Monday, February 14, 2005

Extremists Attack, Beat Six GFA Students

Extremists Attack, Beat Six GFA Students
K.P. Yohannan calls for prayer for serious injuries

This morning, six Gospel for Asia Biblical Seminary students were forcibly abducted and beaten for sharing the Gospel. They were taken to a nearby hospital, where they are now recovering from injuries sustained during the attack.

Jaya, Yogendra, Narendra, Himansu, Kiran and Simon were involved in their regular weekly outreach--distributing Gospel literature, preaching and praying for the sick--when they were surrounded by a small group of men that quickly grew into a crowd.

"We are going to talk about God," the men mocked, and began slapping the students around. Several in the group then dragged the brothers into three-wheeled taxicabs and drove them to a secluded house that was the local headquarters for an extremist anti-Christian organization. A crowd of men, some trained in martial arts, awaited them there. They pulled the students out and began beating them.

"There were no less than five to six people beating each brother," reports a GFA field correspondent. The students were repeatedly kicked, punched and slapped, three to the point of unconsciousness. This particular organization is known for its martial arts training, not so much for defense, but for inflicting intense pain and causing internal injury without much external evidence.

At one point, the anti-Christians left the six students alone in a room for about half an hour. Writhing in pain, they feared what would happen next. But at the same time, these young men kept their focus and remembered their calling.

Kiran spoke up: "This is our reward to serve the Lord," he reminded his coworkers. "Let's tell it to the Lord," Himansu encouraged them. They prayed, clinging to God for His strength and grace.

Soon the group returned and dragged the students back into the cabs, drove them to the bus station, pushed them out and left. The six young men were able to get on a bus and return to the seminary, where they were immediately taken to the hospital. They suffered from severe headaches and internal pain. Jaya was diagnosed with a broken left eardrum, in addition to bruising on his face.

"Please pray for these six dear young men," says GFA President K.P. Yohannan, "that they will completely recover from their injuries and remain close to the Lord. I have no doubt that their suffering is not in vain, and He will use their lives to bear much fruit in the days to come.

"My prayer and firm belief is that our brothers' willingness to faithfully represent their Lord Jesus in the face of such hatred and opposition will only serve to give boldness to all our missionaries as they continue to witness of the Good News of Jesus Christ."