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Honoring Pastor Jean-Paul Sankagui

Christians around the world will take time on June 29 to honor the legacy of those who have sacrificed their lives for the advancement of the gospel. This year, The Voice of the Martyrs will remember Pastor Jean-Paul Sankagui, who gave his life for Christ in the Central African Republic (CAR).

(Learn more about the CAR here and here.)

Pastor Jean-Paul planted a church in a Muslim neighborhood in his country. Danger and threats have increased for Christians during a civil war in the CAR. Pastor Jean-Paul’s church ended up being the only church left in the neighborhood. Many church members fled the area.

But Pastor Jean-Paul stayed in obedience to what he believed God called him to do. In 2017, Muslim fighters shot the pastor, and he died from his wounds. He and his wife, Mary, had been married for 48 years, and they had 11 children and 17 grandchildren.

Honoring Them All
A few days after the attack, a VOM worker visited Mary. Read below what he said about his visit.

“I expected that there would be a lot of despair. I went into a stuffy room, dark with no electricity, just candle light. About 30 people, including some of their children, surrounded Mary. There was a big smile on Mary’s face, and she was thankful that she had more visitors. I couldn’t believe it!

“Although there was sorrow over the loss of her husband, there was also a lot of joy. She recalled memories of Pastor Jean-Paul, and she smiled. They were both called to that area together, and they knew there was a purpose in being there.

“Pastor Jean-Paul represents hundreds of Christians in the CAR who have died for their faith. The other names we will probably never know until we are all together someday in heaven. Honoring him honors them all.”

(Sources include VOM Radio. Edited for length and clarity.)