“Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” – Genesis 39:20-21
Kim James is a villager in Cambodia. He is an electrician and also repairs motorbikes. Back in 1998, a pastor shared his testimony with him about how he received a radio as a gift from FEBC.
“He shared these radio programs with me and said, ‘Listen to these to grow in your faith.’ I listened to the radio every day and I grew deep in my understanding of the Gospel. That same year I was baptized and made a clear decision to follow the Lord.”
But in 2012, tragedy struck. Kim was put in prison after falsely being accused of stealing land. In prison, Kim started to lose all hope. He was away from his family, and his life was in ruins. But he began to pray daily and hourly. During one prayer session, the Lord spoke to him.
“I heard the Lord’s voice and began to kneel down. The Lord told me, ‘I have sent you here to bring these people to the Lord.’ I heard Him say this, and so I asked my wife to send me some Bibles, and the jailer gave permission to give them out so I began to share the Word of God to a few people each day.”
None of the prisoners had ever heard of Jesus Christ, but eventually a whole group of prisoners started to pray and worship daily. This caught the attention of the prison leader, who didn’t want this to happen. Kim started to be persecuted, in an effort to discourage him from evangelizing and leading these small Bible groups. He was forced to crawl laps around the prison yard in front of everybody, creating cuts and bruises on his arms and legs.
“It was very painful, but I looked to the Cross. I am happy to suffer for my faith, and I forgive the jailer for what he did. In fact, it only made me want to train my fellow prisoners to serve the Lord more deeply, so I asked my wife to bring me a radio. The jailer allowed the radio and we began listening to FEBC Christian broadcasts every evening at 7pm.”
Kim was released after 18 months, leaving his radio with the prisoners so they could continue to hear the Good News. During the time he was in prison, Kim shared Jesus with over 100 prisoners, and he still continues to pray and visit with them to this day.
The Lord puts us in places we often feel unprepared for, or unequipped for. In the Bible, Joseph didn’t do anything wrong, yet Pharaoh had him imprisoned. Choosing in moments of weakness to ask the Lord for help and crying out to Him in prayer is a hard thing. Kim was thrown in prison for something he never did—it was completely unfair! But he never complained or treated himself as a victim. Instead, Kim was able to humble himself before the Lord and listen to what God was trying to tell him in prison. By realizing that God had a plan for him, he was able to share the Gospel with 100 people. Are there moments in your life that God is asking you to listen to His plan and respond? Are you willing to listen?
God, we often struggle with a sense of knowing what Your will is for us. Sometimes we struggle with the plan You’ve laid out before us. Help us to listen and obey, and give us hope that whatever situation you are putting in front of us, You know we can handle it if we trust in You. We pray also for all those who’ve been wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit. We know that on this earth there will be injustice, especially towards the innocent. May You deliver those who are being persecuted for Your name, encouraging them to press on towards the goal which You have called them to. Amen.