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Thankful in Prison, Part 2

Hassan (second from left) in prison

Pastor Hassan was arrested in 2015 for his Christian work in Sudan. You can read his story here.

Recently, Todd Nettleton of vomradio.net interviewed Pastor Hassan about his time in prison. Most prisoners would have nothing good to say about prison. And the pastor did say it was very hard to be away from his family for so long.

But Pastor Hassan says he is thankful to God for many things that happened to him! In fact, he said, “I considered this as one of the best times in my life…. I truly prayed and came closer to God and experienced the presence of the Lord in a different way.”

Read below some of the prison blessings the pastor remembers.

*He and other Christians in prison encouraged one another.

*Visitors brought joy to his day.

*The government of Sudan had claimed that there were no Christians in their country. Visitors who sang Christian songs outside the courthouse proved the government wrong.

*Pastor Hassan and a Christian prisoner in another cell called memorized Bible verses back and forth to each other.

*After a time, Pastor Hassan was able to get a Bible in the prison.

*Pastor Hassan shared truths from his Bible with other prisoners. He was joyful that God opened a door for him to do prison ministry — from the inside! “There is hunger in the prison,” he said. “The people really want Christ.”

*Pastor Hassan was thankful for the stories in the Bible about God rescuing people from prison. (See Acts 12, Acts 5:17-20, Acts 16:25-28, and Daniel 3.)

Even in prison, Pastor Hassan experienced at least seven blessings. This Thanksgiving, can you name seven blessings for which you are thankful?

(Sources include: vomradio.net and prisoneralert.com.)


Thankful in Prison

Children in Myanmar

Pastor John Cao did not spend Thanksgiving last year with his wife and two sons in North Carolina. Instead, he spent the holiday in a Chinese prison.

“John committed the crime of doing good,” said a Christian friend of the pastor. Pastor John helped build 16 schools in Myanmar (Burma). The schools provide an education for 2,000 children in poverty. The students study the Bible in their classes, and many have come to Christ.

Pastor John’s wife and sons are American citizens, but he was born in China. He has kept his Chinese citizenship to make it easier for him to minister in Asia. In recent times, the Chinese government has increased control over Christian activities. Christians believe Pastor John may have been imprisoned because of stricter government rules.

Pastor John has been sentenced to seven years in prison. He is allowed to write only one letter a month. He misses his wife, children, mother, and siblings. He has several physical ailments.

But this is what Pastor John said in a letter to a family member: “Rejoice with me because I count this as kind of a privilege to suffer with my Lord. I am serious. I am not joking. This is a privilege.”

Pastor Cao hopes to be back at home with his family soon. But like the apostles in Acts 5, Pastor John is thankful for the opportunity to endure hard times for the name of Jesus.

This Thanksgiving, remember Christians who are in prison (Hebrew 13:3), and thank God for their faithful example to us and to those in prison with them.

(Sources include: vomradio.net and prisoneralert.com.)


Smiles and Sunshine

“If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.”

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand endured suffering and sadness in his life. He spent 14 years in Romanian prisons for his faith, where he witnessed and experienced cruel and harsh treatment. But Pastor Wurmbrand trusted God and looked for ways to share God’s love with others. He told the following story in a devotional book he wrote.

At a party at my house, some Christians were talking about their friends. They considered some of their friends to be “good believers.” They called other friends “weak.” And they said some of their friends were “unbelievers.”

An old missionary from India said to them: “Don’t put people in categories. Our judgments might be wrong. Instead, whenever we speak, let us better spread the love of Christ.

“When we spread the love of Christ:
It will gladden the strong believer.
It will strengthen the weak believer.
And it will bring the unbeliever to Jesus.

“So we will have done something good.”

Pastor Wurmbrand explained, “Spread sunshine among others instead of judging how much sunshine they have in their lives.”

(Source: Reaching Toward the Heights, by Richard Wurmbrand, edited for length, clarity, and age appropriateness.)


Christian Kids Forced to Leave Town

Christian students

Village leaders and police are persecuting three Christian families at a village in Southeast Asia.

*Enemies poisoned the Christians’ cows, pigs, and goats, and pulled their orange trees out of the ground. The Voice of the Martyrs helps the families, but can’t provide them with new animals or trees, because villagers would steal or kill them.

*At school, other students mocked and bullied the Christian children. Sometimes they stole their bicycles or cut their tires. Then the children had to walk home — a four- to five-hour walk.

*Teachers refused to give the Christian children grades.

*When the government sent pens, notebooks, and backpacks to help schoolchildren, no one gave the gifts to the Christian children. The teacher said, “You believe in Jesus, so let Jesus help you.”

The families do not have enough money to move to another village and buy new houses. In any case, no one in nearby villages wants to sell land or houses to Christians.

So, about two years ago, the families decided to send their children to another area to go to school. They live with an uncle of one of the children. The Voice of the Martyrs provides them with some food, school supplies, and fees. The photo above shows the children today.

After reading the story above, can you suggest five things Christians can pray on behalf of the children and their families?


Torchlighters Documentaries

Amy Carmichael documentary

Parents and Teachers
Would you like to study the heroes featured in the Torchlighters DVDs in more depth? Torchlighters documentaries, available online, help viewers take the lessons learned in Torchlighters’ animated children’s DVDs to the next level.

Learn more here.

(Please preview the documentaries before sharing them with children.)