Thank you for praying for Middle Eastern prisoner of faith Ezra – featured in our magazine in October 2019 – who was released from jail in April.
Our partner tells his amazing story…
Middle Eastern believer Ezra, a former soldier, was first held captive by ISIS-related militia and then for two years by his own government.
This April, finally, we praise God that he was released. I was able to talk with him the day after and it was extraordinary: something out of the book of Acts as he recounted just a few of the Lord’s deliverances.
Ezra is now back with his wife and four children, living in about the only house on his block which was not completely bombed out by three years of assault by government forces. More than ever, he is determined to serve Jesus.
It’s possible that he was released because of the increased risk to guards from Covid-19.
The day after he was set free, he called me. He was almost breathless in a torrent of thanksgiving to God – shouting, praising and laughing.
“God delivered me over and over again out of the mouth of the lion! Nothing can stop the Word of God from spreading across this land,” he said.
For two years Ezra had lived in his neighbourhood under the control of ISIS-related militia. He told me how, during this time, God had saved his life on many occasions.
“They shot at me many times, but the Lord kept pushing their guns away and they missed!”
For example, one day the militia asked him to join them. He said “No”. They said, “That means you are a spy for the government.” He told them, “No, I’m not a spy.” “Then stay inside or we’ll shoot you,” they said.
“Eventually they came a second time, and insisted that I join them, but again I refused. So they said they would kill me,” said Ezra.
“Two men pointed their guns right at my head, but when they went to shoot, the Lord pushed their guns to one side or the other, right into the wall. They shot at me many times, but the Lord kept pushing their guns away and they missed! They became really angry and frustrated because they couldn’t shoot me! And so they left. God protected me.“
Thanks to the prayers and help of Release supporters, we were able to give Ezra’s family vital financial help during his captivity.
Thank God for Ezra’s release. Pray for him as he re-establishes links with his community. Pray too for his wife Martha and four children who have struggled during his absence.
Names have been changed. For security reasons we cannot name the country or our partner.
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