A Gospel for Asia (GFA) missionary who was abducted by a terrorist group last week has been apparently released, according to the head of the global mission agency.
Pastor Ponnachan George was on July 27 kidnapped by five armed terrorists from the Bible school campus operated by GFA in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam.
"I talked to Pastor Ponnachan a few hours ago. He simply wept for a long time, unable to say much. He thanked God and the Body of Christ for the massive fasting and prayer that took place on his behalf," said GFA Founder and President, KP Yohannan.
After kidnapping the pastor at gunpoint, the terrorists blindfolded him and tied his hands behind his back and forced him to walk for hours deep into the forest to their hideout.
"Throughout Ponnachan's entire ordeal, his captors repeatedly told him they were going to shoot him and would not spare him. He could hear them discuss their next moves and plans for demanding money, but he remained calm," informed Yohannan.
"We may be able to share more details later about the week-long, near-death experience he went through. But right now, we thank God for answering our prayers and causing these terrorists to release him unharmed without the huge ransom they demanded," he added.
GFA had earlier sent an email to its supporters soliciting prayers for the safe release of George. The mission agency maintains a policy of non-negotiation with terrorists for money. In similar instances, it has relied solely on prayer and fasting.
"I was frightened and really thought I would never be freed. I thought about my wife and young children and felt helpless. That is when I began to meditate on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I reminded myself that my leader sent me out with a one-way ticket to this mission field. The passage in Acts 20 where Paul says 'I don't regard my life dear to myself' became a source of strength," Ponnachan told Yohannan after his release.
Reportedly, the local police force, army personnel and high-level officials, both from the state and federal governments, had helped in securing the release of George.
"Without their intervention, Pastor Ponnachan's freedom would not have been possible. We thank God for these officials who have been so helpful in securing the release of our brother," Yohannan said on Monday.
George oversees the ministry in the Karbi Anglong region, which includes 26 Bridge of Hope centers educating children, three radio broadcasts in the Karbi, Assamese and Kuki languages, a Bible college and more than 200 churches.
GFA missionary kidnapped, released
By: Babu Thomas
Monday, 30 July 2012, 22:45 (IST)
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