A senior mission leader in India who a terrorist group abducted on July 23 has been released unharmed. Now, he's sharing details of how he got through the frightening orderal.
Five armed terrorists kidnapped Gospel for Asia Pastor Ponnachan George from the Bible school campus in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam, India.
George was being held in a forest hideout at an unknown location. His captors issued death threats with demands for an undisclosed ransom amount GFA officials labeled as “a very large sum.”
Gospel for Asia sent an email to its supporters urgently soliciting prayer for George’s safe release. The mission agency maintains a policy of non-negotiation with terrorists for money. In similar instances, it has relied solely on prayer and fasting, reporting God bringing about miraculous releases.
“After kidnapping him at gunpoint, the terrorists blindfolded him and tied his hands behind his back. They forced him to walk for hours deep into the forest to their hideout. Throughout Ponnachan's entire ordeal, his captors repeatedly told him they were going to shoot him and would not spare him,” says K.P. Yohannan, founder and president of GFA.
“He could hear them discuss their next moves and plans for demanding money, but he remained calm. We may be able to share more details later about the week-long, near-death experience he went through. But right now, we thank God for answering our prayers and causing these terrorists to release him unharmed without the huge ransom they demanded.”
Toward the end of the conversation, Yohannan asked George what went through his mind during this horrible experience.
"These people are known for shooting and killing in cold blood for their cause. I was frightened and really thought I would never be freed. I thought about my wife and young children and felt helpless,” George says.
“That is when I began to meditate on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I reminded myself that my leader sent me out with a one-way ticket to this mission field. The passage in Acts 20 where Paul says 'I don't regard my life dear to myself' became a source of strength."
George oversees the ministry in the Karbi Anglong region of India, which includes 26 Bridge of Hope centers educating children, three radio broadcasts in the Karbi, Assamese and Kuki languages, a Bible college, more than 200 well-established churches and about 300 missionaries.