Today’s post was written by Donna Weisser, a woman who contacted me recently after having read one of my posts. She has quite a powerful story to share with us about how God has used and redeemed a tragic incident that resulted in her kidnapping and her husband’s murder. I believe this story is only in its infancy, and I am certain God will continue to use Donna’s testimony further, for her good and His glory.
Thank you, Donna, for sharing such a painful, yet encouraging message with us all.
As I drove home from work on June 4, 2012, my heart was joyful. There were only 2 more days of school, and then I would be off for the summer and have more time to spend with my husband and my Father who had been hospitalized in May due to a broken back as a result of a fall. I entered into a precious time of praise and worship which I believe now, strengthened me for the ordeal to come.
When I entered my home, Don called me to come upstairs to urge my husband Michael to go to the Dr. to set a broken finger. Don was a former homeless man that my husband and I had befriended as we delivered bread to the needy. As time went by, Don became Michael’s assistant in the deliveries.
When I arrived upstairs, Don was standing there with a butcher knife in his hand. He told me he had tied Michael up and I would be able to release him when I got back from driving him to meet up with a partner. He took my purse and threw my cell phone across the room. I prayed. I just cashed my dad’s Social Security check that morning and in the bottom of my purse was $1,400. I asked if I could have my credentials back so I could drive the school bus the next day and miraculously, Don took only the $16 in my wallet and handed me back the purse.
As I drove, I prayed asking God for his mighty help. God told me to tell Don that I loved him like a brother and that God loved him and he didn’t need to do what he was planning to do. I pleaded, “just let me out and take my car.” We were in a very isolated area, only vineyards and orchards. Finally, Don did just that. He ordered me to walk through the vineyard and if I came back to the road, he would kill me.
The vineyard was freshly tilled making my steps tedious as with each step I sunk to my ankles. Urgency motivated me as I thought about Michael. I knew he must be injured severely to be tied up and we had now been gone from the house for an hour. When I reached the other side of the vineyard, I walked down the road desperately looking for help. There was no one––I prayed and within minutes a car approached me. I flagged them down and they called the police for me. As we waited for the police to arrive they told me they were lost, looking for a friends’ home and they didn’t even know why they had turned down that street. The police questioned me for the next two hours, during which time, not a single car passed by. God had sent that family to help me! Several sets of officers came to question me and each time I would inquire about my husband I was told that they had dispatched help to the home and as soon as they knew anything, they would let me know.
Finally, I was placed in a police car, and we headed back to my home town, Fresno, Ca. I thought they were taking me home but instead, it was to the police station to give my “formal statement.” After waiting yet another hour, the detectives finally arrive to record my statement. The officer asked me to step into a side room for just a few more questions. At this point, I boldly declared, “I am not going to answer another question for you until you answer one for me. Is my husband dead?” The chilling answer, “yes.”
This was the most difficult day of my entire life, but I can say God was with me every step of the way, strengthening me. In the weeks to follow, God continued to do miracle after miracle for me.
- My car was recovered in 4 days.
- Don was captured in one month
- Don changed his plea to guilty and the trial was over in ½ hour
- Don received 5 ½ life sentences
- The men in my church restored my home
- Michael’s funeral was totally paid for by strangers
- Four people received Christ at Michael’s funeral
As I moved to an apartment, my son Billy, moved in with me. We began to unpack Michael’s chest of drawers and discovered an envelope with $8,600 in it! Don had not found the envelope as he searched for monies nor had the home invaders who robbed my home just before I could get moved! God had preserved the money just for me. It was just what I needed to pay the mortgage until the day I rented the house out.
As we attended the sentencing of Don, my family had a friend read a letter to Don that said, “As a family, we forgive you Don, and if you will ask Him to, God will too.”
We left court saddened by our loss but free in our hearts.
Praise God for all He has done and will continue to do through this very difficult story!
If Donna’s message has touched you, be sure to leave Donna a comment of encouragement for her! Additionally, if you’re interested in having Donna come to your church or event, please contact me for her contact information.