In one of Open Doors' martyrdom stories, a family is forced to learn to live with the unbearable horror of losing their father, husband, sister, and daughter, all in one go.
Pastor Mocsin Hasim, 47, was no stranger to death threats. Mocsin courageously reached out to Muslim tribes in the surrounding area of Zamboanga del Norte in the southern Philippines where he, his wife, and four children were ministering, presenting the "JESUS" film everywhere they went.
On June 3, 2006, he got a text message that said, "Pastor, you will die today."
Nonetheless, the pastor shrugged it off and headed to the wedding with his daughter Mercilyn, who was 22 at the time and who often joined him on missionary trips.
His other daughter, Emilyn, was home with her mother and three brothers. They were waiting for her father and sister. Instead, a local church member came by and briefly told them about the tragedy.
The Islamic fanatics ended both Mocsin and Mercilyn's lives by shooting them on their way home. Mocsin reportedly had 19 gunshot wounds, and Mercilyn, five. There were no eyewitnesses to the crime.
Recalling the event, Emilyn said that her mother fainted.
"Then the bodies of my sister and father were brought to our house. She went to them, hugged them, and then fainted again. There were bullet holes in their bodies, " she said.
They were almost unrecognizable, she added.
Instead of bringing the family together, the pastor's sudden death drove his loved ones off in separate ways.
According to Open Doors, this is frequently the case when a parent dies because of his or her faith.
After his father and sister passed away, Junjun went on a rampage. Before, he aspired to be a preacher like his father, but he abandoned that ambition. He committed all the crimes that might be done, and later found himself in jail.
Although Junex, still a toddler when the killings took place, could not recall the incident, his mother informed him about it the day he turned 13. He was devastated and furious, since he had been fatherless for his whole life. He had previously shown a strong desire to get revenge on those who had killed his father.
Evelyn, the wife of the murdered pastor, remarried to a Muslim guy. After forgetting about their missions and neglecting her work for God, she seemed to have given up on believing in Him.
Emilyn, on the other hand, strives to cling to the happy memories and recall the lessons her father had taught her.
"I want to remember his advice: That we should always serve God. He reminded us all the time,'" she recalls, quoting a passage he often quoted: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Josh. 24:15).
"He told us we should continue to serve God, even without him," she said.
Although the grief of losing her father and sister is hard to bear, she cannot stop thinking about them.
"It still hurts that they died at the same time," she confessed. "I miss our bonding. We were very happy before. I miss those times when we would go to church together as a family. It was then, during church services, that we were complete. Our family would lead the praise and worship, then my father would preach. Sometimes we joined him in his ministries to Muslim areas to share the gospel. I miss that."
Even so, Emilyn overcame her anger and was able to forgive the murderers of her father and sister. One of the suspects died shortly after. She admitted to feeling relieved after receiving the news, although she knew it was wrong. She regarded it as God answering her plea for her father and sister's benefit.
Healing and restoration
But God was merciful, and through a series of circumstances, he restored Mocsin's wandering children.
When Junjun and Junex, the two sons of Mocsin, were going through a very difficult time, a ministry was able to help them deal with their demons and assist them in finding acceptance in their lives.
Open Doors, as part of its social programs, provides a safe refuge for children who have experienced various traumas, such as abuse, neglect, or being orphaned. One such program is named "Timothy's Crib," and it offers resources to the most at-risk kids.
In order to provide spiritual mentorship to young people, the founder and his wife adopted children and allowed them to remain in their home. Evelyn contacted them for help.
Despite the lengthy and complicated process, Junjun and Junex's faith in God was restored.
In hearing Junjun's desire to become a pastor, Junjun's mother's faith was renewed. She was an inspiration to her son until her death in 2021.
Emilyn, now 34, married a devout Muslim man, but that hasn't stopped her from telling her children about Jesus and testifying to her husband on a daily basis. She genuinely hopes that he, too, will come to know Christ one day. She also goes to a Christian church, where she teaches Sunday school and preaches to children in her community. Her oldest daughter leads worship at her church.
This year, Junjun will graduate as a pastor. He attributes his success to his brother's encouragement to visit Timothy's Crib.