“Fellow Israelites, listen to this:
Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by
God to you by miracles, wonders and
signs, which God did among you through
him, as you yourselves know…” Acts

In late 1992, “Wally” Magdangal, a Filipino Christian who for years
pastored a clandestine house church in Saudi Arabia, was arrested. His
house church was unexpectedly penetrated by the “mutawwa”, the Saudi
religious police.

Wally remembers reading in an Open Doors magazine about a small group in China
that gathered weekly in the back room
of a small store to worship together. It
was the era of the infamous Cultural
Revolution. Since the believers could
easily be overheard by anyone entering
the store, they “sang” hymns together
without words or music. Someone
whispered the name of the song and they would
silently move their lips and
simply think of the words and music.

He said, “We are an underground
Church like the believers behind the Bamboo
Curtain, but the difference is
that we can praise in full voice because our
facilities are sound-proofed.
Not even our closest neighbour can hear us.” But
they were betrayed and now
Wally was en route to prison.

For three-and-a-half hours he was
physically and mentally tortured. They
slapped, boxed and kicked him on the
face. Then using a long stick, they
lashed his back and the palms of his
hands. Then the soles of his feet. He
could not stand without wincing and he
describes his bruised body as looking
like an eggplant.

Upon returning
to his cell, Wally prayed for five hours thanking God for
allowing him to
participate in the sufferings of Jesus. Here are his own
words; “Suddenly
there was light. The cell was filled with the Lord’s Shekinah
glory. His
presence was there. He knelt and started to touch my face. He told
me, ‘My
son, I have seen all of it. That’s why I’m here. I am assuring you
that I
will never leave you or forsake you.’”

Wally woke up two hours later
feeling like a new man. He was amazed when he
saw his body had been restored
to perfect wholeness. No bruises, no cuts, no
bleeding or blood stains. He
adds, “God had completely restored me.” This was
a significant source of
strength as he later repeatedly witnessed to his
interrogators who were
dumbfounded by his healing. Once after sharing his
faith, Wally noticed the
guard’s countenance change. He was smiling. Wally
said, “I could feel the
Holy Spirit working already.”

Wally (and his fellow-pastor) was spared
scheduled execution on Christmas Day.
Miraculously, at the last moment, they
were released and deported home to the
Philippines. Today he shares God’s
goodness and blessing around the world
never forgetting that Christmas

RESPONSE: Today I will thank the Lord that He still works
miracles today, here
and around the world.

PRAYER: Pray for persecuted
Christians who may be in prison today awaiting
their miraculous release. Pray
they will also be encouraged by the intimate
presence of Jesus, Himself.

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