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TOUGH FAITH

One church leader's experience of living by faith when deprived of virtually everything but life itself.

Adapted from Hostage Bound, Hostage Free with Dennis Benson, (c) 1987 Ben and Carol Weir. Used by permission of the Westminster/John Knox Press.

For Ben Weir, a Presbyterian missionary who had lived in Lebanon for thirty-one years, life changed dramatically on May 8, 1984, when he was taken hostage at gunpoint by Shiite Muslims in Beirut. For the next sixteen months, he faced loneliness, imprisonment, and the constant threat of execution.

In this excerpt adapted from his book Hostage Bound, Hostage Free, Weir tells of his experiences and the spiritual resources on which he drew for sustenance in the ordeal. His testimony points to the unchanging Source of strength for every pastor facing a crisis.

Before we left the apartment that morning, I gave Carol our residence permits. Since it was always possible for them to be stolen or lost, I asked Carol to have them photocopied at the seminary where we both taught. At the door I paused briefly, considering the possible dangers of going out into ...

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