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Monday, August 02, 2010

FAITH HELPS PREVENT ROBBERY

In a recent incident which took place at a nondescript Pompano Beach, Florida, a cell phone store employee talked a man out of robbing the store on July 23, 2010 by talking to him about Jesus. The would-be robber was described to be a white man with a mustache in his late 30s to mid-40s who was about 5 feet 9 inches tall.

The unidentified man who was armed went into the MetroPCS store which was located on Cypress Road, pretending that he wanted to buy a cell phone. The man talked pleasantly to 20-year-old Nayara Goncalves, the only employee in the store, before pulling a gun and demanding cash from the register. Though Nayara might be only 20, she has the heart of a lion.

Goncalves remained calm and started talking to the man about what he was doing. The conversation between the clerk and would-be robber was captured by surveillance video which was installed inside the store.

When the gunman confronted Goncalves, the store clerk reacted calmly by saying, “I’m Christian".

"So am I, and I actually really hate doing this," the gunman said. "I'm embarrassed to have to do this, and I have no choice."

"You don't have to do this," Goncalves said.

"Talk about making it harder," the gunman said.

"Jesus has got something way better for you, for everyone that's out there. I'm not blaming you. I'm not judging. I don't know what you're going through, but all of us are going through a hard time right now, a very hard time right now," Goncalves said.

"That's why I refuse to do anything to anybody else," the gunman said. "I've never done this before."

According to the surveillance video, Goncalves spoke to the gunman for about five minutes, even offering to help him get a job so he would not have to steal.

"I have a job," the gunman said.

"You do? Then why are you doing this?" Goncalves said.

"Because I'm going to be evicted if I don't come up with $300," the gunman said. The man reasoned that he needed the money to pay rent or else he would be evicted. But Nayara continued to share her faith with the man.

After Goncalves talked to the man, he left without harming her or taking anything, police said.

"I'm sorry. I understand if you still have to call the police," the gunman said as he left. Defeated by the truth of her words, the man left empty-handed.

Goncalves said she does not believe the man was a bad person, just desperate. "I'm very Christian and I go to church a lot, so I just feel like I want to tell everybody about Jesus," she said.

How many of us would have reacted the way Nayara Goncalves did? Would we have summoned enough courage not only to thwart a robbery but also share about Jesus Christ? The boldness of the young woman is very inspiring. She is a vivid example of Jeremiah 1:8 - "Don't be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord".

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