Hindu militants attacked a Christian family recently as they prayed in their own home.
On 3 May, Pastor ‘Falgun’, his wife and his sister and brother-in-law were praying for a sick neighbour when about 10 members of a Hindu extremist group rushed into the home and attacked the pastor with sticks.
When the pastor’s sister-in-law intervened, one of the militants grabbed her by the hair and smashed her head into the wall. The woman’s husband tried to protect her, but they then beat him as well.
After the militants finally left, more than two hours later, all four of the Christians were admitted to the hospital. The hospital discharged them the next day under pressure from the extremists, but the pastor’s sister-in-law was later diagnosed with a blood clot in her head. The four were then taken to another hospital.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Ask the Lord for a complete recovery for these believers. May the violence leave no lasting effects.
- Pray God will minister to them emotionally and spiritually, to help them overcome this difficult trial.
- Commit to the Lord the perpetrators; by His leading may they be moved to conviction and repentance.
This May marked 15 years since Martin and Gracia Burnham were kidnapped in the Philippines. The missionary couple was on a getaway to celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary when they were kidnapped by radical Muslim Abu Sayyaf fighters. For more than a year, and under the total control of their captors, they were constantly on the move, living in primitive conditions in the jungle, evading capture from the Philippine military, enduring gun battles and witnessing unspeakable atrocities committed by the men of Abu Sayyaf Group.
On the afternoon of 7 June 2002, over a year since their abduction, the Philippine military attempted a rescue. Tragically, Martin was killed during the gunfight. Wounded, but alive, Gracia was rescued and returned home under a national spotlight.
Last week the Burnham’s hometown paper, The Wichita Eagle, did an in-depth story about the family now, and especially how Martin and Gracia’s three children have been affected by their parents’ kidnapping and their dad’s death. Zach, who was 10 when his parents were kidnapped, described his response:
“I shut off,” he said. “I didn’t want to deal with the fact that I might not see them again.”
His grandparents had told him how important it was to talk to the media, so the world would want to save his parents. But it felt like a chore, and he responded listlessly, barely looking up from a rocket ship drawing in one interview.
Mindy knew talking to reporters was about the only thing she could do to help her parents, she said, and yet she remembers refusing to cry for a Christmas news special and rolling her eyes during a photo shoot on a Friday when she wanted to be at a school dance.
When the kids finally heard from their mother after more than a year apart, Jeff, the oldest, bragged to his mother that he had called the police on a TV crew that had set up on the lawn of their house.
Jeff said he hated how some reporters would try to manipulate their emotions, and to this day, his siblings say, Jeff will not talk to the media.
Television reporters wanted to film Zach’s 11th birthday party.
“It was my birthday. I didn’t want to think about my parents’ hostage situation,” he said.
“That one, that was the worst for me. I was just bitter the whole day.”
The story also included a video interview. Gracia also talked about God’s faithfulness to her children in an interview with The Voice of the Martyrs Radio.
We encourage you today to thank the Lord for the Godly legacy of Martin Burnham, and to pray for Gracia and her family as they continue to be a family that God can use.
Islamist militants are suspected to have killed between 20 and 40 villagers in the eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Late in the evening on 3 May, attackers carried machetes and axes into a village located within the North Kivu province. “Between 8pm and 10pm, the enemy managed to get past army positions and kill peaceful residents in their homes,” reported local administrator Bernard Amisi Kalonda.
A Christian missionary added that thousands of people have already fled the area since the militants’ unexpected attack. “It was eerie; hundreds of houses abandoned and thousands of people displaced,” the missionary said of the mass exodus. “I saw four coffins and a funeral or two on the road. I saw people carrying their mattresses and things in cars, on motorcycles, on foot. Where there was a thriving community, there is now a ghost town.”
The local population in the related area is overwhelmingly Christian (95.8%), and the resulting impact on them has been immense. Referencing the attack, a pastor of a church in the community reported that the people are terrified. While some contemplated fleeing again, others have opted to stay in hopes that things will normalise soon.
Source: World Watch Monitor
- Commit to the Lord those who are grieving; pray they will be comforted by the knowledge the Lord walks with them during this difficult time. Pray for His protection.
- Uphold those in need of healing from physical injury or emotional trauma due to the attack.
- Pray for the perpetrators responsible for this horrific attack. May they come to know the God of those they persecute and, as a result, be able to proclaim Him as their own Saviour and Lord.