Imprisoned to Set Others Free


Vietnam

In his home in central Vietnam, Nam Loc shared the Gospel one-on-one to every villager. His witness won thousands of people to Christ. It also earned the wrath of his detractors, who conspired with police authorities in filing trumped-up charges against him. First he was accused of stealing idols from converts' homes. He was arrested, chained, and dragged away from his home to a tiny prison cell that he shared with two other prisoners.

There he immediately witnessed to his prisonmates. His first day in prison was not one of despair, because as he shared, one weary soul, battered by life's difficulties, found rest and peace with God.

One day the authorities came with a tempting proposition-freedom. But he rejected it. Why? His freedom could only be gained on one condition-he must become a spy for the government and identify who his fellow believers were. But Nam would have rather remained a captive in prison than betray his fellow brothers and sisters in the faith.

His stubborn defiance was rewarded with a heavier charge-a political one that effectively prolonged his prison term to seven to nine years. He was accused, again spuriously, of burning a portrait of Ho Chi Minh-the founder of the Communist movement in Vietnam. Solitary confinement came next. For five months he neither saw nor talked to anyone. Completely detached from everything, he passed the days singing praises to God. One after another, he sang hymns he knew from memory. Prison officials got so enraged that they violently beat him every time he sang.

He was beaten. Yes. But only physically. For even as his body suffered, his determination remained strong. He kept sharing Jesus with other prisoners.

But how did he do this? Through his chamber ran a water pipe that was connected to other prison cells. An idea came to his mind. He bore a hole in it from which he spoke to his fellow prisoners about Jesus Christ. Many heard his message, and they believed in Jesus!

Nam did not serve his entire prison sentence. After nine months he was released from prison through the petition of a Communist general!

And he is doing it again, telling people about the wonderful love of Jesus, his Savior. Another prison term? Maybe. When that happens, Nam can resume his interrupted water-pipe evangelism.

Open Doors, Brother Andrew with John & Elizabeth Sherrill, The Narrow Road, Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2001, p. 99.

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