“I cried for the first time in my life”

Imagine a region torn by war. The militia controls public life. People live in fear. How can the translated Word of God make a difference? How can it even get to people?

In that troubled region in West Asia, four friends had remained in spite of the danger. They were determined to offer living hope to the people around them. Their most important tools were simple cassette tapes with stories about biblical characters. One that was particularly popular featured ten Old Testament Psalms, set to music composed by renowned local artists.

Then, one day, a group of 22 heavily armed men from a radical militia group drove up to the house of the four friends. The militia took them all away, along with their two vehicles and some of their possessions. They were held captive for two days, and they had no idea what their captors were planning to do with them.

One of the militia leaders was driving one of the confiscated vehicles when he noticed a cassette tape. It was the Psalms tape that the four friends had been using to share the word of God with others. The militia leader decided to insert it into the vehicle’s cassette player. He listened to the Psalms as he drove along.

The next day that same leader arrived back at the house where the four friends were held. He had the Psalms tape in his hand. “I listened to this tape yesterday while I was driving in your vehicle,” he said. “And while I was listening to it, I cried for the first time in my life.”

“Neither myself nor my men could ever harm people who would own such an amazing, God-honouring tape,” the militia leader continued. “You can’t be bad people – only good people would listen to such music.” 

Shortly after this incident, the four friends were released. Their vehicles and their belongings were given back to them – everything except that Psalms tape!

As told by Butros (pseudonym)

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