I greet you in the name of the Living God, the father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. How happy and privileged I am to get this opportunity to write this letter to you. I cannot remember when saw each other last but I can say I have missed you greatly. I have gone through a lot in the hand of these heartless humans. The sad part is I do not know exactly where I am although I am sure it must be in one of the Islamic countries in North Africa.
There were twelve of us who were captured as we went about our mission of spreading the gospel in North Africa. Of the twelve, seven have been killed, some shot dead and some strangled to death. It is only by God’s grace that I alongside the other four colleagues were spared. We might not know our day but we are sure it will finally come. Religious persecution is something that has been with us for several years now. You used to tell me about stories of religious persecution in the early modern Mediterranean during which Jews across Europe and North Africa were subjected to religious persecution. From the several stories, that of one man known as Luis de la Ysla stands out.
I remember you telling me about Ysla’s life as a Jew and his movements across Europe and North Africa. At one point, he was a Christian and converted to a Jew in other instances. I was less concerned with why Ysla had to do so but I have come to understand this given the troubles I have gone through since the last time we saw each other. Mum, how I wish I had followed Ysla’s footsteps and converted from Christianity to Islam immediately I landed in North Africa. Don’t you think I would have had an easy time in my mission in this part of the world? My situation is similar to that of Ysla. His conversion to Christianity at some point in life was majorly for the purpose of daily survival. This is something that I failed to do and I am currently paying a price for this.
Do you remember the story about “The Pact of Umar?” This was a body of privileges and limitations that was entered into by Muslims and Non-Muslims around the seventh century. It is not a surprise that my captivity can be attributed to this pact. One of our mistakes in our mission in North Africa was to ignore the Muslim majority and rules and go ahead to influence Muslims to convert to Christianity. This did not go well with the religious groups prompting our captivity.
However, everything is not finalized yet as we have two options and this is my main reason of writing this letter to you. The first option is to ignore this letter and assume that I will be home safe, which might be unlikely. The second option is to pay a ransom of $5,000. For the first option, I may wait on God’s mercies and grace and hope to get out of here alive. I am still not sure about how things may go. The second option of paying $5,000 as ransom could work best for us in this situation. I will be set free and I might join you once this is done.
As I come to the end of this letter, you should not be disturbed. I know it is not easy on your end without me. However, I want to assure you that I am fine where I am. The Lord we have been serving and praying to all these years will answer our prayers. May he guide you in choosing the best option of the two above.
I miss you and look forward to your response.