Today I would like to highlight one recent example. It took place in Kaduna State, Nigeria, where tremendous tension has existed since the implementation of shari'a law beginning in 2001. Many Christians have been martyred there in recent years.
Initial Report of the Attack
On October 19, 2013, I got an email from a friend of mine, sister Claire Andoun Atongo, alerting me to an attempted assassination of our brother in Christ, Michael Sambo just eight days earlier on Friday, October 11. She wrote to me:
“Do you know that brother Michael Sambo was captured on his way going to a conference on Friday evening by six Boko Haram men? One of them texted his wife stating that we must come and carry his dead body from the bush. I was supposed to go to Dubai with sister Linda. Pastor Rika cancelled her trip due the sad news we heard. I was so down. I could not stop crying and praying GOD for a miracle. I traveled alone, but when I arrived at the airport in Dubai, one of our sisters gave me the great news that brother Michael Sambo was found alive in a bush.”
”What really happened? He missed his flight to Kabi state, so he decided to take a ground transport to Kabi. Unfortunately for him, Boko Haram (Nigerian Muslim terrorist group) captured him. They brought him to a bush ...they shot him with gun and texted his wife to come and carry the dead body, because they had finally finished with him. So we contacted the police, who located the bush, but they didn’t see him there.”
“Meanwhile, when the Boko Haram shot him, after texting his wife on the phone, they discovered he was still alive ..and no bullet touched him. Alleluiaaaaa. I really really thank God for proving to us that He is with us. Amen.”
I then personally contacted brother Michael directly by phone, and after he had verified my identity for his own security, we spoke briefly and exchanged emails. He gave me the right hand of fellowship, and agreed to share his full testimony with me after he returned from a series of meetings he was preaching at throughout Nigeria.
On November 12, I got an email from sister Claire, in which Michael gave his full testimony to a church in Nigeria, which is nothing short of amazing. All glory be to God! Here is a summary of his testimony.
How the Journey Began
He had been traveling to a town in Nigeria to preach. But he missed his flight. No matter what he did, he could not get on another flight, since they were all booked.
So he took ground transportation, even though he did not want to travel at night. He paid for two seats in the front of the car, and two other men he did not know were passengers in the back seat. He was very serious and conscious of his security. He was determined to stay awake during the night journey, so he bought a bottle of water from the driver and drank it. He also chewed on something to help him stay awake.
He said, “But once the vehicle started moving, eventually I slept off. When I slept off, quite later, I began to sneeze. As I was sneezing, I became unconscious. My muscles and joints had been weakened. In my subconscious mind, I tried to flex my feet, but there was no energy in me at all. When I awoke, I could not move my hands. I was incapacitated. All my joints and muscles were weak.”
“While I was in that condition, I saw how the vehicle parked. There was no energy to talk. I saw how two men came to the passenger’s side, took me out of the vehicle and transferred me to another vehicle. They placed me into the other car. I was conscious and already watching, but I was helpless. They turned around and headed in the direction we had just come from. (It was not until the next day when I recovered that I noticed pain in my buttocks. I discovered it was pain from an injection. I had been drugged). By and by, they eventually parked by the roadside, and two people again came, carried me out of the vehicle, and we began to enter into the bush. Then I slept off finally.”
The Presence of God in the Shadow of Death
“When I awoke from that deep sleep, I discovered that my hands were tied. My feet were tied. I was blindfolded, and my mouth was sealed up. So when I woke up, they removed the blindfold. Since my eyes had been sealed up, I had only been seeing darkness.”
It was a deep forest – bush – in the dead of the night. I didn’t know the hour of day and I didn’t have my bearing. So I was wondering where I was. When they flashed their flashlight, I saw a human being lying down next to me. I discovered it was a lady who had been freshly slaughtered. In fact, the knife was still on her neck. When I saw that, I knew the end had eventually come.
“When I looked around, I discovered I was surrounded by six heavily armed people. They had rifles and chains of bullets around their necks. Their faces were marked, and they spoke good English, as well as Hausa. As I saw them, fear overtook me. I knew I was in the midst of people that hated me. They wanted to squeeze the life out of me. I was facing death. Tears flooded my eyes.”
“But suddenly it was as if somebody placed his mouth over my ears and began to read out a portion of Scripture. I began to hear this very clearly in my heart and in my spirit: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’” (Psa 23:4)
“When I heard this Scripture, the inspiration, the grace and strength came. I began to pray. I was praying in tongues. I don’t even know what I was praying. Strength came and all the fear I had left. The presence of the Lord was so strong that I felt as though if I stretched out my hand, I could touch God.”
