Nepali Missionary Still Missing

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

NEPAL (ANS) -- As of Wednesday, August 25, GFA (Gospel For Asia) native missionary Besh is still being held by Maoist insurgents after being abducted about 12 days ago.

K.P.Yohannan, President of GFA, writes: "Our GFA Nepal field leaders do not know his condition or his whereabouts; all they know is that his life remains in grave danger. They have prayerfully sent another missionary to search for Besh. Please pray earnestly for the safety of these two brothers in the Lord."

Yohannan said Besh’s kidnapping comes in the midst of great turmoil in the nation of Nepal.

"Just last week, Maoist rebels imposed a blockade on the capital city of Kathmandu, which led to sporadic violence, shortages and increased prices. After appeals from human rights groups, the insurgents announced their intention to lift the blockade (today) Wednesday, but have threatened to reinstate it within a month if their demands are not met," Yohannan said.

Yohannan said the Maoists, who are fighting for a communist state, control 60 percent of the country.

"Since the war between them and the Nepali government began, more than 9,000 lives have been lost. Only days ago, a former GFA missionary was assassinated by Maoists because he was suspected of spying for the government. The threat for GFA’s Gospel workers is very real," Yohannan said.

A GFA leader there commented: "Their lives are really challenged as they face situations that are beyond our explanation."

Yohannan added: "As long as the violence continues, conditions in this nation will deteriorate further—and hinder the spread of the Gospel. Please pray fervently for the Lord to intervene and for Jesus, our Prince of Peace, to be exalted in Nepal. Pray for the safety of our 365 pastors and missionaries and the 200 churches they have planted. As we intercede on behalf of this country, we believe we will see the hand of God move."