Petr Jasek was the leader of The Voice of the Martyrs’ work in Africa. While he was helping persecuted Christians, he was arrested by the police in Sudan. For 445 days, he remained in prison, forced to share a cell with Muslim terrorists part of the time.
After his release, Petr began serving as VOM’s Global Ambassador. He travels around the world, encouraging Christians to help and pray for persecuted believers. His new book, Imprisoned with ISIS, tells about his experiences in Sudan.
Recently, Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio talked with Petr about his imprisonment. Petr compared his time locked up in prison with the situation of people sheltering at home during the coronavirus.
Read some of his comments below. (Edited for length and clarity.)
Now in many countries we are locked down with this quarantine. We have more time to spend with our families, and that is beautiful that we have that time as Christians. But I would like to encourage people to spend even more time with their Lord and His Word.
In one sense it reminds me of the situation that I was in when I was in solitary confinement. I could not do activity that I would normally be doing. But now in the similar situation there are many activities that I would like to do and I can’t do them.
But I have a choice how I want to use my time. Of course I can use it to read the Word of God, pray, or listen to the audio Bible. Or I can get distracted easily by paying attention to the more or less same news about the disease that is spreading around. The difference is that I have the choice now what I want to do in my time.
I would like to encourage [Christians] to really spend more time with our Lord and His Word, so that we could be prepared to better serve our persecuted brothers and sisters, to be better tools for His kingdom. You know, if we will abide in Christ we can certainly bring better fruit. What is the best fruit that we as Christians can bring in this world? This is obvious that we as Christians should multiply ourselves by making disciples.
If we will abide in Christ, abide in His Word, abide in His church and His Body, and abide in the intimate relationship with our Lord, then we don’t need to be worried about future. We don’t need to worry about the bad news around us. And we don’t need to be afraid even about persecution that is increasing. We know that we are in our Lord and He will never allow us to go through anything that He would not prepare us for.
I would say my main intention in writing my book was to show that we serve the great sovereign Lord. If we commit our lives into His hands, we do not need to worry about anything and we can trust the Lord, and He will support us.
(Petr’s book, Imprisoned with ISIS, is available here. Please preview before sharing with younger children.)