"I began to remember the three Hebrew young men, who were thrown into the furnace, how God was with them."
“Suddenly one of them spoke and they introduced themselves to me. He said, ‘We are Boko haram. We have been looking for you for years now. But now that we have got you, consider yourself dead, because there is no way you can leave this place.’”
“They said I should deny Christ. They said, ‘We will break you into pieces. You will get your blood.’”
“I didn’t speak, because my mouth was gagged. I considered my options. But I shook my head, ‘No.’ I was not going to deny Christ.”
“I then begged them not to kill me. I asked if they wanted money. I offered to give them a phone number.”
“But they said, ‘Our assignment is to kill you. We were assigned to kill you. It’s your life we’re looking for.’”
“They saw I was perspiring and I was very thirsty. So they asked if I wanted some water to drink. I said, ‘Yes.’ One of them went and got something and brought it to me. When I began to drink it, I realized it was urine. It was not even fresh urine, but it had been fermented. I drank it anyway.”
“Then they put the blindfold back on me. The leader now ordered that they should shoot me. One by one they began to shoot. One of them cocked the rifle and pulled the trigger. I heard, ‘Ka-ka-ka.’ The second person cocked his rifle and pulled the trigger. I heard, ‘Ka-ka-ka.’ The third person cocked his rifle and pulled the trigger. I heard, ‘Ka-ka-ka.’ Because my eyes were closed, I was only hearing sounds. No bullets came out of the rifles.”
“At this time, my confidence and trust and faith grew. Then I heard one of them urinating on his gun, because he thought I was using magic. I heard, ‘Ka-ka-ka.’ Then I only heard his foot hitting me in the back of the head, and I fell forward. He said, ‘We will break you to pieces!’”
“When they tried and nothing happened, one of them said to another, ‘There is a poison in that particular place. You should bring that poison. There is acid in that particular place. You should bring that acid.’ They brought it and I heard them mix it. As a scientist I knew that this was not water and I should not drink it. They said I should drink it, and I said, ‘No.’ They ordered me again to drink it, and I refused. ‘Why are you talking like that?’”
“Suddenly I saw a bright light. Remember I was blindfolded. I saw light! When I saw light, I focused on the light. The light shined all around me. And an angel showed up in the light. He instructed me through sign language that I should drink. So I who had refused to drink the poison, later I now called them. I asked them to please bring the drink, so that I could drink it. It was in a bottle and my wrists were tied, so they placed the bottle in my hands and I drank it all and nothing happened. When I finished drinking it, suddenly the angel came down from the sky stretched his leg into our midst. When he did, the whole group of men fell down. They all fell down. When they fell down, strength came into me, and I jumped up and began to run. I started running."
"When I was running, the light was before me directing me which way to go. I followed that light. I followed to a point of exhaustion and then I fell down suddenly. When I fell down, the angel came down from the sky, picked me up by my left arm, placed me on his shoulder and began to fly with me. We ran until we reached a certain point under a tree. The angel laid me down on my back under the tree.”
“He removed the blindfold and questioned me, ‘Do you know who I am?’”
“I said, ‘No.’”
“He said, ‘I am angel Michael. Jesus sent me from heaven to this place to come and deliver you from the shadow of death. Lay down and rest for a while and I will come back.’”
“The Lord’s angels encamp around His people. The angels are ministering spirits to the saints. In times of difficulty and times of hardship, they are there to serve you, if you are a saint.”
“I lay down and slept automatically. After a while, I felt like somebody was waking me up from sleep. When I awoke, I opened my eyes and saw three persons. When I saw them, fear came again. I thought the people had traced me, and I wanted to jump up and start running again.”
“The angel said, ‘No no. I’m angel Michael, I have returned back.’”
“I asked, ‘What about these other people with you?’”
“He replied, ‘Don’t worry. I will tell you about them later.’”
Worshiping God with the Angels
“So that is how the four of us sat down under the tree and spontaneously started worshipping God. It was a heavenly language. There was only one song, a hymn, that we sang in English, and I don’t remember what it was. It’s like the heavenly host. We sang and sang and sang. We worshipped and worshipped and worshipped.”
“After a while the angel stopped the worship and opened to Ps 23. He read the entire Psalm:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
“When he finished reading this, he asked ‘Did you know that goodness and mercy are names of angels in heaven?’”
