Saturday, May 12, 2012

Words from our founder: Overcoming solitude

VOM founder Richard Wurmbrand spent
14 years in prison for his faith. 
One of the greatest problems for an underground fighter is to know how to fill up his solitude. We had absolutely no books. Not only no Bible, but no books, no scrap of paper, and no pencil. We never heard a noise, and there was absolutely nothing to distract our attention. We looked at the walls, that was all. Now normally a mind under such circumstances becomes mad.... I can tell you from my own experience how I avoided becoming mad, but this again has to be prepared by a life of spiritual exercise beforehand....

I, and many other prisoners, did it like this. We never slept during the night. We slept during the day. The whole night we were awake... The demonic forces are forces of the night, and therefore, it is so important to oppose them during the night. Vigils are very important. In the free world, vigils are largely unknown. In my country, even before the Communist takeover, we had vigils....

In solitary confinement we awoke when the other prisoners went to bed. We filled our time with a program that was so heavy we could not fulfill it. We started with a prayer, a prayer in which we traveled through the whole world. We prayed for each country, for where we knew the names of towns and men, and we prayed for great preachers. It took a good hour or two to come back. We prayed for pilots, and for those on the sea, and for those who were in prisons.

The Bible tells us about one of the great joys we can have, even in a prison cell: “Rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15). I rejoiced that there were families somewhere who gathered with their children, read the Bible together, told jokes, and were so happy with each other. Somewhere there was a boy who loved a young girl and dated her; I could be happy about them. There they had a prayer meeting; and there was someone who studied; and there is somebody who enjoyed good food, etc. We could rejoice with those who rejoiced.

Excerpted from Richard Wurmbrand’s book, The Triumphant Church. You can order this book from our online catalogue or by contacting our office.

The Voice of the Martyrs was founded in the mid-1960s by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned and tortured by Communist authorities in his native Romania for 14 years. While still in prison, Pastor Wurmbrand envisioned a ministry that would focus on the plight of the persecuted Church, raise a voice on their behalf, and provide encouragement and assistance to them.

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