Published on November 8th, 2014
A pastor in the Philippines works among Christians in an area where radical Muslims are threatening Christians. He told the following story to workers from The Voice of the Martyrs.
I am a pastor. I am married, and I have three daughters.
One morning I told my second daughter to take a bath for school. I was surprised when she just looked at me and didn’t move.
I told her again to take a bath. But she said, “Papa, our teacher told us yesterday that Christians can be absent because we might be kidnapped.”
I admit I had mixed feelings. What should a father do? Five months ago one of the active youth in our church was kidnapped. He is still in the hands of his kidnappers. We don’t have any news about him.
“We Only Are Left Behind”
One Sunday after church my eldest daughter came to me crying. “Papa, all my Sunday school friends’ families are moving away,” she said. “We only are left behind. Let’s move away, too. It is no longer safe here.”
I said to her, “Darling, we should not do that unless the Lord would tell us to leave. If it is His will to stay, we must stay; we must obey Him.” But deep inside me I am affected because the reality is that not a week passes without our hearing news of a kidnapping and bad activities that have occurred.
For now the church is concentrating on prayer and fasting. Those who are left behind continue with their cell groups and discipleship. They are training children to be members of the praise and worship team.
Tempted to Blame
Sometimes I am tempted to blame the government and the authorities [for not protecting us]. But thank God for His Word. It corrects me of my feelings. We should pray and fast for the people in authority and for the people in my community.
I thank God also for The Voice of the Martyrs. They help me know that I am not alone in doing my ministry.
(Source: VOM contacts. Edited and paraphrased from the original for clarity, length, and reading level.)
What Would You Do?
- What would you do if you were the pastor’s second daughter? Would you want to go to school?
- What would you do if you were the eldest daughter?
- What would you do if you were the pastor?
- How would you want Christians in other countries to pray for you if you were in this family’s situation?