Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.
- John 15:20-21
Abdu locked the door to his shop and turned to leave, a group of gun-toting
Islamists with scarves covering their faces confronted him. One terrorist
shoved a gun into Abdu’s ribs while another slid a black cloth bag over his
head and forced him into a nearby car.
After passing out, Abdu woke up in a cramped, dirty cell with his hands and feet tied behind him, and pain searing across his body. “Why didn’t you kill this Nasara [Christian]?” the militants’ leader screamed, before beating Abdu with a stick.
The following days were the most terrifying of Abdu’s life. The Islamists kicked him repeatedly, calling him a “Nasara pig.” They made him call his family while they assaulted him and demanded a $270,000 ransom.
The evening of his 10th day in captivity, a guard who had been kind approached him. “It is over,” he said. “They will execute you.”
They blindfolded Abdu and drove him to a dry creek bed, where they ordered him to kneel in the sand. He prayed they would execute him with bullets instead of a knife.
Abdu began counting to 50, expecting the sound of gunfire. Instead, he heard the sound of the truck driving away. He waited cautiously for as long as he could before lifting his blindfold. He saw he was alone … and free!
Shortly after, Abdu and his father made a harrowing journey out of ISIS territory, arriving safely in a neighboring country. There, through the ministry of a local church, Abdu came to forgive and even love his kidnappers.
His family’s property and possessions in Syria are a total loss, but Abdu says he has gained something far more precious. “Yes, you can lose everything,” he said. “But life in the Lord cannot be lost, whatever happens.”
- Voice of the Martyrs
In the latest copy of the Voice of the Martyrs magazine, there is an article about Raymond Koh in Malaysia. Pastor Koh organized a dinner for the sponsors of a charity. The charity was not related to Christianity, not directly, and served to help the poor, single mothers, children, drug addicts, and people with HIV/AIDS. Since there were people at the dinner of Muslim faith, the dinner was raided by a group of police. Pastor Koh was arrested for proselytizing to Muslims, something that he was not doing. He has never been seen since. Raymond’s wife, Susanna, inquired regarding what had happened to her husband and she was interrogated, under suspicion of proselytizing herself. Yet, she says that she has forgiven those responsible for they know not what they do.
The VoM video for this year’s International Day of Prayer is about Pastor Han in North Korea, Sang-Chul: North Korea. The short video is available at this link, including a means to order a DVD to be shown at a worship service.
While we complain about our ability to speak freely being taken away… Yes, we have the right of free speech as long as we do not say anything that a certain group of people disagrees with. It is not criminal to speak about Jesus, but when will that happen as Political Correctness seems to be ‘law.’ I ask, what is the next step? A former president used the phrase “Freedom of Worship,” instead of freedom of religion as stated in the first amendment. Most of us failed to notice. In Russia (at least what I have read on the subject), the Freedom of Worship laws state that you can worship God, but only in a place of worship – duly registered and licensed by the government. If you say a word outside that place of worship, it means fines for the individual and the church, as a minimum. I have no idea if you can be arrested for blessing the food in your own home.
Then, what’s next, after that? A total outlawing of anyone who calls on the name of the Lord? If we remain silent, we will be silenced, and it will be too late.
Rev. David Robertson wrote in A.S.K. (Question 32) about a father’s children trying to have him (the father) institutionalized in an asylum. He had become a Christian, and the children wanted him declared insane.
To change topics (for a reason), it’s football season and my alma mater did not do well in the first game, too many young, inexperienced players. Yet, I will root for them. I guess, in choice of university (University of Mississippi or Ole Miss), in some aspects of my character, and in my zeal to express my belief that God loves you and sent His Son, Jesus, to the world to save you and offer you eternal life…
Yes, I am a Rebel.
Regardless of what team you may cheer for, are you a bit of a rebel as well? Are you willing to declare that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, when it might result in being sent to an asylum for the insane? Beware, some day soon, there may be a high price tag on going down that road, but oh, the benefits.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.