Church prays for minister as he preaches to fellow prisioners in St. Martin
Emmanuel Charles, minister for the Marigot Church of Christ, a French-speaking congregation of about 130 members, was arrested and imprisoned in December, said his wife, Desgrace.
Bren White, an elderof the Frederick, Md., church, said that Charles was chargedwith “immigration trafficking” or a related charge, adding that he was unclearon the nature of the crime Charles is accused of committing.
“His family wasinitially told little about the charges and where he was being taken, so theywere quite shocked and afraid,” said White, who oversees Operation FrenchWorld, a ministry that coordinates mission teams for French-speaking countries.
Charles has becomeincreasingly well-known in the French-administered part of St. Martin because he hosts a local radio program, which “was reallystarting to have an impact on the island,” White said.
White and Charles’wife said they suspect the minister was “set up” by someone who disagreed withhis broadcasts.
French authoritiesarrested Charles and took him to a detention facility on Baie Malhaut on the island of La Desiradeisland, a part of Guadeloupe. As of Jan. 10 hestill was awaiting trial.
“Where he is, he ispreaching the words of God,” Charles’ daughter, Esther, wrote in a message tochurch members in the U.S.who support the minister’s work.
Bud Morrill, asupporter in New Hampshire,and White are coordinating communications and asking churches to pray forCharles’ family.
At Charles’sponsoring congregation, the Eastwood church, Paris, Tenn.,Claytus Wilson is helping to coordinate special contributions to help thefamily with legal fees and other concerns.
Desgrace Charles saidher husband “knows that the brothers and sisters are praying for himeverywhere.”
Members of theMarigot church are praying constantly for their minister, White said. MarlonLawrie, minister for the Phillipsburg church,and Charlie Brown of the Cole Bay church on St. Martinhave offered their support.
White asked church membersto pray “that Emmanuel may be released soon and sent back to his family — andthe excellent work the Lord has him doing in St. Martin.”