Kidnapped Mission Leader in India Released Unharmed
Weeklong Near-death Experience Ends with Thanksgiving for Answered Prayer
CARROLLTON, Texas, July 30, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — On Sunday, July 29, a mission leader kidnapped by terrorists in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam, India, was returned to his wife and children unharmed. Missionary Ponnachan George was abducted from the Bible school campus he oversees on July 23 and held amid death threats and demands for a large ransom.
“Thank God — your prayers are answered!” K. P. Yohannan, GFA founder and president, wrote to the mission organization’s supporters in an e-mail Sunday. An urgent call to prayer for George’s safe release had been issued late last week. “All around the world, the people of God prayed for our beloved Pastor Ponnachan, and just as in Acts 12 when Peter was released from prison, we have experienced His mercy.”
George shared details of his ordeal, reporting that he had been abducted at gunpoint, blindfolded with hands tied behind his back, and forced to walk for hours deep into the forest to the terrorists’ hideout. Throughout his week in captivity, he was repeatedly told that he would not live. The terrorists discussed within his hearing plans for demanding money and his ultimate death.
Gospel for Asia maintains a non-negotiation policy in such circumstances. No ransom was paid for George’s release. Instead the agency mobilized a worldwide prayer vigil.
Upon his release, George spoke to GFA President Yohannan, who reported that George simply wept for an extended time.
“These people are known for shooting and killing in cold blood for their cause,” George eventually responded. “I was frightened and really thought I would never be freed. I thought about my wife and young children and felt helpless. That is when I began to meditate on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Scripture became a source of strength, George reported. “I recalled the words of Paul in Acts 20: ‘I don’t regard my life dear to myself.’ I was reminded that my leader sent me out with a ‘one-way ticket’ to this mission field.”
Throughout the ordeal, local police force, army personnel and high-level officials from both state and federal governments worked together for his release.
Expressing gratitude for their tireless efforts, Yohannan said, “But ultimately we must give praise and glory to our Lord. I cannot explain what a miracle this is. These people simply do not release their victims alive. It is only through your prayers and God’s faithfulness that this precious brother was returned to us unharmed.”
George oversees the ministry in the Karbi Anglong region of India, which includes 26 Bridge of Hope centers educating children, three radio broadcasts in the Karbi, Assamese and Kuki languages, a Bible college, more than 200 well-established churches and about 300 missionaries.
Gospel for Asia is a mission organization based in Carrollton, Texas, involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.
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