Thousands of innocent people are kidnapped for ransom each year in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Tragically, many victims do not live to tell of their encounter. Even fewer make a decision for Christ as a result. However, Roger’s harrowing story will surely remind you of how God still works in remarkable ways.
Roger, a farmer, was returning to his house when he encountered five men, armed with machetes and guns, who demanded money from him. He did not have any money on him, so the men kidnapped him. Roger and 12 other victims were filled with fear and forced to sit in a grotesque, grassy hut deep in the jungle.
The rebels contacted Roger’s family and told them they would only let him live and release him if they gave them $2,000. His family did not have much money, so they were trying to raise and borrow funds in hopes of seeing Roger again.
He explained, “We were in a desperate situation thinking only about death. We were told every day that if your relatives don’t send the money, you will be killed tomorrow. These moments were so stressful!”Days turned into weeks, and each day in captivity seemed more and more dire. On the twentieth day, the unimaginable happened.
DRC team #26 was unaware of the 13 people in captivity; however, by God’s grace, they decided to show the JESUS film in a location near the grassy hut. The rebels were drawn to the film, watching it from start to finish. The message of John the Baptist calling people to repent and invite the Lord into their lives greatly influenced them.
Immediately after the film, the rebels covered their victims’ eyes with handkerchiefs, took them to the main road, and freed them.
“We don’t know what made them want to watch, but we know it is the way the Lord used to free us,” Roger said. “They said they heard the Word of God and were convicted about their deeds. They heard a voice telling them ‘Accept the Lord today and you will be saved.’”
Before being kidnapped, Roger was a nominal Christian, only attending church sporadically and lacking a personal relationship with God. He reflected on how this experience transformed his life, explaining, “Now I know our Lord is a saving, loving Father to be trusted. My faith has grown and I am ready to serve the Lord all days of my life.”
The transformation does not stop there. Generations of Roger’s family will hear this incredible story of the God who saves. Roger added, “This experience showed us that the Lord is still in control and always taking action to free people. This calls us to serve the Living God as He is alive and should be served and glorified.”
Roger’s testimony has also renewed DRC team #26’s commitment to the Great Commission: “Just imagine if we would have said, let’s skip showing the film that month! This testimony has encouraged us to continue doing what Jesus has called us to do. We are His ambassadors — we are ready to go wherever He sends us.”
JESUS Film Harvest Partners (JFHP) is a Kingdom-building ministry devoted to world evangelism through the JESUS film and other tools. JFHP equips and supports JESUS Film teams of local people to do evangelism, discipleship, and church planting.