January 16, 2014
As we headed to the police station I had an acute sense of fear of the unknown. The words of Christ echoed in my mind. In those times we should be aware of the facts as well as God’s protection for our lives. It was the first time we would be at a police station but not were ashamed as we understood it was for the biggest cause in the world.
When we got there, people were watching us probably thinking we were drug dealers or criminals of some sort. We were put in a room and directed to sit. There were many files, records, pictures and posters in the office. We supposed we’d be interrogated.
The police officers on shift were surprised to see the amount of literature that had come with us. The first barrage of questions began after only a few minutes: “Who are you? What are you doing in the country?”
We told them we were Peruvians and were visiting their country. They didn’t understand us because we spoke only in Spanish although one of them understood a bit. Later on they brought a translator. In the meantime they took our passports and put all our material on the table as if they were guns. They searched in our bags to see if there was more literature. They found only address books and some phone numbers of friends we had met.
When the translator came they made us sit in front of them. Questions Seemed to fly. “What are you doing here?” Our response was that we were just visiting people who wanted a copy of a New Testament that they had requested. Another repeated question was, “Who brought this material?” When we said we brought the material they thought it was a joke. We were not answering what they wanted to hear because we would only talk about ourselves giving no information about the rest on our team.
The translator was getting angry. He retorted that we had neither outside help nor money to print that material. They thought we sold the material. They asked, “Who prints the New Testaments? Where does the money come from? How much material do you have?”
Then we were separated; one of us was being interrogated while the other one was in prison guarded by other policemen and our accuser. Yes! The person who accused us was there. This guy was talking to the policemen about the money he wanted to receive for accusing us but they told him it wouldn’t be that easy, there should be a deeper investigation. The accuser started getting angry and was warned to behave well because he might be involved as well. He got nervous quickly. This guy had betrayed us to the police in order to get some money. He had sold us! The issue was becoming interesting due to the fact what he did was a crime in accordance to their laws because he was a Muslim and was banned from asking any Christian material or any other literature different from his faith.
After that a young man showed up. He took some pictures of us and wanted a picture of our accuser as well, but he hid his face and didn’t allow a picture to be taken of him.
The hours were going by and questions came and went. This time they wanted to know how we had been living in the country. They wanted to know where our exact address. We spoke only about the city we lived in without giving any more information.
Another constant question was: Who do you work for? They did want an answer so they began insulting and threatening to put us into jail if we said nothing. The promised everything would go smoother if we just told them what they wanted to hear.
They thought that this person might be our native friend who works with us and that, before we got caught by the police, was supporting us during our trips by calling people and giving us addresses to visit people, beside that when they took our cell phones they could see his name so they believed he was the head of the “Christian mafia.”
We were saying nothing until we finally said it was God. Yes, it was God who sent us with this mission, everything came from Him, and we were just obeying His commandment for His sake. That was the truth.
They just looked at us and said we were just making a fool of ourselves. The idea that we would leave South America for North Africa motivated by a the Great Commission, compelled by Christ himself, seemed like great foolishness to them.
Lessons we learned:
Our Lord was treated like a criminal even when He brought a message of love, He was accused unfairly (Luke 18:30). The world hates our Lord and His Word (John 15:18-19). We should seek to tell the truth about our mission for, after all, the truth will set us free.