This coming Sunday is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. This special day reminds us that Christians still suffer for their faith all around the world. Some even give their lives for believing in Jesus. We must not forget their sacrifice, or the sacrifice of all of those who risk life and limb for the Gospel’s sake.
Pastor Andrew Brunson and his wife, Norine, began serving as missionaries to Turkey in 1993, where only one out of every 16,000 people is a Christian. The Brunsons served at Resurrection Church in the red-light district of a large Turkish city. Every day they offered free Christian books and New Testaments to thousands of people who walked by the church. Many eagerly accepted their resources.
But there were also attempts on their lives. Like the day a man confronted Andrew with a pistol and fired six shots before pulling a shotgun out of a bag as Andrew wrestled the man to the ground and held him until police arrived.
Despite their persecution, the Brunsons loved the people of Turkey and were determined to stay. In 2016, Andrew and Norine were arrested, accused of being spies and terrorists. They were placed together in a holding cell consisting of a dirty floor, two dirty sinks, and a hole in the ground for a toilet.
Norine was released after 13 days despite her pleas to stay with her husband. As they said their goodbyes, Norine told Andrew that she would “storm heaven and earth” for him. She did, and God brought them through a trial by fire that included Andrew being held in several Turkish prisons for 18 months and becoming a political pawn between two nations.
Hear the Brunsons’ incredible story on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “A Captive Missionary’s Journey to Freedom.” It will challenge your faith while inspiring you to serve and trust God in every circumstance.
I hope you’ll join us on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or on our free phone app. And remember to pray for and support Christian ministries who help missionaries and who defend religious freedoms worldwide.
WaveStarters, Andrew and Norine Brunson’s ministry, is focused on the Muslim world and the persecuted church and prepares believers to stand firm in difficult times.
Andrew’s book, God’s Hostage: A True Story of Persecution, Imprisonment, and Perseverance is available through our ministry for a gift of any amount. Visit our website for more information or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).