GFA-supported church leader released from wrongful imprisonment

By March 19, 2013

India (GFA/MNN) — After spending 8 years in prison under false charges, a pastor supported by Gospel for Asia (GFA) is finally free.

Jharkhand, India, is home to thousands of insurgent Maoists fighting for communist control. After a vicious fight that left 19 policemen dead, authorities were on the lookout for rebels behind the attacks. Thinking they found one in 2004, the supposed insurgent was arrested and put in prison.

But the man authorities arrested wasn't a rebel: he was a GFA-supported missionary named Samuel. Though believers did everything they could to get Samuel released, days dragged into years.

Fast-forward to 2010: Pastor Samuel was officially cleared of all charges. But national strikes and more delayed court hearings kept him behind bars. He was unable to return to his wife and 8-year old daughter.

"I was totally depressed in this situation, but the Lord helped me to realize He has a special plan for me to be in the prison," Samuel wrote.

"The Lord is helping me to share the love of Jesus with the prisoners. Through my ministry, I see the transformation that is happening in the lives of the prisoners."

Instead of sulking, Samuel kept sharing the Gospel with fellow prisoners. He soon gained the trust and appreciation of jail authorities. Through Pastor Samuel's influence, many inmates found new hope in Christ.

Pray that these new believers would grow in their relationship with Christ.

GFA trains, equips, and sends out national missionaries throughout Asia to reach their people for Christ. You can learn more about their program and sponsor a national missionary here. Now that he's free, Pastor Samuel intends to keep sharing the Good News.

"Many of our missionaries face extremely difficult and unexpected circumstances," says GFA President K.P. Yohannan. "But they know these are normal challenges for servants of God working in such unreached areas where the powers of darkness are so strong.

"These missionaries are willing to face these unexplainable circumstances and continue on. And God is blessing their sacrifice."

Pray for national missionaries facing persecution in India. Ask God to comfort and strengthen them and their families.

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