Sunday, May 13, 2012

Finding courage in prison

Mainland China, during the Red Guard Era (1966-69)

Over and over, a mother spoke soothing words to her five-year-old child as they sat in their dark, damp cell. The woman was in jail because she had protested against the arrest of her bishop; her child was in jail because the little girl had nowhere else to go.

All the prisoners were indignant at seeing the child suffer so. Even the prison director said to the mother, “Don’t you have pity on your daughter? Just declare that you give up being a Christian and will not go to church anymore. Then you and the child will be free.”

In despair the woman agreed, and she was released. After two weeks, she was forced to shout from a stage before 10,000 people, “I am no longer a Christian.” On their return home, the child, who had stood near her when she denied her faith, said, “Mummy, today Jesus is not satisfied with you.”

The mother explained, “You wept in prison. I had to say this out of love for you.”

Siao-Mei replied, “I promise that if we go to jail again for Jesus, I will not weep.”

The mother ran to the prison director and told him, “You convince me I should say wrong things for my daughter’s sake, but she has more courage than I.”

Both went back to prison. But Siao-Mei no longer wept.

Today, on Mother’s Day, please also remember the mothers who face persecution around the world. Pray that God will protect the children who are left without their mothers' care, and that these mothers will have the joy of knowing that the Lord is caring for them in their absence (Psalm 68:5). Pray too that God will enable Christian parents to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to Christ so that their children will be encouraged walk closely with the Lord as they grow up (Deuteronomy 11:18-20, 2 Timothy 1:5).

Christian women living in nations hostile to Christ face unique challenges. Some are forced into hard labour, others are subordinated and sexually abused. To serve and encourage our sisters in Christ, VOM’s women’s ministry, Release Women, aims to connect women in Canada with women suffering for Christ’s sake. Find out more by visiting our Release Women website or by “liking” us on Facebook.

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