Protected in Peril in Southeast Asia

By June 2, 2011

South Asia (MNN) — Four missionaries sponsored by Gospel for Asia were placed in a dire situation when passing out tracts in a creative access country in South Asia would lead to their arrest. On March 12 at 9 a.m., Samarth Tamang, Bijoy Saxena, Stephen Singh and Sushmita Choudhary set out to share the love of Christ with a village in their state. While passing out tracts, they noticed a village across the border in a nearby country, and the Lord pressed it on their hearts to reach the villagers.

Knowing it would be dangerous, the four missionaries crossed over the border and started handing out tracts and preaching the Good News in the neighboring village. Some people refused to take the tracts, believing it was a sin to do so. Some threatened the missionaries to either stop preaching the Word or leave. The missionaries would not back down, and a few villagers called the police.

Five minutes later, five armed policemen arrived and forcefully ordered the missionaries into a police vehicle. On the drive to the police station, the missionaries were granted the Lord's peace in the midst of trial. They were glad to be doing work for God's Kingdom.

"Lord, let Your presence be in the police station before we reach there so that they may not deal with us harshly," Sushmita prayed when arrested.

God answered her prayer. When they arrived at the police station, the attitude of the policemen dramatically changed. They treated the missionaries gently, not saying a single harsh word to them.

During the following three hours in the police station, the missionaries were questioned by the police. Villagers were also called in to testify against them. Through it all, none of the villagers could say one harsh thing about the missionaries but rather spoke favorably of the team and their actions. Having no reason to punish the missionaries for their behavior, the only action the police took was to confiscate all of the missionaries' tracts and order the villagers to return the tracts they had received as well.

Afterward, the police transported the four missionaries to the district police station where they waited to see the superintendent of police.

"Don't worry; we will all go out of this place rejoicing," Sushmita encouraged her companions.

Then the superintendent arrived. He questioned the group thoroughly and could also find nothing wrong with their actions. However, he warned them that the next time they were caught preaching the Gospel in that country, they would end up in prison. He then dismissed them without another word.

The missionaries were taken by the police to the border and courteously dropped off–much to their surprise. They were even encouraged by one of the policeman saying he would have invited the group to his home for lunch if it weren't for fear of his superior officer.

Waving goodbye to the policemen at the border, the missionaries knew that God had turned their dire situation into something good for His glory. They reached the gate and offered a word of thanks to the Lord for His divine protection.

The team requests prayers that one day the police officers–and their whole nation–will fully comprehend the love of Jesus. Many missionaries face persecution, but God faithfully abides in them and uses their suffering as means to spread His Word. Even as Sushmita and her comrades discovered, the Lord is always in control of all situations.

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