April 2021 Thirty Six Beatings
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Some newsletters are much harder to write than others. But this may be one of the most severe cases of persecution we have experienced, where the individual is still alive. We have told you much about Jacob and his ministry for the homeless and for the children. He is truly one of the most godly individuals I have known. What he has endured for the Gospel, I have yet to hear of anyone else who has gone through this level of trauma. Once again, I cannot disclose the country where Jacob lives, as it would most likely result in the end of his life. He has been beaten by the so-called secret police over three dozen times and several times within the last few weeks alone. This most recent time, he was out walking, when a car pulled up beside him. Several large men grabbed him and took him to a remote place where he was given another severe beating for an extended period of time. After the beating, he was then dropped off in the wilderness, two and a half hours from his home. I believe the only way he survived is by the hand of the Lord. I think of Job’s persecution when God says to Satan that you can do anything to him except take his life. And, for some unforeseen reason, this is most likely what is happening to Jacob. The secret police have charged him with running a terrorist network, which they know is not true. The truth is, he runs a homeless center for men on the streets and underfed children along with two churches. Though the charges against him are false, when truth does not matter, and the government is in on the persecution, the wicked feel brazen in their assault of the righteous. Just a week earlier Jacob had been beaten so severely that he sustained a concussion. Also, his kidneys were damaged so badly that he was passing blood. He was afraid to go to the local hospital for fear of being killed. His condition was so severe, out of desperation, he had to be taken anyway.
We, along with one of our sister organizations, are trying to get him to safety. He has been forbidden, by the government, to travel and his travel documents have been confiscated. Jacob does have family, but he has refused to join them because of the ministry of caring for so many. It is at times like this where it is difficult to believe that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. But we have to remember in all of Job’s troubles, he was not aware of the conversation between the Lord and Satan, as written about in chapter one and two in the book of Job. What Job could not see or possibly know is that the Lord would choose to use Job’s great affliction in teaching generations to come. Every true believer who has since read this book, learns to trust the Lord in times of trial just as Job chose to do. He learned, through extreme affliction, and later wrote, “Though He slay me, yet will I follow Him.” Job knew that outside of the Lord’s will, life held nothing else. Jacob’s family has hired a lawyer to try and help him. We also want to help by opening up an opportunity for our donors to give for Jacob’s legal fund. Our prayer is that through this, the Lord will so drastically change this situation, that those who have so heavily tormented Jacob, will be sent to prison. In ministry, I have often prayed what I call a King David prayer: which is to bring those who persecute to repentance or destroy them. We hope that through prayer, that even one of the men afflicting Jacob will be moved by Jacob’s willingness to suffer for Christ, and repent. And, not only repent, but become a strong believer and an advocate for Jacob. Just recently, my brother had a heart attack which is known as the widow maker, but he did survive. My son was diagnosed with sudden death syndrome. This is a condition where the heart hardens, and if you do something too strenuous you can just die. My brother also has the same condition. In another situation, an individual whom Vicky and I had heavily invested in their walk, suddenly left their spouse. It appeared that this individual had turned strongly to Christ, but really had not. All of these situations happened in about a nine day period. Vicky was worried about me. She said, “Honey, I can hear the trouble in your voice.” For about a week I felt that I had taken an emotional beating. Then, I decided that either the Word is true, or it is not. All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord. So, I would get up every morning and go into my office and pray. Then, I would study and spend time alone with the Lord. In the evening, I would do it again to end my day. As believers, faith is a weapon the enemy cannot stand against. In the Bible, we are instructed to resist the devil and he will flee from you. I hear of so many who struggle with lust for someone or something else other than a holy life. I learned early in my relationship with the Lord that when the enemy comes knocking at the door, with temptation, not to answer the door. When you do this for many years, the enemy will learn that there is no answer at the door, and it is a waste of time. I have to trust that the Lord knows what is better for my son and all the others and use the weapon of prayer and fasting to bring those who have walked away back to Christ. Even with Jacob, whom we are trying to rescue, we will use every weapon at our disposal to fight. But should the Lord allow him to be taken, in my heart, I know that the Scripture teaches that it is the highest of honors to lay down your life for Christ. It is possible that the Lord may even use the martyrdom of Jacob to strengthen the church here in the U.S. . In Job 28:25, it says when He gave the wind its weight, this refers to the fact of how God’s wisdom is so far beyond ours that we do not possess the ability to even determine the weight of the wind and the force it bears when it blows. What the Scripture tells us is we can trust even when we do not understand. Due to the subject of the newsletter, we cannot share photos of Jacob because of the great danger it presents to him. As I write this, he is in jail.
Far Reaching Ministries