This story was taken from Jesus Freaks by D.C. Talk and Voice of the Martyrs. It took place in the Philippines in 1992.
‘”We have your nephew,” said the handwritten note. “If you surrender to us, we will return the boy to his parents.” Brother MT stared at the message. It was from the leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA), the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines. People in many parts of the Philippines have been threatened and persecuted for years by this group of terrorists.
Brother MT is an evangelist in the Philippines. He travels regularly into the mountains to reach the terrorist groups. Peter, his eight-year-old nephew, frequently went with Brother MT on his evangelistic trips. He was a special help to him in children’s meetings in the mountain villages.
Because of the pressure from the NPA, Brother MT was often forced into hiding. Still, as a result of his ministry, some of the NPA soldiers had given their lives to Jesus Christ and left the organization. MT had counted the cost and was prepared to give his life for the Gospel, but he was not prepared for this! He knew there was no hope that his surrender would save his nephew. He knew they would both be killed; however, he hesitated.
The boy’s parents insisted that MT ignore this order and continue his evangelistic outreach. As a result, the parents gave their son for the Gospel. Peter was killed on Good Friday, April 17, 1992. He was tortured for three hours and suffered very much. His hands were tied with wire, and the terrorists struck him in the legs and head with an ax. Finally, he was beheaded.
The abductors have warned the boy’s parents and MT that if they do not stop their ministry, they will return and torture them. Brother MT is continuing his dangerous work in the mountains among the terrorist groups.”
Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”
This story is a hard one to read. It is not one of adults, freely making their own choices regarding their lives. Rather, it is of a family who knew what it meant to love Jesus more than each other. It is of an eight year old who was strong enough to preach the Gospel to other children even though he knew the risk. It is of an eight year old who was tortured and killed by those who despise the Gospel.
This did not take place very long ago, a mere sixteen years. If Peter was alive today, he would only be a couple of years older than I am.
We link to a website called The Rebelution put out by Alex and Brett Harris. The site is devoted to encouraging young people to “do hard things” and not succumb to our culture’s low expectations. Peter is the epitome of this.
This week, pray for the people willingly offering their lives for the sake of the Gospel. Pray for their families who are left behind.