(Photo: 8thirty8 Facebook)
E3 Partners Ministry Vice President and Middle East expert Tom Doyle revealed on Friday that a partner who had been missing in Syria for eight weeks is alive and well, which is proof that God is moved when His followers pray and fast.
"The believers in Syria, when they heard about this, they just cried ... that believers cared enough about them to be praying every day. Boy! When we pray and fast, the Lord is so moved by that and Ahmed is just evidence of that!" Doyle said.
E3 Partners, formerly the EvangeCube and Global Missions Fellowship, is a missionary collective that is "committed to exceptional stewardship of God's people, opportunities, resources and knowledge to Equip God's people to Evangelize His world by Establishing His church."
Doyle explained that the partner, who was identified only as Ahmed, went missing eight weeks ago in Syria, which led the team to start fearing the worst, as he had been threatened many times in the past.
Christians in Syria have found themselves in the crossfire between rebel fighters and loyalists to the President Bashar al-Assad's government, who are locked in a brutal civil war.
In April, conflicting news emerged over the kidnappings of two prominent Christians bishops in Syria – the archbishop of Aleppo, Mar Gregorios Ibrahim, and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Metropolitan Paul Yazigi.
The bishops were taken hostage on their way home from a meeting where they negotiated the release of other captives, and although reports initially claimed that they had been freed, so far the whereabouts of the Christian leaders remain undisclosed.
The E3 Partners vice president said that The International Day of Prayer and Fasting for the Syrian Church on May 11 focused heavily on Ahmed's fate, and shared that thousands of people participated.
Not long after the event, E3 received notification that Ahmed is alive and well.
Doyle explained: "Basically, he got rid of his cell phone, and went underground until he could resurface. We thank the Lord that he is okay. But the believers are in peril in Syria. There are two archbishops that have been kidnapped. Christians, from what we hear from our leaders, are getting threats daily."
Now aware of Ahmed's whereabouts and his safety, Doyle stated, "All glory goes out to the Lord to protect him."
One Facebook page that helped with the prayer efforts is called 8thirty8, inspired by Romans 8:38-39 as found in the Bible:
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
The website encourages people to pray for believers that are either in prison, persecution or danger every night at exactly 8:38 p.m.
"We think of 'Ahmed,' his wife and two young girls that are safe and sound and protected by our Amazing Jesus. That's the real freedom for Syria," Doyle concluded.