January 27, 2011

If Prison Walls Could Speak

Acts 16:16-34

The jailer … fell trembling before Paul and Silas… “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Acts 16:29-30


I once had the privilege of welcoming the late Richard Wurmbrand into my home. This Romanian man had experienced long periods of imprisonment and unimaginable torture for his faith. As he shuffled through the door of my home, his feet still unable to wear shoes because of beatings he suffered, I felt like I was welcoming an apostle. Wurmbrand was known as “the voice of the underground church.”

What amazed me most were the stories of how this man loved his own captors. How he befriended communist soldiers and showed kindness to the very people who caused him so much hardship. He loved them enough to show them the Way back home.

Wurmbrand looked at me intently and said, “I see you have a heart for the lost. Just remember, it happens one at a time. You make a follower of Christ by showing someone how to make others followers of Christ. Be this kind of example.”

To reach the lost where they are means simply coming down to a very personable, vulnerable encounter. We best communicate Christ’s contagious life and his passion for reaching God’s lost children by getting close.

Paul and Silas understood this. So did Wurmbrand. Do you?

Lord, in our bonds and in our freedoms, in times of pain and times of bliss, in our powerlessness and in our strength, make us channels of your peace. Amen.

About the author — Norm Prenger

Rev. Norm Prenger is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary. He pastored churches in Alberta and British Columbia before he was disabled by a heart attack and a post-operative stroke. He now lives with his wife, Gwen, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. He enjoys fishing, writing, drumming, and encouraging his fishing partners and neighbors to follow Jesus.

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