According to John Hopkins Medicine, studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress.
In spite of the health benefits, 62% of American adults say they need more forgiveness in their personal lives (Fetzer Institute). Okongo Samson understands how difficult the act of forgiving can be. In his new autobiography, “Abducted But Not Forsaken: How One Man’s Escape from a Notorious Terrorist brought Hope to Africa,” Samson relives in detail his many escapes from kidnapping, imprisonment, and torture, and his struggle to forgive his abusers.
At 16 years old, Samson joined a missionary trip taking place near his home in Kenya. His bus trip was cut short as a radical group of terrorists kidnapped everyone on board. What happened next was weeks of what Samson describes as torture, sexual abuse, and unimaginable horror.
Realizing he was going to either die there or while trying to escape, Samson chose the latter, and waited for his opportunity for several days. He readied himself to be shot in the back and headed toward an open gate. He kept walking. Miraculously, he walked out of that camp. No one pursued him. No animal attacked him in the dense forest. He kept walking until he found someone to help him. He was free. That’s when the anger kicked in.
“I was angry with God,” says Samson. “I didn’t understand why He had allowed such evil to happen to me or to others. I prayed daily that my abductors would die, but they just continued to do unspeakable things. I was free, but I was hopeless. I was confused and bewildered as to why this had happened.”
As Samson began to reluctantly tell his story to others, he realized his escape was indeed a miracle. Still feeling a strong ministry call on his life, he kept sharing the Gospel with anyone who would listen, even though he still struggled with emotional and physical scars. He began speaking to larger groups while doors opened in other countries for him to minister. He was imprisoned in Yemen for sharing the Gospel, then he was thrown into a Saudi Arabian prison. It was there where Samson experienced life-altering torture. One night as he was being beaten, he heard the sound of a power drill and then felt it cutting through both his legs. An iron bar was placed in the holes and he was hoisted to the ceiling like a slab of meat.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service