In 1964, Communist Simba rebels besieged the town of Bunia in Zaire. They arrested and executed many citizens. A pastor by the name of Zebedayo Idu was one of their victims. They sentenced him to death before a firing squad and placed him in jail for the night. The next morning he and a large number of prisoners were herded onto a truck and driven to a public place for execution. With no explanation, the official told the prisoners to ‘line up and number off – one, two, one, two, one, two’. The ‘ones’ were placed in front of the firing squad, and the ‘twos’ were taken back to the prison. Pastor Idu was among those who were spared.
Back in their jail cells, the prisoners could hear the sound of gunfire. The pastor took advantage of the dramatic moment to share the story of Jesus and the hope of heaven. Eight of the prisoners gave their lives to Christ that day. About the time Pastor Idu finished sharing, an excited messenger came to the door with a release order. The pastor had been arrested by mistake and was free to leave. He said goodbye to the prisoners and hurried to his home next to the chapel. There he discovered a crowd of believers who were praying for his release. When they saw the answer to their prayers walk through the door, their prayer service turned into a praise service. The same God who heard the prayers of the New Testament church in Jerusalem and saved Peter from execution, heard prayers from Zaire and delivered their pastor (see Acts 12:5).
And God is still listening, so keep praying!
‘Devote yourselves to prayer.’ Colossians 4:2 NLT