmother’s house along with Brittany’s boyfriend and his family.  I wanted so desperately to be there with them.  I spent hours trolling through twitter, looking at the social media coverage of the crisis, in hopes that I would come across a picture of Brittany or media footage of her escaping.  At some point that night, 2 of the team members had been found, but 2 were still missing.

Brittany was still missing.

I got down on my knees and as I cried, I begged God to protect her.  I begged God to keep her safe.  I begged God to bring her home.  As I pleaded, I told Him I recognized that He is good.  No matter what happens, He is GOOD.

As I went to bed, I knew that many prayers were being lifted.  Prayer chains had begun at our church in St. Louis and here in New Mexico.  My husband and I prayed together through tears.  We chose not to hide the realities of this broken world from our son.  We had prayed for Brittany and her team with him as she left for Africa so he understood that she was across the globe helping the villagers build schools for kids just like him.  We explained to our son that bad guys were attacking where cousin Brittany was helping the villagers, so he prayed that the bad guys would not find her.  I begged God to hear the prayers of this little one.  This little one with so much innocence.

We went to bed with heavy hearts.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28


Our family was blessed to be reunited with Brittany!

29 innocent victims did not survive that night.  29 families were destroyed because of the sin in this world.  Those that survived now deal with post-traumatic stress, anxiety, fear… their lives forever changed because of the violent crimes of Al Qaeda.


I am so grateful for technology!  In the above picture, my precious momma is facetiming so I can see Brittany and hear her voice.  I wanted so desperately to reach through that phone and embrace her!  With tears streaming down my face, I told her how much I loved her and she kept reassuring me that she was okay!  The tears of joy just would not stop.  I cried because God is incredible!  I cried because God is amazing!

[Tweet “We live in the moment, but God sees the big picture.”]


In the weeks and months after the attack on Burkina Faso, God continued to work in my heart. During the attack, I wanted so desperately to just hop on a plane, land in Burkina Faso and charge in to save Brittany.  Unrealistic, I know, but it’s what my heart longed to do!  Realistically, all I could do was get on my knees and pray.  And I did with every fiber of my being.

Only a few short weeks later after the attack, I pulled out a pocket bible that I keep in my purse, and I asked God to show me what I needed to see that day.


I opened to Psalm 124.  My eyes began to fill with tears as I heard God say through this scripture:

“I am in control.  You don’t need to ever carry the burden that comes with an unknown future. I am and will always be in control.”


Reader Interactions


  1. Oh Stephanie, I can’t even imagine how terrifying this was for all of you- especially precious Brittany! Thank GOD she survived and yet, my heart aches for those whose lives were forever changed by this horrific attack.

    God IS faithful, even in the midst of tragedy.

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