Encouraged by Singing
Petr Jasek, the leader of The Voice of the Martyrs’ ministry in Africa, was arrested in Sudan in 2015. Sudan’s government said Petr was a spy. But he really was helping persecuted Christians in Sudan, not spying.
Petr was forced to share a cell with Muslim terrorists who did not like Christians. Conditions were harsh, and his outlook was bleak.
The story below tells about one incident that encouraged Petr during his prison time.
[Parents and Teachers: The story is from Petr’s book, Imprisoned with Isis: Faith in the Face of Evil, available from The Voice of the Martyrs. Please preview the book before sharing with younger children. The excerpt below has been edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness.]
After more than eight months in prison, the day of my trial finally arrived. Early in the morning, we rinsed ourselves with a bucket of water. My hair and beard were now long and silver.
Special guards transported us to the prison building. [The trip] took nearly two hours in the back of a cattle truck, and we sat on long metal benches on each side of the truck bed. When we arrived, the guards put the handcuffs on us and moved us to a holding cell, where we waited.
There were dozens of prisoners squeezed into the small room. The floor of the waiting room was dirty, and there was no place to sit, so we roamed an outdoor courtyard. As I paced around the small space, I heard the sound of singing rising from outside the nearby courthouse.
[We] soon realized the source of the singing, and we were overwhelmed. Hundreds of Christians had traveled by bus to show their support. With shields, batons, and tear gas, the Sudanese riot police had prevented them from entering the building. [The Christians] stood outside and sang about David and Goliath. We listened as the Body of Christ raised up a song of encouragement for us. They were risking their own lives by offering support for us. Their bravery astounded me. I wondered how many of them would be arrested.
To Talk About
*Why do you think the Christians sang about David and Goliath?
*What can you do today to encourage someone?