Bows, arrows and much fury
A hostage situation involving a BMS World Mission supported partner worker in Peru ended without bloodshed and with the worker speaking how the word of God calmed his fears.
Miguel Ortiz, a BMS partner worker who, with his wife, recently started a PEPE preschool education project in Chachapoyas in northern Peru, was held by indigenous Aguarana Indians who had stormed the city's municipal building.
Pastor Miguel was held, along with the President of Peru's Amazonas state and the President's bodyguard, as the Aguarana protested a recent Free Trade deal between Peru and the United States. The deal would see large sections of indigenous land privatised and the resources on and beneath it being lost to the tribes who have long lived there.
"We were surrounded by Aguarana Indians, all armed with spears and bows and arrows, and in their faces I saw much fury," said Pastor Miguel. "But God heard my prayers and God put calm into them. I was able to reach an agreement with the Aguarunas and the President, and God also permitted me to speak to them of our Lord Jesus Christ and his justice."
Pastor Miguel, the President of the state and his bodyguard were all released unharmed.
"They were tense moments," Miguel said, "but God did not permit them to kill us and I believe this because there are many things to do in the extending of his Kingdom in this area. As it says in Romans 8: 23, 'All things help to work for the good…'"
The violence surrounding the protests over mineral, land and logging has reportedly been the worst in ten years in Peru. Pastor Miguel explains how he coped with the frightening situation: "As it all happened, Psalm 91 was in my mind. Fear and worry are the first feelings to invade us, but the word of God within us drives them out and gives us confidence and security."