I replied, “No. I didn’t know that.”
“He said, ‘Well, I want to tell you that goodness and mercy are names of angels in heaven, and these ones before you are angels. This one is Goodness and this one is Mercy. Jesus dispatched them from heaven to deliver you from the hands of the people who hate you. I have instructed them from today to follow you wherever you go.’”
Onward to Kaduna
“He then said, ‘Do you know Kaduna?’”
“Yes, I know Kaduna.” Kaduna is the capital of Kaduna State, Nigeria, and this city had a population of 760,084 as of the 2006.
“He said, ‘I am going to take you to Kaduna. But Kaduna is too small to step my foot there. But when we get to Kaduna where we will drop you, remember one of your phones is in your backpack. Take it out and switch it on, and call your pastor (Paul Rika). Tell him where you are and he will arrange for someone to come and pick you up from where we will drop you.’”
“My wife was the last person who called me, so the men had seized my phone and sent text her to tell her to come collect my dead body, because they had killed me. And the second one they sent to her said she ‘Should not come to look for him, because she wouldn’t find him.’ They have carried me away. It was through that text that the brethren got to know I had been kidnapped and began to pray.”
“But I had another phone that I had, which I had used earlier that day. I had switched it off and put it in my backpack. This is the phone the angel told me I should use when I would get to Kaduna.”
“So we now stood up, and walked for a long time through the woods. After a while I started to hear the sounds of vehicles and people. I saw a vehicle parked by the roadside. The angel instructed that we should enter the vehicle. Goodness and Mercy entered the back seat. Angel Michael entered the driver’s side and I entered the passenger’s side, then we began to drive. We drove past a check point and we entered a town. People were passing by. The angel stopped and said I should alight from the vehicle. I stepped down from the vehicle, which was actually a spiritual vehicle, not a natural one. He said I should cross over to the other side of the street, and that I should switch my phone on and call my pastor.”
“Later I came to consciousness and found myself lying in a gutter, and I saw people passing by. One of my legs was in the gutter and my back was in the gutter. They had spread my suit out and laid it in the sand across the gutter. I began to recall, ‘Yesterday I was traveling. Where am I now? Why am I lying down now?’ I suddenly remembered the angel had said to switch on my phone. I saw my backpack beside me, so I reached inside and took my phone out. I switched it on and I called pastor.”
Having begun his perilous journey on Wednesday, and having been captured on Friday night, this is how brother Michael made it to his destination of Kaduna on Saturday morning.
Fervent Prayer by the Church to God
As when the apostle Peter was kept in prison by Herod, and God sent an angel to help him miraculously escape, the Lord did the same for brother Michael. While Michael was in the hands of his captors, prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.
On Friday night, the news of the kidnapping came to brother Paul Rika, (pastor of Holiness Revival Ministry Worldwide, aka. Holiness Revival Movement Worldwide). He said, “There was an investigation going on, and the police would not give us a report. I began to send around for prayers.”
Many people were praying for Mike. The Kaduna state coordinator, brother Emmanuel Ilemaiye was one person who prayed all night with his family for Mike, calling upon the Lord on his behalf. And only the Lord knows how many other saints were praying.
Brother Rika continues, “Our sister Linda, and sister Rose were in Lagos. They had just finished a crusade in Badagry. They were in the house of pastor James. So I told them that they should go into prayer, because this is what had happened to Mike. So in their prayer, they got back to me. Sister Linda said God had told her that we should just be thanking God and praising Him, because Mike was alive! Sister Rose told me the same thing that she had heard an audible voice of God, saying Mike was alive! He had given her two verses: Luke 4:1-9 and Acts 8:1-9.”
Brother Rika said that on Saturday, “Already prayers were going on. That day we were fasting because of him. What the sisters told me really kind of gave me peace. I became more relaxed somehow, although not completely, because this was prophecy. It had to be fulfilled. What if they are not speaking by God?”
Brother Rika said, “So that day in the guest house of pastor James, I just felt motivated that we should pray again. So I told the brethren there that we should pray for Mike. So when it was 2:00 PM, when I said, ‘Let us pray,’ the pastor reminded me that the Lord had said we should just be thanking God and praising Him. So as we began to pray to thank the Lord, my phone rang. I saw ‘Michael Sambo’ – his glow line. I thought, ‘Who is speaking here? Who is ringing me? Is it his assassins that want to mock at me that they have killed him, just as they did to the wife? Or what?’ I picked up the phone and it went off. I didn’t even want to tell the people around, because I didn’t want to give them excitement it was Mike, when it would end up not to be Michael again. So he rang the second time. I picked it up and heard his voice. ‘Hello?’ Hey, this person is still alive! Praise the Lord! ‘Where are you? Where have you been?’”
