KHARTOUM – A four-day visit to Sudan in 2015 by VOM missionary Petr Jasek turned into an unplanned 445-day sojourn in prison after the Czech Christian was arrested on charges of conspiring against the Sudanese government. Jasek, shared his experience last week at the McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia. He told his audience that his is living proof that God answers our prayers.
He is also living proof that Jesus said that if people hated Him, they would hate His disciples as well. Despite his ill-treatment in five different prisons, including waterboarding, beatings, and torture by his cellmates, Jasek looks back with thanksgiving for the road the Lord had planned for him – one that Petr would not have chosen for himself.
Jasek was arrested upon his arrival at the airport when it was discovered that he had a duplicate passport which he carried in case of emergency.
His introduction to his jail began at 1:30 in the morning when he was ushered into a small cell in which all the men were sleeping on the crowded floor. After disturbing what little rest his cellmates might have been getting, it did not take long for Jasek to realize that his situation was about to get much worse than just being in jail. His cellmates were members of ISIS and they did not take well to having a Christian sharing their space.
What followed was day-after-day verbal taunting and physical torture that worsened over time. There is a big difference between being called a pig and being treated worse than one. Slurs turned into slaps that turned into punches that turned into beatings with sticks. Being made to stand or sit in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time deteriorated into becoming, in effect, their cell slave including being forced to clean the cell toilet with his bare hands.
Yet, it was in this situation that Jasek came to better understand the humiliation and torture that Christ willingly endured for our sake. “I could clearly see the Lord Jesus and how He suffered for us.”
He began to pray for his tormentors during his torture. He prayed for the guards, the prosecutors, the interrogators, and the judge. He prayed that the Lord would reveal Himself to his abusers. He prayed that the Lord would help him retain his sanity. He recalled and recited Scriptures he had memorized over the years. The more he prayed and praised, the more indignant his tormentors became.
Eventually, they subjected Jasek to waterboarding. In fact, his fellow prisoners requested they all be moved to a cell with running water so that they could waterboard him.
At yet another prison, he was confined to a 15’ x 18’ cell in which there were as many as 40 people held at one time. During this imprisonment, the Lord gave him renewed courage and used him to lead 40 Eritreans to trust Christ.
While the angels in Heaven rejoiced at those who came to Christ, his evangelizing landed him in solitary confinement. However, by that time he had been able to obtain a Bible. Although the available amount of daylight necessary for reading was limited, he devoured the Word as never before. “I read from Genesis to Revelation within three weeks” and “gained a profound, new understand of Scripture.”
When he was moved to a larger facility, he heard murders, rapists, thieves, and drug dealers crying in the night. He continued to witness to these men who had lost all earthly and eternal hope. “It was so wonderful to see the changed lives of those who dedicated their lives to Christ.”
Jasek was pardoned, released, and returned to the Czech Republic in February 2017.
His message today is, “We know from the words of apostle Paul that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. I felt like I received my life back. I was first threatened to be sentenced to be executed. [Then] later on, life imprisonment. Then, my life was returned back to me. I told the Lord, ‘My life does not belong to me anymore. It belongs to the Lord.’”
- God Reports, Christian missionary tortured by ISIS in prison, led 40 to Christ
- Christianity Today, Sudan Frees Czech Missionary Imprisoned for Life
- CBN News, Nearly Killed by ISIS Cellmates, God Had a Purpose for VOM Worker Imprisoned in Sudan
- Voice of the Martyrs, An Interview with Petr Jasek
- Christian Today, Czech missionary Petr Jasek tells of suffering for Christ in Sudan prison
- The Christian Post, Christian Missionary Details His Time in Sudanese Prison, Sharing a Cell With ISIS Members