Missionary Pastor Kidnapped in India Released

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A pastor kidnapped by armed gunmen a week ago in southern India was freed by his captors Monday.

K.P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia, called Pastor Ponnachan George's release "a huge miracle." He credited the work of Indian authorities and the prayers of thousands of supporters.

The kidnappers had threatened to kill the pastor unless a huge ransom was paid. But the missions organization has a policy of non-negotiation.

"These people are known for shooting and killing in cold blood for their cause," Pastor George told Continental News. "I was frightened and really thought I would never be freed. I thought about my wife and young children and felt helpless."

"That is when I began to meditate on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ," he continued. "And I reminded myself that my leader sent me out with a one-way ticket to this mission field."

"The passage in Acts 20 where Paul says, 'I don't regard my life dear to myself' became a source of strength," he said.

Despite the ordeal, Pastor George said he wants to continue his work in India because "a good shepherd does not leave his flock when the wolf comes."

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