Sermon Illustrations

ILLUSTRATION : Unity: Members of the body of Christ are truly dependant on one another.

Three Indonesian mothers, Eti , Rebekka, and Ratna, were imprisoned two years ago for teaching Muslim children in their Sunday School.

Prison was shocking, discouraging and very hard at first. One of the women was the bread winner for her family. But after two years in prison they have learned a lot from the Lord.

One of them said: “I praise God for this opportunity to be in prison. It is all because of His plan that we are here, not because we are criminals. This is an experience of a lifetime—I will share it with my grandchildren. I pray that my time here and my experiences in prison will be a blessing for others. I believe He prepared us earlier, because our faith, hope and love are with us during times of difficulty. For me, prison is a symbol of my faithfulness as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Like the Apostle Paul, who also was in prison when he shared the gospel, it is our obligation to tell our children and grandchildren that to suffer for Christ is not a bad thing.

It is normal to suffer for Christ. Prison is a school for Christians who love Christ. “Thank you for letters from brothers and sisters around the world. Praise God that these letters brought us not only encouragement but they also are a living testimony to prison guards. The guards told me that Christians are so solid – they stand together – and the Muslim guards admire Christianity. I also praise God for prayers, and for brothers and sisters who come from all parts of the world to visit us here in the prison. I know that they are obedient to God’s Word [which says to] visit brothers and sisters who are in prison. Thank you for funds as well. God bless you all abundantly.” (Source: IDOP 2007 Illustration kit)