Courage To Obey the Call

by Aleena from Pakistan August 9, 2023
“Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’” Luke 9:61-62 (NIV)

Editor’s note: Preaching the gospel in Pakistan is a dangerous calling. The country is a fortress for Islam, and Christians comprise less than 2% of the population. The country’s stringent blasphemy laws make it extremely risky to share the gospel. Despite the danger, Aleena, our sister in Christ, obeyed the call to preach the gospel and was kidnapped by extremists. Her story is one of courage and surrender to Jesus. Let it inspire you today.

You may call me Aleena, though that’s not my real name. I live in Pakistan, and for the most part, my country is very hospitable. But for Pakistani Christians, it’s not always that simple. Christians are seen as unclean by the majority of people.

This is why I must disguise everything — my face, even my name — because if anyone found out who I really was and what I do, I might be killed.

I grew up in a Christian home, which isn’t very common in my country, but I kept my faith to myself. I heard horrible rumors of what could happen to a believer if they told someone about Jesus.

So, early in my life, when God began to call me into ministry, I totally resisted.

But God can soften even the hardest heart. Over time, He made my heart more tender and open to His call. When I finally decided to give up my life and serve Him, I did so with total abandon. There would be no turning back, as the Scripture says in Luke 9:61-62:

“Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’”

Then one July 10, in the hot season of Pakistan, my commitment was put to the test.

A group of us, one other woman and five men, traveled to an unreached community in the northern part of the country. We preached the gospel to those who had never heard the name of Jesus!

But our taxi driver overheard us speaking about Jesus and quickly told the village authorities. Soon, our car was surrounded by an angry mob who wanted to burn us. We were trapped.

Men in army uniforms dispersed the crowd. We thought just maybe they were there to save us. But when the crowd finally left, the men abducted us and, for the next 48 hours, routed us from city to city.

Taking us to an abandoned home, they locked us in a hot, windowless basement. Over the next two months, we were physically and mentally tortured for spreading the gospel. They continually asked us to deny Jesus and accept Islam. When we refused, they were violent.

After two months, the guards released me … but they kept my phone, laptop and ID numbers, which means I’m still at risk of capture.

My traumatic experience led me into a deep depression. It took a long time to recover my courage, but Jesus slowly began to restore and mend my heart.

Now, nothing can stop me from the mission He’s called me to. Because of His mercy, I’m sharing the love of Christ again — this time much more carefully, doing everything with the utmost secrecy. I travel quietly and meet with women … some of whom are wives of the Taliban.

Because I have promised to serve God, I will never give up. If one day I die spreading the gospel, I consider it an honor to die for the name of Jesus.

Dear Lord, it’s only by Your power and strength that I can have courage. You walk before me, knowing what will happen long before I do, and You are with me until the very end. Give me the boldness to speak Your name without hesitation. Thank You for preserving Aleena in her time of trial and putting a “yes” in her spirit. Bless the work of her hands as she ministers to women who are hungry to know You, and keep her safe. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Persecuted Christians like Aleena ask you to pray with them to stand strong in their suffering. Will you commit to pray with them through Global Christian Relief? Download the Global Christian Relief Prayer App to receive real-time notifications and prayer requests straight from persecuted believers. You can also download GCR’s 52-week Prayer Guide and pray with believers like Aleena who live in some of the most dangerous countries for Christians.



Five years after her abduction, Aleena is still vulnerable. After her release, her picture was published in the local paper, and she was labeled a terrorist. She knows she’s under constant surveillance but continues to obey God by ministering to Muslim women through a sewing business. Please pray for her safety as she travels covertly for ministry. She has dreams of providing medical care in impoverished areas and rescuing young girls from sex trafficking. Please pray with us that she receives everything she needs to fulfill the Great Commission in Pakistan.

Global Christian Relief is publishing this devotion on Aleena’s behalf. Learn more from Aleena and other persecuted Christians at


2 Timothy 1:7-8, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God” (NIV).

In what areas of your life have you said “no” to God? What are some steps you can take to instead obey Jesus in the ways you fear the most?

Is there an unsaved person in your life whom you’re scared to share the gospel with? Make a list of those in your sphere who don’t yet know the Lord. Pray for them, and ask God to provide an opportunity for you to share Christ.

Join us in the comments today!

© 2023 by Aleena from Pakistan. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Global Christian Relief for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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