By Mark Ellis
Captured by ISIS in Iraq as he transported Christian literature, he knew he faced certain death in their hands. But God heard his prayers and brought help from the most unlikely source.
Pastor Amari* said a prayer under his breath as he motored along a dusty road in an area controlled by ISIS, according to a report by Window International Network.
“Father, protect me,” he whispered in the cool morning air. The New Testaments and tracts hidden in his luggage would bring a sentence of death if he was captured.
Then he saw them. A group of ISIS fighters spotted him and quickly surrounded his car. They pulled him from the vehicle roughly, along with his luggage. As they opened his luggage, the “contraband” – Bibles and tracts – fell out.
“You are a missionary!” they shouted with rage. “What are you doing with these books?”
“I am sending them to Basrah,” he replied.
His answer further enraged them. They confiscated the Bibles, along with his keys, ID, and mobile phone. Then they brought Pastor Amari to their command center. As he arrived, he imagined he might be the next man decapitated in one of their videos.
Trembling, he lifted up another prayer to the Lord. “Father, grant me your wisdom.” Immediately after he uttered the prayer, a thought entered his mind. He suddenly remembered an old friend who also happened to be a jihadist.
Pastor Amari waved to one of his captors. “Do you mind if I call my friend?” he asked.
“Who do you want to call?” the man asked suspiciously.
When Pastor Amari mentioned the jihadist’s name, improbably, the ISIS fighter recognized it.
The ISIS fighter retrieved the pastor’s cell phone. “Don’t say anything to anyone (about this),” he instructed quietly.
“Don’t worry,” Pastor Amari assured him. “I will not tell anyone you let me call my friend.”
Pastor Amari quickly placed the call. He told his friend about his predicament and gave him directions to his location. The jihadist immediately came to see him.
“Don’t harm him!” he said when he arrived. “He is one of my friends!”
Amazingly, the ISIS fighters let Pastor Amari go free. His jihadist friend rescued him!
“Pastor Amari is still in danger,” says Beverly Pegues, with Window International Network. “The jihadists know where he lives. The Lord delivered him from the jaws of the lion. But it’s crucial we pray for him, his family, and his ministry.”
“The Church’s dedicated prayers for Iraqi Christian believers brought the deliverance of Pastor Amari. Our brothers and sisters in Iraq risk their lives daily. Cry out to God with tears on their behalf. Pray He defeats the demonic forces at work.”
Window International Network informs, equips, and mobilizes networks of prayer around the globe to empower effective evangelism, church growth, and discipleship in the 10/40 Window.