When I was arrested for religious activity and denied the work for which I consecrated my life, I lost heart. I was put in a cell with approximately one hundred other people after my first interrogation. Suddenly I understood why I was in prison. Before going to bed I prayed, "Lord, it used to be so difficult for me to gather people together in order to preach your Gospel. But now I have no need to gather them. They are already here. Make me a blessing to them..."
The Lord heard my prayer. Prisoners were coming and going through this cell. In a short time forty people believed in Christ. I taught them to sing hymns and pray. Guards often banged on the door and ordered us to be silent. The authorities finally found out what was happening and transferred me to the cell for hardened criminals. Precisely at that time, I received from my family a parcel containing bread, sugar, and clothing. When I entered the new cell, the criminals' eyes searched me. I took a few steps, set my bag on the floor, and looked around at them.
"Men, today I received a parcel. Maybe there are some needy among you. Divide it..."
A tall, sullen fellow, probably their leader, approached me, silently took my parcel, and divided it equally among all of us. "Here, this is your part," he said, giving me a portion and returning my empty bag.
As a newcomer, I had to take the worst place in the cell, but the leader said, "For good people we have a good place. Now tell us why they transferred you to this cell."
"Well, in Cell 44 I taught people how to pray to God. The authorities did not like it, so they threw me in here."
The leader smiled for the first time. "Very good! Now you will teach us."
Bold Lines is a weekly feature at JOURNEY, where I share quotes from some of my Gospel heroes, as well as other lines that catch my attention.