Canadian Christian Goes On The Road To Tell The World About
Lebanese Injustice And The Goodness Of God
Jeremy Reynalds, 04/18/04
Bruce Balfour, the Canadian Christian who was acquitted of charges of spying for Israel by a Lebanese military tribunal in Beirut, has a vision to tell the world about the freedom available in Jesus Christ and the injustices being suffered by Lebanese prisoners.
Balfour knows first-hand what Lebanese prisoners face, having spent 55 days as a "guest" of the Lebanese penal system in mid-2003. After Balfour was released in Sept. 2003 he spent the next few months writing a book which he entitled "Rivers of Blessing: The Heart and Path of a Simple Servant," which in addition to telling the story of his captivity documents his exciting life.
Describing Balfour's life the book cover reads, "From wilderness wanderings in Western Canada to war, kidnappings, terrorism, and imprisonment by a wickedly evil regime in the land of the Bible! Living on miracles daily to survive, this simple servant believed God could accomplish whatever He asked him to do. But what would He ask?"
Having completed the book, Balfour is now on the next leg of his life's journey a world speaking tour which he is beginning in Alb., N.M.
Balfour's Prison Experience
Balfour attracted worldwide attention when he was arrested at Beirut Airport on July 10 2003. At that time, he was the Field Director of Cedars of Lebanon, an interfaith humanitarian project that was planning to help replenish the Cedars of Lebanon in the mountains of northern Lebanon.
Prior to Balfour's July 2003 trip to Lebanon he had made numerous trips to the area and had attracted the attention of the authorities there.
According to Balfour, "During March 2003, the Syrian secret service began to bring in many of my friends for questioning, in an attempt to gather evidence against me. Unknown to me, the Syrian established prosecutor general signed an arrest warrant against me on April 2 2003, following my conviction in abstencia by the military court for spying for Israel.' When I returned to Lebanon on the evening of July 10 2003, I was arrested at the Beirut airport. I was detained in prison for two months, my captors breaking many international laws, mainly by not informing the Canadian government."
According to Balfour, Lebanese authorities did not intend to release him, never informing the Canadian government of his incarceration. "After 12 days of hell, I was able to get two messages out privately, one through a humanitarian organization, to inform the world of my capture."
Balfour was finally convicted for charges that included "teaching the Bible boldly," and given one year in prison. The prison sentence was subsequently reduced to time served. Balfour said he considers the conviction and sentence a great honor.
While Balfour was in prison, his plight attracted prolific worldwide media attention. "There were many friends and family speaking out for me, along with a visitation in prison by some of Canada's top cabinet ministers and tens of millions praying for me from around the world. (After that) the breakthrough came," he said.
While incarcerated, Balfour said he had the "unbelievable" opportunity to teach the Bible during four military court sessions with generals, colonels, majors, captains and a variety of other individuals. As a result, Balfour said, "Our Creator was greatly magnified and He received all the glory."
Why was Balfour Imprisoned?
But what were the circumstances that led to Balfour's imprisonment? Prior to Balfour's 2003 incarceration, he said he had been kidnapped, arrested and interrogated on numerous occasions by a variety of militias, armies and terrorist groups from the Israeli border to Beirut.
Balfour added, "During the spring and summer of 2002, while trying to establish a location for planting a forest of the Biblical Cedars of Lebanon on the original slopes in south Lebanon where they were cut for Solomon and David's house; as well as the Temple of Jerusalem, I had confrontations with the Hezbollah, who control the area. Those confrontations were the beginning of a campaign to make me disappear (and would culminate in my July 2003 arrest)."
Balfour on What Lies Ahead for the World and Him
Balfour said he is not optimistic about the world's worsening terrorist situation, believing it will "only get worse in the weeks and months ahead. We need to know what the enemy believes and thinks." There is no easy solution outside the (Jesus') return. Islam is out for world control."
Balfour is available for speaking engagements and may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can receive messages at (505) 400-7145.
For additional information about Balfour's current, ministry, go to www.freedom_ministries.org