It’s been a month now since a German family of five - Johannes (36), Sabine (36), and their three children Lydia (4), Anna (3) and Simon (1), and British engineer Anthony S. were kidnapped by unknown assailants in Yemen. As of today, there are no reports of their whereabouts or fate.
Investigations indicate that the group (which included three other women who were subsequently shot and killed by their abductors) were targeted because they were Christian relief workers suspected by local imams of being involved in evangelistic work.
As I read recent updates on the situation this morning and realized that a month had come and gone, my spirit was troubled. I can only imagine how they and the families of these hostages must be feeling as day after day has passed. Then I read of how Johannes’ family had pleaded with the kidnappers on German television to release their son unharmed and healthy. They told the Second German Channel that the worst thing for parents is to lose one of their sons and pleaded with Yemeni and German authorities to work towards the release of the kidnapped. How can we ignore their plight?
To that end, on behalf of The Voice of the Martyrs, I am extending a special invitation to the Body of Christ to set aside a few moments this weekend specifically to pray for the release of Anthony, Johannes, Sabine, Lydia, Anna and Simon.
I am urging you to do three things and to do them quickly:
1. Please spread the news of this call for prayer. If you are on Twitter, retweet our messages to your followers. If you use Facebook or other social websites, let your friends/followers know of this request and urge them to pass on the call to others. Let’s use this medium for the good that we know it is capable of.
2. Please post a specific personal prayer on the behalf of these hostages and/or their families on our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall. Even though it is the weekend, we will try to make sure that they get approved and posted as quickly as possible. This situation is a priority to us.
3. If you are a church leader or worship leader, please pray specifically for Anthony, Johannes, Sabine, Lydia, Anna and Simon during your worship services this weekend. If you are not, may I urge you to contact your church leaders or worship leaders today and ask them to please set aside a few moments to lead your church in prayer for them and their families? I have just sent off an email to my pastor to that effect.
I know that this is a rather last minute request, but it was only today that God has really impressed on my heart the need to pray for these hostages over the weekend. I hope as many of you as possible will join me.