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In Severe Trials Broken Pastor Proclaims ‘I Love You Jesus’

Andrew Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina spent 20 years in Turkey. He had a quiet but deep ministry there until 2016, when after a failed military coup, the government arrested him along with journalists, activists, military officers, and others. The Turkish government labeled Brunson a spy.

Brunson was held for more than a year without charges. He spent nearly two years in prison, often enduring long trial sessions. At one point, it looked like he could spend years or even decades in Turkish prisons. Finally, after pressure from the Trump administration, Brunson was released from prison and returned to the United States.

In a Wheaton College chapel talk, Brunson candidly said that he did not feel God’s overwhelming presence during his stay in prison. Instead, he experienced something even deeper. Brunson said, “[After a few days in prison], I completely lost the sense of God’s presence. God was silent. And he remained silent for two years.”

When he was finally brought to trial, things were even worse. He says:

There are some who go into the valley of testing and some do not make it out … I was broken. I lay there alone in my solitary cell, I had great fear, terrible grief, and I was weeping. And the thought kept going through my mind, Where are you God? Why are you so far away? And I opened my mouth as I wept aloud, and I was surprised at what I heard coming out of my mouth. I heard, “I love you Jesus. I love you Jesus. I love you Jesus.” I thought here is my victory. Even if you’re silent, I love you. Even if you let my enemy harm me, I love you. [As] Jesus said, “But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

You can watch it here

YouTube, Wheaton College Chapel (3-8-19)

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