Praise Report: Two Young Christian Hostages Freed in Yemen
ICC welcomes the news that two German Christian girls held hostage in Yemen’s northern mountains have been rescued by Saudi security forces.
Lydia and Anna Hentschel, 5 and 3 respectively, are two daughters of a German Christian family that was abducted along with four others in Saada, Yemen nearly a year ago. On June 12, 2009, the bodies of three of those abducted, German Bible students Rita Stumpp, 26, Anita Gruenwald, 24, and South Korean teacher, Eom Young Sun, 33, were found murdered. Yemen attributed the kidnappings and murders to forces linked to Al-Qaida, with the help of Shiite rebels. The nine Christians were working at the Protestant-run Al Jumhuri hospital in Saada, Yemen.
On May 17, Lydia and Anna were found by a Saudi interior ministry special forces operation in the disputed border region between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The girls are reported to be in good health and will return to Germany on Wednesday.
"We are relieved that the Saudi security forces have succeeded in freeing two of our five compatriots kidnapped in Yemen," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
However, the fate of the parents, their infant boy and a British engineer is still unknown. “We have to assume that the boy is no longer alive," said family spokesman Reinhard Poetschke.
In the past 15 years, there have been more than 200 reported abduction cases of foreigners in Yemen. Most were released unharmed after a ransom was negotiated. Yemen is among the strictest Islamic countries in the world and is notorious for government corruption, tribal conflict, and as a breeding ground for terrorism.
ICC thanks you for your prayers for this family throughout the past year.
Please continue to pray:
- For the health and quick rescue of Johannes and Sabine Hentschel, their son Simon, and of the British engineer.
- For the perseverance of the four remaining hostages, and that they will be a living testimony of Jesus Christ to their abductors, and in the face of evil.
- For Lydia and Anna as they recover in a Saudi hospital and return to Germany on Wednesday. Praise the Lord that they were rescued and found in good health!