Facing Death With a Song on His Heart

January 28, 2018 | 0 comments

Pastors pen GIn January of 1964 an African pastor was arrested because of his faith in Jesus Christ. The song that was on his lips shortly before his death is #553 in our hymnal. This account and testimony, shared by Robert Morgan, is a reminder to us that we have brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ and some are being put to death. We can be involved by praying for them and also by praying for ourselves that we will have boldness to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those around us, and that we will have His grace to endure whatever persecution may come our way.

“For many years, the African nation of Burundi was controlled by a series of Tutsi military dictators who persecuted Christians. On January 24, 1964, a pastor named Yona Kanamuzeyi was arrested and driven away in a jeep. At the military camp, after asking permission to write in his journal, he scribbled that he was going to heaven and asked that the journal be given to his wife. His hands were then tied and he walked to his execution singing, ‘There’s a land that is fairer than day. . . .’ Shots rang out, Kanamuzeyi fell to the ground, and his body was rolled into the stream. He was one of an estimated 45 million people martyred for Christ in the twentieth century.”

There’s a land that is fairer than day
And by faith we can see it afar,
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.*

*Morgan, Robert J. “Near to the Heart of God: Meditations on 366 Best-Loved Hymns” (p. 28). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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