Pastor Richard Wurmbrand and his wife, Sabina, were in prison in Romania because of their Christian activities. The prisons were miserable, dark places. Guards fed them poorly and treated them harshly.
Read below a story Sabina told about her time in prison.
During the night in our dark, cold prison cell in Romania, we dreamed we were at home, and it was so sweet and good. However, early in the morning, we realized at once that we were not at home but in prison. When the non-Christians opened their eyes and realized where they were, they started cursing and swearing. The swearing and cursing at the beginning of the day was more than all the tortures, beatings, and hunger. It was like in hell.
A dark and dirty prison
When the curses began, we Christians came together to pray, Among us was a young Christian girl who was richer than all the women because she had gathered God’s Word in her heart. This young Christian girl said, “We have a program for all the Christians wherever they are — Psalm 107.” Do you know how it starts? ‘Oh, give thanks to the Lord for His mercy endures forever.’
Give thanks to the Lord. He has brought you here. His mercy endures even for your problems. So there in the prison cell, we decided early in the morning when we opened our eyes and as we were preparing to go to work that to whomever we saw, this would be our greeting: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever.” I could not describe in words the difference this new greeting made in our prison cell.
Sometimes during the night, a prisoner would come to one of the Christians and say, “Please teach me your greeting.” They were ashamed to come during the day. Thieves and robbers learned to repeat these words, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever.” The hell was changed completely by the Word of God.
The Lord Jesus came on earth to save you, to buy you. You are His, and He is yours. Remember this, and give thanks to the Lord for His goodness remains forever.
(Source: The May 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited and condensed for length and clarity.)
To Talk About
*What does it mean that the Christian girl “gathered God’s Word in her heart”? How did she help the prisoners?
*Can you think of another encouraging verse from the Bible?
*When would be some good times for you to recite an encouraging verse?