It was the scariest day of my life. My heart felt like it would explode out of my chest. I tried to run through scenarios of how to escape, but I couldn't focus on anything other than the excruciating pain of the handcuffs digging into my wrists. In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined that I would be shackled to a chair in an underground room in Iraq wondering if I would live or die. Yet there I was—and I needed Jesus to be my deliverer.
In the newest episode of the AIMS.ORG Podcast, my wife and I recall the day I was taken and beaten by a group of angry men in northern Iraq, and the lessons God taught me in the midst of it.
As you listen to my story, please remember the partner missionaries of AIMS.ORG who live in regions of the world where "scary days" are all too familiar. Here are a few of their prayer requests:
— North African missionary. "Pray for grace to continue to bear persecutions and for protection from Boko Haram kidnappers."
— East African missionary. "To preach the gospel is not allowed. If somebody tells the police, I will be in jail, so I am ministering secretly in a home church by changing the prayer house weekly."
— Southeast Asian missionary. "Our government threatens to put us in jail if we do a religious conversion. Hinduism is getting stronger by force, and they threaten to kill us and torture us. There are many risks in doing ministry, but because of God's grace we are able to do it."
Living through a global pandemic, the words, "your safety is our top priority" have been preached so repetitively that many people have adopted the idea that "safety" really is the top priority.
May we challenge that idea. When you're called to be a difference-maker in the world, safety cannot be the highest goal.
I pray my story will challenge your ideas about godly risk, while drawing you deeper into the heart of the merciful and loving God who sets captives free! Listen to the full conversation here.
AIMS.ORG is a ministry dedicated to training and sending native missionaries to establish church planting movements among ethnic groups who have no access to the gospel. Discover how your life can impact nations by visiting aims.org.
Joshua Bold, president of AIMS.ORG, is a missionary mobilizer and advocate for unreached people groups. He is known for his passion, big vision, humor and ability to blaze new trails. In 2005, Joshua attended Bible school after being supernaturally delivered from drug addiction. Three years later, he and his wife moved to northern Iraq as missionaries, where they planted a house church, baptized former Muslims and opened a cafe. Joshua now spends his days mobilizing the church to send native missionaries to the remaining unreached tribes of the earth. A loving husband and father, he enjoys spending time with his family in the mountains of Colorado, where they currently reside.
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