The Final Leg of the Journey
Michael was able to describe his location, which was right across from one of the two police stations in that part of Kaduna. Through the coordination of brother Rika, a local pastor in Kaduna got a ride with an Air Commodore, named Stephen Jeff-Zanni, who was with the Army Staff Command College, stationed at the Air Force base in Kaduna. They rode together in his vehicle to the location where Michael was across the street from the police station. When they arrived, brother Emmanuel Ilemaiye spotted someone laying down in the gutter. Brother Emmanuel said, "It was as if he was being lifted up for us to see. I just saw him very, very weak." He realized it was Mike, and said, ‘Look at him!’ Once the Air Commodore stopped the car, the pastor got out and crossed the street. He bent over and embraced Michael with many tears of joy. Mike was so weak he could not stand. Yet brother Emmanuel found that he was able to pick up Michael, even though he is a large man, and carry him to the Air Commodore's vehicle. He placed him in the car. Then he went back to collect Michael's backpack and coat from the place where he had been lying in the gutter.
Brother Emmanuel said the spot where the angels dropped Mike was very close to where he was. But he said that as they tried to leave the area with Mike in the Air Commodore's car, after they had picked him up, there was a terrible traffic jam, which had not been there when they came. There was a huge commotion in the city for some unknown reason. It was so bad that they couldn’t get out of there. They had to turn around and take a different route, but the Lord was glorified, because they were able to complete the rescue and get Mike back to safety once again at the home of the Air Commodore.
When the Church was praying fervently to God for Michael in the midst of his crisis, and the Lord told sister Linda and Rose that Michael was alive, the Lord gave sister Rose two Scriptures (Luke 4:1-9 and Ac 8:1-9). There are clear parallels between those passages and Michael’s situation.
In the Luke passage, Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, and led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. But Jesus overcame every temptation and returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, where He began to preach and perform signs and wonders. The Spirit also allowed Michael Sambo to be led into a wilderness place deep in the bush to be tempted by the devil to deny Christ. But he also overcame temptation, and returned by the power of the Spirit to preach; signs and wonders marked the entire incident.
In the Acts passage, as a result of great persecution against the Church in Jerusalem, they were all scattered, except the apostles. The result was that those who had been scattered went about preaching the Word, and some like Philip, were performing signs and wonders, setting people free, and bringing about much rejoicing. Likewise, in Michael’s case, he was in the midst of great persecution taking place in Nigeria, where many Christians are giving their lives as Stephen did. But the result is that Michael is now going about preaching the Word again, testifying of the signs and wonders that marked his miraculous escape; this is setting people free, and bringing about much rejoicing.
There are at least six witnesses to this miracle, who have testified that it really happened. God is alive! He answers prayer. And He provides angelic protection for His saints. Hallelujah!
The Lord has highly favored His servant, brother Michael Sambo, who has had face to face encounters with the Lord and His holy angels, as well as experienced heaven. The Lord's seal of approval is upon him and his ministry, and the Lord has given him some very important messages for the Church. In the face of death, he refused to deny Christ. Therefore, I recommend following up this article by reading and listening to his other messages.
If you have not already heard brother Michael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, I would like to strongly encourage you to do so. I have written about it my article by that title, which you can read at that link. The article will also provide the video, if you wish to watch the testimony. I have also featured his testimony in another article I have written called, Godly Attire & Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations. Among the seven divine revelation highlighted beside brother Michael's are the testimonies of sister Claire and sister Linda Ngaujah from Sierra Leone, who are both mentioned in this story. I also recommend my Interview with Michael Thomas Sambo on March 4, 2015 on the Preparing the Way Radio program.
If you would like to hear brother Michael Sambo's entire testimony of his miraculous escape from assassins, along with the eye witness testimonies, you can do so here at this link or on the video below. Be sure to give God and the Lord Jesus Christ His Son all the praise, who has rescued his servant from the hands of wicked men.
Authors Note: According to Wikipedia, "On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram swore formal allegiance to ISIL, giving ISIL an official presence in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon." You can find many other posts of mine with testimonies of people who have had supernatural revelations of heaven and hell at Eternal Destinations. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.