November 2, 2011
Five years ago today, Judge Rodgers’ gavel came down with the words, “I sentence you to ten years…” I was immediately handcuffed and taken to county jail, as the prosecution alleged that I was a flight risk and posed a danger to society. Today is my five-year “prison anniversary.”
Yet, God has been s-o-o-o-o-o good through this trial. (Duh! Isn’t He always!) Like Moses, we always see God after He passes by. I have read many hundreds of stories of others who suffered so much for their faith that I feel like a wimp when I complain about my situation to the Lord, or anyone for that matter. I read a book from Voice of the Martyrs (www.persecution.com) called “I Will Die Free” about a black youth pastor named Alexander Nobel in Cuba who was arrested when Castro came to power in 1962. Of course, they never give the real reason you are sent to prison. Maybe it’s to justify their actions or salve their conscience, but they always find some evil sounding charges to lay on believers. They did the same with Jesus and in many cases today.
In I Will Die Free, Nobel was snatched off the street by Castro’s thugs and his wife and one-year old had no idea what had happened to him for almost a year! He finally went to “trial” where he was accused of trying to blow up Castro’s private plane in 1963. They asked if he had anything to say. He said, “I’ve been locked up here since 1962. How could I try to blow up his plane in 1963?” The prosecutor came over and slapped him on the mouth and the “trial” continued! He was found guilty and sentenced to twenty years! He served twenty-two! Finally enough Americans began writing and putting political pressure on Castro’s government that he was released. By then his wife had left him (as over 85% do in America today when a man is locked up over a year which is one of the MANY reasons God’s Word never authorizes prison for punishment) and his health was pretty bad. Nobel moved to someplace in America. If anyone can locate him if he is still alive and send me his address I would be most grateful! I would love to tell him that his book has helped sustain me in my time of discouragement.
When I read stories like his or Night or Gulag Archipelago or the monthly Voice of the Martyr’s magazine — I feel ashamed! I have clean, safe living conditions. I saw my family eight months ago. I have plenty of food and warm clothes. I can write letters and stories, receive mail, read a score of books, have Bible study several times a day, have a copy of the Bible, have people all over the world praying for me, win souls without fear of being beaten, and the list of blessings goes on and on.
This holiday season is always hardest on the men in here. Please pray God will use me to influence more of them for His kingdom. I hope and pray this is the LAST “prison anniversary” for me. Please pray they let me out soon!
Keep serving the Lord, wherever!