“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus offered these words to his disciples before ascending into heaven. This promise both strengthens and comforts. On Monday evening I received news that a dear friend – and co-laborer in Christ – was arrested. Since then, we’ve been trying to reconstruct exactly what happened. Apparently, our friend (“Zee”) offered to assist a Kurdish refugee find his way to the airport, since this refugee did not speak/read Greek. The Kurdish refugee would then attempt to buy a ticket and travel to Italy on a false passport. I have no doubt that Zee had good intentions (to serve a friend in need, thus showing the love of Christ), however, to the police officer, Zee’s actions looked suspiciously like smuggling (refugees will often pay great sums of money to smugglers for false identification and airport arrangements).
Zee was arrested on the spot, and found himself before a judge within 24 hours (with no legal representation). The judge gave Zee a 5 month prison term. Please pray for Zee. His heart to help lead him into a suspicious-looking situation, which is all the police need. As I said, Matthew 28:20 has come into my mind several times today: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the ages.” Please pray that Zee would be reminded of this verse. The prisons in Greece are horribly overcrowded, with meager provisions. Pray that God would encourage and strength Zee with this promise. Pray that Zee would continue to preach Christ, even from within prison (most of the inmates are other refugees/immigrants from the Middle East and Central Asia). Please pray that Zee would seek to glorify God in this situation (Phil. 1:12), rather than pass blame or harbor bitterness.