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Arise

When he was arrested on false charges, our church-planter friend did not know that the head jailer was a Christian. As with all new prisoners, he was searched, and it was discovered that he had a copy of the Gospel of John. As the searchers were about to take it away, the Christian jailer intervened. “No, this man is a priest,” he said, “and this is his Holy Book.” Our friend was allowed to keep the Gospel. It was only one of many miracles that took place during his incarceration.

In the barracks, several prisoners came to him and said, “We see a light all around your face.” One Hindu prisoner shared that he had killed many people and that his life was very dark. “But your life is light,” the prisoner said. “How can that be?”

Our friend answered, “It is Jesus. Both of our lives are dark without his love and forgiveness.” In this way, he shared the Gospel with many of the inmates, but as the days went by he struggled with feeling abandoned by God. On the fifth day, he awoke at 3:00 AM hearing the words, “Arise, let us go from here.” When got up later and opened the Gospel, the first thing he saw was John 14:31 – “Arise, let us go from here”, the exact words he had heard! As he prayed, he strongly felt that God was telling him that today he would leave the prison. Boldly he began to tell everyone, but the prisoner who had first spoken to him said, “You should not say this, because if it doesn’t happen you will become depressed.”

But our friend insisted, “If I do not say this, I will dishonor my Lord.” 
Nothing happened until fifteen minutes before the barracks closed for the day, when someone suddenly came running to tell our friend that his bail had been posted. He was free to go. As he was leaving he reflected on the words that God had spoken to him, “let us go”, and felt deeply convicted by the realization that he had never been alone. God had been with him in the prison the entire
time.

Since this experience, our friend has been asking God how he can go back to minister to the prisoners. He wants to be with them, as God was with him, bringing light and hope to a dark place.

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