Dayna Curry challenges Christians to answer call to missions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A crowd of more than 1,000 people rose to their feet and gave former Afghanistan hostage and missionary Dayna Curry a standing ovation as she delivered her testimony at the 2001 World Missions Conference held Dec. 2-5 at Two Rivers Baptist Church.

"You are all part of the miracle," Curry told the congregation. "I am forever indebted to your prayerful support. God got all the glory and the world got to see the power of prayer."

Curry, who grew up in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood, has family members who attend Two Rivers. The church had been praying daily for Curry during her captivity.

Curry, 30, and Heather Mercer, 24, were rescued from Afghanistan after more than three months in a Taliban prison in Kabul on charges of preaching Christianity to Muslims in Afghanistan. They were picked up by American Special Forces helicopters outside Ghazni, a city about 75 miles south of the Afghan capital.

Jerry Sutton, pastor of Two Rivers, told Baptist Press he felt God wanted Curry to speak at their missions conference in September.

"I was having a quiet time at 5 in the morning and I felt like I was supposed to contact her parents. The Taliban still had her but I knew God would get her out," he said.

It wasn't until a week before the conference that the church received confirmation Curry would speak.

The service was a celebration of God's faithfulness in answering the prayers of Christians around the world. A choir of more than 100 voices along with a full orchestra led worshippers in spirited music -- many with outstretched hands to God.

Curry prefaced her remarks with a prayer that challenged other Christians to answer the call to missions.

"I am utterly amazed," Curry said. "If you told me all of this would happen I wouldn't have believed it. What the enemy meant for evil, God meant for good."

"If you ever find yourself imprisoned in a foreign country, God will be with you," she added, drawing laughter and applause from the crowd.

Curry shared about her deep love and affection for the people of Afghanistan, noting that "God has a dream for Afghanistan."

"It's a hopeless nation that now has some hope," he said.

Curry cited four factors that have made an impact in the Muslim country.

-- Radio programs. Curry said an Afghan woman was sweeping her home when she heard a Christian radio program.

"She told me she heard them say the name of Jesus and she said it was the sweetest sound she had heard," Curry said. "Since we can't openly share the gospel, I started buying radios for people."

-- The Jesus Film. Curry said The Jesus Film is especially powerful for the poor, noting that for many it is the first film they've seen.

"One very poor, simple man came up to us and said, 'What this film says is more important than all the money in the world.'"

-- Prayer. Curry said there are so many sick and ailing people in the country that prayer is more effective than going to the hospital. She related the story of a mother who was worried about one of her children suffering from a high fever. Curry and Mercer asked if they could pray in the name of Jesus to heal the boy. The mother agreed and the women prayed. The next day, Curry said the woman returned amazed that the boy's fever had broken and she wanted to know "who Jesus was."

-- Dreams. Curry said that God is reaching Muslims through their dreams.

She said the woman's whose son was healed was under stress, wondering how to feed and clothe her 8 children. One night, the woman had a dream that Jesus walked into her home, placed his hand on each of their heads and told her "not to worry because I will be their father."

"She came to us and wanted to know how to get closer to Jesus," she said.

Curry challenged young and old to consider answering the call to missions.

"I'm so wimpy in evangelism," she said. 'God just needs warm bodies who love him and are willing to go."


(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: ENJOYING FREEDOM and PARADING THROUGH NASHVILLE.

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