IMB: Miraculous escape from his captors
By Jack Phillips
Sixty of us sat in complete silence with humbled hearts. You see, this man had just learned how to share his three-minute testimony and volunteered to share with the entire group. All of the testimonies were powerful. All of the testimonies included persecution and suffering. But this man’s testimony included miracles. Not a miracle, but miracles.
He was an Islamic leader of leaders in his city. Early in his career, he was sent to study Islam in Pakistan. Only the best are sent abroad to study. After his studies, he returned to his home country and began to lead the Islamic gatherings. He was also tasked with teaching and preparing hundreds of other young men to become leaders in the mosque. He was a leader and trainer of Islam.
One day at home, he had an encounter with Jesus. He said, “It was the first time in my life that I ever felt peace in my heart. I knew Jesus was real.” He kept this decision to himself for a period of time, but he finally shared it with his wife. She panicked and reported him to his father and brothers. They immediately came to his location and demanded that he return to Islam. He kindly refused and explained that he had peace for the first time. They beat him severely. They also forced him to leave his home, his city, his wife and his children. He was never to return unless he would deny Jesus and return to Islam.
He left his home and went to a new village. Somehow, others in the mosque heard of his decision and a group of radical Muslims came to him at night, wearing masks, and beat him. They threw him into the trunk of the car and then drove him to a militant training camp outside of the city. After some initial beatings, they then informed him that he would be executed at sunrise. They placed him in a cell for the night and posted a guard outside the door.
This is when you might want to reference Acts 16.
This dear man, with tears running into his beard said, “I knew I was about to die, but I had peace. I wasn’t afraid.”
After some time, he decided that he would check to see if the door to the cell was open. It was. He slowly opened the cell, and the guard sitting next to the door didn’t move. He slowly walked in front of the guard and the guard just stared blankly ahead. The man then walked across the middle of the camp, passing several people. He then arrived at the front gate, and just as he did, the guards opened the gate wide, and the man walked out of the camp! It wasn’t until he had traveled fifteen miles that the militants realized he was gone.
Someone in the village found out that he was hiding and reported him. The militants came and captured him again. This time, they broke both of his legs at the knee. They left him there to suffer.
Since then, he has had three surgeries and still has much difficulty walking. His final statement of his testimony—”They hate me, but I forgive them.”
The miracles in Acts still happen in the world today.
Jack Phillips disciples and trains South Asians to plant healthy churches among people who have little or no access to the gospel.
Cover Photo provided by International Mission Board