Guest / Limited Access /

American missionary Cash Stephen Godbold was finally released by a rebel group on July 24 after nine months of captivity in northern Chad.

A missionary for the Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM), Godbold was delivering wellheads for a U.S. Department of Defense–funded project on October 10, 2007, when he was detained at a roadblock

by a rebel group, the Movement for Democracy and Justice in T'Chad (MDJT).

The MDJT said that they took Godbold because he had entered their territory without permission, said fellow TEAM missionary Keith Rasher. The rebels believed he was a spy for the Chadian government.

TEAM says Godbold ended up where he did because he had taken an alternative route to avoid land mines. The MDJT told TEAM they were going to release Godbold on 15 different occasions. TEAM sent a plane to pick him up at the end of April; it came back empty.

In spite of the stress, Godbold reports being treated well. He lost 35 pounds, but says he ate regularly, played cards and drank tea with the rebels, and had some freedom of movement.

TEAM says they made no deals with the MDJT to secure Godbold's release. Rasher said Godbold was freed because of the relationship he built with his captors. Other aid workers in Chad have not been so lucky.

News reports say at least five have been killed in Chad in 2008, including the country director of Save the Children UK.

The MDJT is a band of fewer than 40 militants, Godbold said in debriefings. They are one of many small rebel bands that operate in Chad. According to Chadian Christian leader Padeu Dakouli, Chad has five major militant anti-government groups, but they have not yet joined forces.

All the same, they pose a threat to President Idriss Déby's government, widely considered one ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Defending the Faith
Conservatives face huge obstacles in putting Anglicanism back together.
RecommendedThe Real St. Patrick
The Real St. Patrick
A look at the famous saint, and his strategic missions.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickAn Inside Look at China’s Remarkable Religious Resurgence
An Inside Look at China’s Remarkable Religious Resurgence
Journalist Ian Johnson sees faith on the rise where it was once ruthlessly suppressed.
Christianity Today
Dangerous TEAM Work
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.