Bern, Switzerland. [CD-EUDNews]. Pastor António Monteiro and Bruno Amah have been in prison for more than a year now, accused of a crime they didn’t commit.
Church officials have continued to work both publically and behind the scenes to get their employee out of prison. The Seventh-day Adventist world church has held international prayer vigils for Monteiro and Amah, sponsored letter-writing campaigns to government officials and diplomats, and led a signature drive for a petition calling for their release. But Monteiro and Amah still remain in prison.
Some weeks ago they got a visit from Michel Dufournet, Director of Education in the Adventist Swiss Conference, he also was in charge of sending donations to our two brother's families.
Michel Dufournet spent over an hour in the prison of Lome, Togo. He got to meet Bruno Amah, Pastor Monteiro and many others. In fact 2,000 prisoners crammed into a courtyard barely larger than a football field.
“To give you an idea,” said Dufournet, “try to imagine an open area with a group of 30-40 members huddled and praying in the middle of an African market surrounded by the usual prison activities: theft, trafficking, corruption and armed guards. To give you all the details, it would take a book.”
Bruno Amah was very surprised to see Michel Dufournet, he fell into his arms and was so deeply moved that he could not speak for a long time. He was very surprised to receive messages and encouragement from brothers and sisters in Annecy, Chambéry (France) and Switzerland. “He greets you and embraces you in Christ”.
“He's doing fine and looks healthy, so is Pastor Monteiro,” said Dufournet. “Their wives make sure that they get something to eat every day.”
Dufournet met Elise, Amah's wife. She is adorable with her three boys aged 7, 5 and 3. She looked fine, but is suffering a lot from her circumstances. Her biggest desire is for the release of her husband and dreams of settling in a country where they could live in peace.
The children however, miss their father, especially the eldest.
Elise is being helped and supported by many people. Bruno's sister (a notary in Lomé) seems to be the main support for legal resources. Christian brothers and sisters continue giving their support. The Togolese are very poor but solidarity is very strong.
Elise's desire is to go back to school. “I handed her 150,000 CFA (about 250 euros, 10 months' salary for a manual laborer or one month's salary for an executive). She was surprised and relieved,” affirmed Dufournet.
“Obviously, the Lord is watching over her and her children. She is surprised to see how God works through strangers like you and me. Apparently, it was our turn to give support,” concluded Dufournet.
Following there are two letters from Amah and pastor Monteiro sent mainly to the members of Dufournet’s communities.
"Hello brothers and sisters, it is with great emotion that I write you to express my deepest gratitude. Thank you for your prayers and support. I am convinced that the Lord is hearing our prayers. Let's continue to be confident because God's omnipotence and love knows there is a better time and place for things to work out for me. I am well and am keeping in good courage, by the grace of God. Brother Michel Dufournet can testify to that. As soon as I saw him, I felt close to you all. Every day I take courage with the following two passages: Psalm 37:1-7 and Job 42:2. May the peace and grace of God be with you.
Thank you again for everything.”
“Dear brother in Christ, it is with great emotion that I have read and reread your message yesterday morning (sent from Dufournet’s communities). Thank you for your loyalty, compassion and solidarity. My family and I are well. I thank you for your prayers. The current situation hasn't changed, but all I know is that God is powerful and He's at work. Thank you again for your prayers, but please continue because I do feel the effects, your prayers are not ignored, God is listening. Thank you for your support. Please thank all the brothers and sisters for me.
Life behind bars is very different - bitter, difficult... but Jesus has softened things for us so I always stay close to Him in prayer. In Christ we are more than conquerors. That's right, a year, 6 months and 21 days!
Mr Michel, you are allowed to give out my contact information: e-mail and mobile phone. Messages and calls encourage us so much, they soothe our pain. Messages can be in Portuguese, Spanish, English or Italian.”
Pastor Antonio Monteiro dos Anjos
firstname.lastname@example.org (please write plain text)
mobile phone: +228 91 03 28 91
or +228 99 87 62 38