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Friday, March 6, 2009

Yes, God Answers Prayer!

Normally I [President of Adventist World Radio (AWR)] share stories of AWR listeners with you, but recently you may have heard about an AWR worker we were praying for. He was facing grave danger and we put out a call for prayer. So, I wanted to tell you more of this worker’s story and about how God has triumphed in this most recent cosmic skirmish. The enemy seeks to destroy the messenger and to snuff out the light of hope that begins to kindle in the hearts of our listeners.

Recently, an AWR worker was kidnapped and imprisoned by a radical Muslim group. For months prior to his capture he lived under the shadow of death because a public fatwa was widely disseminated, accusing him of trying to confuse Muslims to convert them to Christianity. He sent me the notice by email so that I could witness for myself the threat he faced.

This group knew him by name and offered a reward for his capture and/or death. He had to go into hiding for a period of time because of the very real threat. Months later, just when things seemed to be settled down, he was attacked on the street in the dark by a severe blow to the back of his neck. Although he was knocked to the ground, he was able to scramble up and get away. The next day he received a message that said, “You got away last night, but we will get you and kill you!” The following day as he was riding a bus to go to a safer location for a while, the bus was stopped by men with guns. He was dragged off the bus, bound, and blindfolded. Then he was put into a vehicle and they traveled for hours to a place he did not know, and was thrown into a dark cell where he waited to be brought before an Islamic court to be tried according to Sharia law and be sentenced for his crime. Under Sharia law, the sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity is death.

While he was in prison, he was beaten, electrocuted, and subjected to extreme interrogation techniques to get a confession from him. He even witnessed the beheadings of two of his cellmates and was told that he would soon face the same fate.

AWR staff around the world prayed in earnest for him, and we shared this urgent prayer request with church members everywhere, including Facebook. The outpouring of response to the request was incredible. Maybe you had the story passed on to you because of our call for prayer.

Yes, God answers prayer!

God intervened, answered the many prayers, and miraculously our worker was released only having to pay a substantial fine. It makes no earthly sense that he would be released with a fine and not be killed or imprisoned for life, but that’s God for you! He had suffered so terribly through torture that I thought he might want to quit radio broadcasting altogether and get away from this dangerous work. But you know, he has reaffirmed his commitment to reach people in his language group with the gospel of Jesus. He wrote to me: “I have learned that being Adventist is all about loving, caring for each other, and living together as a family. I am privileged to work with AWR.”

This young man is AWR’s link to broadcasting in a particular language and country where the gospel would not otherwise reach. We have seen amazing and inspiring letters from listeners in that region who have received Christ and who bravely dare to share their faith, and consider themselves a church, even though we have no official church in that particular country.

We can never discount the power of prayer in this situation, and in the many others that I have not yet told you. So, I thank you for being a prayer warrior for our AWR producers, studios, broadcasts and listeners. They are willing to die to share the message of hope that Jesus Christ has entrusted to us. You can keep them on the air around the world by sending your gift today! Your gifts are needs more now than ever before.

Thank you for your financial support which enables AWR to broadcast in 75 languages, thousands of hours a day to the hardest-to-reach people groups of the world.

Yours in His Service,
Benjamin D. Schoun
AWR President


P.S. Please visit our NEW online Gift Catalog to learn about specific projects you can become involved in.


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N.B: Article courtesy of Kaka Yona, via email, from inspirations@awr.org

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