Leaving the past
Last month God gave the opportunity of spending time with men in the Lopburi prison. For five hours each day it involved fun, singing, and study in equal measure. Remarkable to me, every one of the men had specific questions about the gospel that they wrote down anonymously for us to respond to. None of the questions were spurious. By the final day there were over thirty men who joined in (many invited by friends who came earlier in the week). Surprising all of us who planned the event, thirteen men publicly asked Christ to take charge of their lives. They join the eight who were already Christians to form a special group of believers. Thoughts from the experience:
- I’m essentially no different from any of these men.
- Sin (the mother of all crime) brings immense tragedy. Who can bear it?
- Thai churches have few men in them, noticeable in the shortage of male voices in worship. Hearing thirty men heartily singing “I press on with all my strength because your love leads me; forgetting my griefs, leaving the past, I stretch onward to tomorrow…” (especially thirty men in this particular station in life) was moving, and inspires my prayer for more men in Thai churches.
- I must know Scripture by heart much better than I do. More than once I couldn’t find the passage I wanted to share–and my digital cheat device was checked with the guard at the front gate!