Pastor Victor is a slightly built man but he has a big heart for the lost. Since he was ordained a pastor in 1984, he has served the Lord faithfully on the Philippine island of Mindanao where he has seen many attacks on churches by Muslim extremists. Even his church has been attacked and pulled down but this has not deterred this pastor from going back to where God has sent him and rebuild the church. The Muslims have told him “You must not preach here in this church anymore, otherwise we will kill you!” However, Pastor Victor would rather obey God regardless of the threats on his life.
One day while at church, one hundred Muslims came and surrounded the church calling for Pastor Victor to come out. When he appeared, they announced that he had violated Muslim law by continuing to preach in the church despite being warned.
Go and kill him quickly
“They pulled my hands behind my back and tied a rope around my hands. Some Muslims stood in front of me tormenting me by placing the barrel of their gun in my mouth but I experienced an incredible peace at that time” Pastor Victor said.
“They took me away from the church and I was forcibly pushed toward a clearing in the jungle. I heard them discussing my fate. Pastor Victor heard one of them say, “If we are to kill him, we need to do it quickly before the military comes.”
Surprisingly, his captors gave Pastor Victor a small amount of rice to eat but he found it difficult to swallow. All he thought about was how much time he had left on earth.
“Someone told me, ‘if you don’t eat, then get up and walk into the jungle.’ I felt the rifle pressing into my back to get me moving. I was thinking about God and that He was with me during this time but I could not stop the tears flowing down my cheeks. I thought this was going to be my last day on earth.”
Where had they gone?
Trusting God with his life, Pastor Victor continued walking into the jungle. To his surprise, Pastor Victor felt as if a shield had been placed across his back, coming between him and his attackers. He kept waiting to hear a shot, but there was nothing. Everything was quiet and as he carefully turned around, the Muslims who had been standing behind him, had disappeared. Where they had gone, he did not know and immediately he ran deeper into the jungle to hide. This was a miracle, and Pastor Victor says he will never forget how God had watched over his life that day.
On 28 January, Pastor Victor’s church was again attacked by Muslims. They fired bullets into the church but no one was there at the time. The military intervened, coming to his village to try and resolve the conflict. There was a confrontation from 4pm to 8am the following morning before things were resolved and the Muslims finally left the area.
Pastor Victor is continually being threatened by his Muslim neighbours. They want the church destroyed and the Christians evicted from the land, but the land is owned by Pastor Victor’s family and if they leave, there is nowhere they can go. So, in spite of the constant threats and danger to his own life, Pastor Victor will remain and continue to serve the Lord in his local community.
As a front line worker, Pastor Victor is supported by VOM to advance the Gospel.
Please pray for Pastor Victor and his congregation that God will protect them as they face a future overshadowed with trials and persecution.