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Ravi Zacharias tells in one of his books about a trip he made to Vietnam in 1971 to travel the country and preach.

Wherever he traveled for a month in Vietnam a Vietnamese man who translated for him accompanied him. They were both young, and they saw many things that shocked them, things neither of them had ever thought they would see in their entire lives. Their preaching, though, had good results, and they saw people respond to the Gospel.

After he left Vietnam, Zacharias did not see his translator again for many years. Then, one day, in 1987, sixteen years later, he received a phone call in his office. When he picked up the phone, the voice on the other end asked him if he knew who this was. Ravi immediately recognized the voice of his translator. The man asked Ravi if he had a few minutes for him to tell what had happened to him, and Ravi said he did.

After the Communists took control of the country, his translator was arrested and spent a great deal of time in prison. They tried every possible means to get him to deny his faith, all without success. He had no Bible, except for the verses he had memorized, and that helped sustain him.

Then one day, he was ordered to clean the commandant’s latrine. While he was cleaning, he found a piece of paper with writing on it that had been used for toilet paper. He noticed it was a page from the Bible. He put it in his pocket and took it back to his cell where he cleaned it off and used it for devotions. He found it was this passage from Romans 8, and the verses sustained him. He then volunteered to clean the commandant’s latrine everyday, and discovered that he was tearing pages out of a Bible to use for toilet paper. He would take them back to his cell, carefully clean them off and used them for his devotions.

Sometime later, he and some other prisoners began to plan an escape. One day, four men came to him and told him he had heard they were planning an escape and wanted to know if they could go along. They were reticent at first, after all they could have been sent there by their Communist captors to test them, but then Ravi sensed the Lord telling him they should take the men, and so they did. He said they would not have survived their escape without those men. They escaped by boat to Thailand, and at times the journey was perilous, but those four men were seasoned seamen, and they kept them all alive.

Now Ravi’s friend operates his own business in Los Angeles. He survived because God sent him a reminder that God always works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

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