As many now know, worldwide, Pastor Andrew Brunson is the American pastor who has faithfully been a pastor in Izmir Turkey for 23 years. Over 18 months ago, he and his wife were summoned to the local police station, thinking that their application for permanent Turkish residency would be granted. Instead, both were imprisoned by Turkish authorities. Held now for over 18 months, while his wife Norine was released, Pastor Brunson remains imprisoned for "crimes against the State." He is totally innocent; yet Turkish authorities have held him without charges all these 182 days without a trial. His trial is Monday, April 16, 2018.
In cases like this, some concerned people ask: "What can we do?" In my case. I ask the question, "What can I (not we) do?" The "we" seldom responds-to challenge all in the area of justice is to challenge none. The "we" has to become personal..Bang!
Over the years, I have heard the stories of Father Maximillian Kolbe who exchanged himself for a fellow inmate in a Nazi concentration camp-Kolbe perished; the story of The Four Army Chaplains who gave up their lives during the sinking of the ship, 'The Dorchester', on February 3, 1943 in order to save civilian and military lives; the recent story of Lt. Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, a French Special Forces officer who, on March 24, 2018, during a terrorist incursion in Trebes, France, exchanged himself for one of the hostages-Lt. Beltrame perished.
These stories should serve as reminders to "What shall I do?" For me, when I heard the case of Pastor Andrew Brunson and his long imprisonment and his suffering; the heartache of his daughter, recently married, who could not have her Dad walk her down the aisle. I am now writing this from Izmir Turkey, the city where Pastor Brunson lives and serves-it is the city where he will go on trial April 16 and is facing 35 years in prison. For nothing. He is innocent.
What shall I do? I made reservations on a plane to come to Izmir; to be present at this trial and to offer myself in exchange for the release of Pastor Brunson. Will the judge and the authorities trying the case agree to my request that they let Pastor Brunson go free and imprison me in place of him? Isn't this what Jesus Christ did for us? John 15:13 speaks to me even as I write: "Greater love hate no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." This is what I shall do.
CP VOICES do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).