In the story of Daniel, Paul, and Joseph in the bible, an illustration of a prison experience that prepared them for the greatest stage of their lives, paints a brilliant representation of how God dealt with them and equally it offers immediate application on how God deals with His people. As I refer to our Congregational Apostle success story who imprisoned in Qatar, two years ago, his experienced has a great impact in fulfilling God’s vision in His life. God trust His people especially those people who truly serve Him…
The founder of The Lord’s Hand Ministry, Rev. Joseph Apilado, Filipino, was arrested in Qatar during his church related training visit and thrown into prison without any ‘warrant of arrest’ or clear case against him two years ago. To be a prisoner in a Muslim country like Qatar said, that he was a religious prisoner and an accused ‘espionage’ /terrorism prisoner because of his involvement to a former Muslim-turned Christian brethren.
Accusations made were too ridiculous to believe. But no matter how eccentric Qatari authorities were, they suppressed Justice for the innocent civilian. Apilado put in jailed for 95 days. He was in a solitary confinement for 85days. After the imprisonment and interrogations, the QATAR Authorities realized that REV.JOSEPH APILADO is innocent of all charges and released him. He came to the point that he ought to overstay in Qatar because all of his important stuffs like personal money, laptop, cellphones, passport, identification cards, etc. has been confiscated and put on hold by the QATAR SSB; which until now- it has not been returned except for his passport and identification cards.
In the case of Apilado, who has been arrested without ‘warrant of arrest’, who had not given a chance to defend himself first in the court or prior to put him in jail; this was an indication of impartiality. Heartbreaking, right?
A combination of abusive authorities and biased court decision resulted in an unfair imprisonment. Like the other pastors who were been arrested, Apilado knew how painful to live through in the cell.
He does not often tell of what he suffered inside the prison cell and it is rare that many people can understand unless they themselves have been through such torment. But he does occasionally tell stories of ‘how God’ helped him to get through such difficult experiences. “I endured a lot in the prison. 85 days solitary confinement was a depressive state for me that time…I was mentally and physically tortured, which included many kinds of beatings, sleep deprivation, hell cuffs, hog tie, it was a very terrible experience! And common to us ;were requiring us to assume an uncomfortable position and remain in that position for prolonged periods. When the situation permitted and when no longer under observation, we would secretly assume a more comfortable position, if they caught us, it led to beatings and resumption of the position. Some of the mental and psychological tortures were; giving me false news and information, threatening me with flogging, forcing me to accept debauched charges, threatening us with a long prison sentence, and banning my visitations, forced participation in espionage involvement, and some of my brethren suffered from indoctrination, giving the illusion to convince us that Islam is the true religion/ Jesus is not God, me and my brethren has his own story to tell… It was really traumatic, but in every pain, I always let God to be my strength. My life inside the jail lives was a continual cycle of building and rebuilding for me. Considering that all of this, was a constructive solitary confinement for me…It was where i find more time talking to God, clinging on his words and I constructed there a lucid focus on God’s purpose…I know that when God looks down at me, He sees a project that needs and demands continual maturing and growth. God is still saying to me that time “GROW UP and continue to SERVE me JOSEPH!” Apilado testified.
Apostle Joseph did not ask for mercy to men, He put all his trust to God, instead. When the court Judge asked him if there would be any words left unsaid before going back to his cell, he just only expressively said to the Judge that ‘he wants to go back in the Philippines’. In fact, his attitude proved him innocent.
In the prison of circumstances, God elevates Apostle Joseph. He gets him to a place of complete surrender. And the only way He can get him there is by allowing some friction in life. His conversations with God inside the jail caused him to unlock THE TOTALITY of SALVATION and THE FIVE PILLARS OF FAITH.
That seems strange right?- that God would sometime ‘Lock up His servants. It’s because God wants to use and rise who can endure pain to a higher level of influence. It has been usually stated for the servant of God that ‘the one God can Bruise, is the one God can Use’.
Up to date, Apostle Joseph Apilado, is more focus on the higher purpose that God is given to him. He looks younger now, which seemed no trace of bitterness from his tragic experiences from the abusive Qatari authorities.
Apostle Joseph too is occupied with the ministry speaking engagements, developing now a sports and wellness centre, mentoring leaders, and helping the other brethren who were imprisoned in Qatar to get he justice they deserve in God’s way…
As I recalled in one of his testimonies, Apostle Joseph testified that, “When God allows His people to be imprisoned by a situation, He always has a purpose. Generally, his purpose is to refine and prepare the servants of God for a new phase of life and ministry.” And truly,Apostle Joseph never loses hope and still fighting for the JUSTICE! He knows that God has a course of action in place. He believe that rightfulness or fair dealing with discrimination like what had happen to them; where a process and time of testing and trusting God more, is the ‘key’ for COMPLETE FREEDOM.Yes, he was ‘chosen’, but chained for a while. he was ‘called’, but confined for a moment, these reasons are enough to embrace tremendous calling of God in his life, one that Satan is terrified of-to spread more revelations about salvation and expose the work of the devil; to stop the injustice and oppression!
“The case of the other remaining pastors who were illegally detained in Qatar must be exposed now. Let not the INJUSTICE strikes anywhere! Let’s roar a thunder campaign out of it!”Apilado added.
Truthfully,TLH family is still holding on to the promise and the word of God that “When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.”-(Prov. 21:15) . As it was quoted in the books of Revelation 2:10 “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution… Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”-through these words of God, it will certainly accomplish the liberty! .
Joseph Apilado has a tremendous calling of God on his life. God has placed a gift inside of Him, and as he grows and becomes stronger, he is more suitable to use those tools in full operation.
***Calling all Filipinos out there! Spread now the callousness of Qatar authorities!