Missionary held captive with ISIS jihadis begged God to free him - until he brought cellmates to Jesus and realized his suffering had a purpose
The Bible tells us the Lord will be with us when we go through deep waters. But when it comes to it, we often forget or just don't believe it because the suffering is too great.
That was the experience of one missionary who was serving in Sudan when he found himself thrown into prison on espionage charges.
Sudan is largely Muslim but became extremely hostile to Christians after splitting from South Sudan in 2011, with many Christians being forced to leave the country.
Voice of the Martyrs missionary Petr Jasek, from the Czech Republic, travelled to Sudan to visit Christian leaders there but when agents found some video recordings they accused him of spying on the government and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Thankfully, the Czech Republic was able to negotiate his release and he was freed after 14 months behind bars.
It's 14 months he'll never forget.
Sharing his horrifying ordeal to CBN News, he described how one of the people he shared the cell with was a man from Libya who said he had been a personal guard for Osama Bin Laden at just 12-years-old and was one of the jihadis who mercilessly murdered 20 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach in 2015.
In one particularly frightening situation, the jihadi threatened to kill Jasek with a fishing string.
'He took out a fishing string, quite a strong fishing string from his pocket and he was showing how he could kill a person within a few seconds with this fishing string. He told me if I was an American or Russian that he would break my neck immediately and kill me,' he recalls.
To his horror he discovered that the other men in the cell were just as extreme in their views. When they asked him to share some news from the outside world, he told them that 129 people had been killed in a terrorist attack in Paris. Instead of being dismayed, they celebrated.
'They interrupted me and they started to shout, 'Allahu Akbar' for several minutes. So, immediately I knew the company that I was in and I stopped telling them anymore news,' he said.
Jasek described being called a 'filthy pig' or filthy rat', beaten, slapped, punched and hit with a wooden stick on a regular basis.
As a result of the mistreatment, he says spent the first four months of his captivity praying to God to free him. But that changed when he was able to lead some Eritrean prisoners to Christ. When that miracle happened, it gave him the courage to be a witness for Christ right there in the prison cell instead of trying to escape from the situation.
'And I suddenly started to realize that there is a purpose, the Lord has a purpose for me to be in prison to share the Gospel with those people,' he shared.
'And I started to be even more courageous to open my mouth and share the Gospel also with the Muslims who were in the previous cell with me.'