April 28, 2006
We recently received a report on a brave evangelist in India. This man oversees 12 pastors and has won more than 700 people to Christ. His leadership has infuriated some Hindus. A few months ago, they launched an attack on this brother with a hidden agenda to scare off other evangelists. The attack took place in broad daylight, and a local news station was present. They filmed video footage of the attack, and VOM was given a copy of this footage.
The evangelist was leading 40 students in a six-day college outreach. The team was driving down the road in an old yellow van when they ran into a barricade set up by the evangelist’s enemies. The attackers drug the students out of the van while verbally abusing them. Video footage shows the attackers dumping gospel tracts into a pile on the street, and burning them while chanting praises to their monkey god.
The evangelist was kicked, punched and hit with a megaphone that he used for preaching. His face was left swollen and bruised; his ribs were broken. While beating him, the attackers reminded the evangelist that they had martyred others who preached the gospel, and they could do the same to him.
As I watched this footage, my first inclination was anger. However, as I watched the meek spirit of the evangelist, my indignation quickly subsided into amazement. It is natural for a man to defend himself when his life is threatened, but not once did this brother hit one of his attackers back. It didn’t take me long to recognize something very familiar in the actions and reactions of this man. Even though this brother and I do not share culture, race and language, we share a faith that transcends all other aspects of our humanity. As I watched my brother get beaten in a public square, I recognized Jesus in him.
Several of the attackers were arrested after the beating. I pray that they saw the beauty of God’s love in the evangelist. Continue to pray for the evangelist. VOM has helped with his medical costs; pray that he can continue to preach the gospel without fear or hindrance. Pray that his students, who saw the attack, will follow in the brave, faithful footsteps of their teacher.