“I am telling you this now so that your faith in Me may not be shaken. The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think and claim that they are offering a service to God. They will act like this because they have never had any true knowledge of the Father or of Me, but I have told you all this so that when the time comes for it to happen you may remember that I told you about it.” (John 16:1-4)
We have prepared this presentation as a way of honouring and remembering all who are holding true to the Lord in even the most dangerous situations. May it be an inspiration to pray for the many who are in such categories. And the many who are traumatised by loss of loved ones, or deeply unsettled as violence flares in country after country.
We are taking as our starting point words that Kayla Mueller, an aid worker from the United States held hostage by ISIL wrote in a letter that reached her family back home, before being supposedly killed by American air strikes in Syria. We will move on to honour the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIL and pray for Egypt as it digests this atrocity and braces itself for the possibility of more of its overseas workers in Libya being killed.
Whatever Kayla’s ideology and political involvement before she was captured, it seems clear that something profound happened to her during her long months of imprisonment. Her words, which are mainly taken from a letter she managed to get back to her family, deserve to be heard.
We recently recorded the opening piece of music, which is by the English composer Gustav Holst. This merges into part of a much longer piece of music that I wrote on behalf of Christians imprisoned in the notorious Evin prison in Iran. This includes a section that Justin Coldstream and I co-authored as we reworked an old Czech folk song.
The pictures used in the video were taken just moments before these brave Christians were killed.
May we also commend the prayer and remarkable photograph we sent out on August 10th last year, not least as a starting point for praying for those who have joined the ranks of ISIL?
As we were preparing the text for this presentation, my computer suddenly announced (loudly!): “A threat has been detected!” just as the ISIL pictures were showing. Even computers can be prophetic!
To see pictures of Kayla and to read the full text of her letter please go to Guardian site
Pictures of the Egyptian prisoners on the beach with their Isil captors can be found at: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/02/the-wake-up-call-to-the-church-that-is-isis-whos-answering/