October 14, 2002
SPRINGFIELD—Video testimonies of Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, two interdenominational missionaries held as prisoners by the Taliban in Afghanistan for 105 days last year, will be among the highlights at a special Crossover Springfield musical event Oct. 27, 7 p.m., at the University Plaza Convention Center.
The video presentations will be joined by a 150-voice choir from churches across southwest Missouri.
"We began began to realize we just got caught in the middle of some huge plan of God because he wanted to generate prayer for (Afghanistan)," Curry told Baptist Press after addressing messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in St. Louis in June. "He heard the cries of these widows and orphans so he let a few of his kids get in prison so the whole world would pray for Afghanistan like never before, so his light would come to this nation, so freedom would come and they could have hope again."
During her first 18 months in Afghanistan Curry worked with mothers and children who needed medical attention. When Mercer arrived they began to work with street children.
"Literally from the time they woke up in the morning until late into the evening they would carry these little plastic sacks and they would go from house to house, trying to collect pieces of bread to take home to their family," Curry said. The two missionaries provided a warm lunch, job training and jobs so they wouldn’t have to beg.
"It was so easy to share about our faith," Curry said. "It was so natural. Almost every day someone would ask us, ‘Why would you come here?’ It was awesome to say, ‘Because God loves you. He told us to come because he loves the Afghan people.’ Muslims don’t know that God loves them."
It was the showing of the "Jesus" film that brought about their arrest last August.
"I was really shocked and afraid," Curry said. "That first evening we held hands as tight as we could and we sang worship songs and we tried to quote every Scripture we could remember. His presence came and it washed over us. Peace like a river just came and flooded our souls."
"I really believe God has blessed Southern Baptists, given you resources so you can touch the ends of the earth," Curry said. "My prayer is that thousands upon thousands will be sent from among you so you can be a part and see this world changed for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Mercer said people tried to dissuade her from going to Afghanistan by asking her why she would want to go someplace where they don’t really want to hear what she had to say.
"That’s a big fat lie. That’s not true," Mercer said. "All over the world there are 2.5 billion people who are waiting to hear about the love of Jesus."
For more information about the Crossover Springfield music event, contact Dean Finley, Emerging Generations Initiative coordinator for the Missouri Baptist Convention at 1-800-736-6227, ext. 234.