Stories from the Past: Joy in Jail
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand started The Voice of the Martyrs in 1967. VOM has helped and encouraged persecuted Christians for 50 years. Pastor Wurmbrand told the story below more than 25 years ago.
One afternoon, I heard a young girl in a prison cell near mine crying. “I don’t like it here!” she said as she cried.
The girl, Joy, was about 5 years old. She and her mother, Mrs. Lee, had just arrived at the jail. Mrs. Lee had spoken out against the government for arresting her pastor. She was rewarded for her loyalty with a prison sentence.
“Don’t cry, Dear,” I heard Mrs. Lee tell the girl. “Jesus will take care of us.” But Joy continued to weep.
“What’s going on?” I heard another prisoner say. “What is such a young kid doing here? What have you done?” she demanded of Mrs. Lee.
Mrs. Lee quietly explained her situation. Other prisoners in nearby cells scolded her. “I think you’re a bad mother!” one said. Even the prison director came to the cell and tried to get Mrs. Lee to deny her faith and speak out against her pastor. “Give up!” he told her. “Then you and your child can go free!”
Mrs. Lee sounded miserable. But finally she agreed to stand in front of a crowd gathered outside the police station and say, “I am no longer a Christian.”
Later other prisoners told me what happened after Mrs. Lee and Joy went home. “Jesus is not happy with you,” Joy had said to her mother when they were safe in their house.
“Joy, you cried in jail. I had to say I was no longer a Christian because I love you,” her mother had answered.
“But I don’t want Jesus to be sad,” Joy said to her mother. “If we go back to jail, I will not cry.”
Mrs. Lee hurried to the prison director. She told him, “You talked me into saying wrong things so my daughter could be free. But she is braver than I am! She is a Christian, and so am I. Do what you want to with us. We are ready.”
Mrs. Lee and Joy came back to the prison. But Joy no longer cried.
(Based on a story told by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs.)
How VOM Helped in the Past: Help for Families of Prisoners
The Voice of the Martyrs helped provide for Chinese Christians whose family members were in jail, and still provides for prisoners’ families today.
*Pray for Chinese Christians whose pastors are in jail.
*Some Chinese people seek riches. Pray that they will put God first.
*Many Chinese people follow no religion. Pray that they will know Christ.
*Some Chinese Christian children are insulted at school. Pray for them.
*Pray that Chinese Christians will not be afraid to share the gospel.