Prayers Urged as Efforts to Rescue Missionaries in Haiti Continue

Although the news cycle has churned ahead, efforts are still underway to rescue the 17 Christian missionaries abducted last month by gang members who are now demanding a hefty ransom for their release.

“It’s a very lawless situation,” David Curry told Faithwire.

Curry, who leads the Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA, said gangs like 400 Mawozo — the gang responsible for the latest kidnapping in Haiti — will often abduct Christians and humanitarian aid workers for money or to silence them, because they are willing to expose their criminal activity.

Those kidnapped on Oct. 16 include five children ranging in age from eight months to 15 years. The missionary group is comprised of 16 American citizens and one Canadian.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month the FBI and other U.S. agencies are “part of a coordinated U.S. government effort” to rescue the missionaries.

Christian Aid Ministries, the organization sponsoring the missionaries in Haiti, issued a call last week, urging supporters around the world to join them for a “day of special prayer and fasting,” adding Friday, “What a wonderful blessing it is when God’s people join together in times of adversity.”

Any time Christians choose to serve in dangerous areas hostile to believers, they are putting their lives at risk.

“Detainment, both from the government or from a rogue agency, is something that can happen,” Curry said. “You can certainly have people who lose their lives. … Many times, we lose people and we may not even know that they’re gone because they’re in such a remote area.”

“People can be killed for their faith,” he continued. “But the message isn’t just whether or not people are at risk in these countries. Why would you do that? It’s because you feel called and compelled to serve in an area because it’s difficult.”

Curry went on to assert Christians aren’t “to count our lives as so dear that we stop living in order to save our life.” That doesn’t, however, mean “that you walk into needlessly foolish situations,” he added.

“I always encourage people: Take risks, meaningful risks for the Gospel,” Curry said, “because I think it’s important.”

How can we pray for the Haiti missionaries?

So often, stories of Christian persecution include instances of those attacked for their faith praying for the salvation and wellbeing of their persecutors. It’s an odd dichotomy that makes no sense apart from the Gospel.

“The only way I can explain it is that the biblical mandate to pray for those who persecute you is one of the beautiful, strange things in Scripture that is totally contrary to everything in my nature — my human nature, my temperament — but it’s one of those things that, when you pray for your persecutor, you’re taking … some of that control back, and God knows you need that,” explained Curry. “[I]t also is helping you renew your spirit in the midst of this tragedy.”

In 1 Corinthians 12:26, the Apostle Paul writes that “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” When our brothers and sisters are facing persecution — wherever they may be — they are enduring an attack on the entire body of Christ, and we ought to bear that in mind as we pray.

“We are called to pray,” Curry said. “There is a spiritual value to us, there is a battle value, so to speak, in the spiritual realm, when we pray together, so I encourage you to do it.”

(Source: FaithWire)

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