Sunday, 24 June 2012

Hearing God's voice in prison

Extraordinary things have been happening in a small room in the Ratchaburi Central Prison. Since the beginning of June this year, fifty of the inmates have gathered daily to join in the YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS) that is being held there. Many of the students really had very little idea what they were letting themselves in for. Most are new in their faith and many had never owned a Bible of their own before the start of the DTS.
During one of the weeks, the students were learning about the subject of: “Hearing God’s Voice.” One of the students had to do some extra work duties on one of the days and wasn’t able to attend the DTS class. He went somewhere to be alone and took his class notes and his Bible and prayed to God:” God, I really want to be in the class today and I am disappointed that I am not there.” He then opened His Bible and found the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. He was really touched by the story and had a wonderful time reading his Bible and praying.
Little did that student know that while he was reading that very story, the DTS staff were washing the feet of the Prison DTS students. Students were so touched by the symbolism of what the DTS staff did for them – a gesture that would bring many people to tears, but even more so in Thailand where feet are considered lowly and untouchable (many of the students expressed that not even their own parents would have done something like that for them). Tears flowed freely from many of the students and hearts opened to understand the love of Jesus in a new way.
One of the students wrote a note to the YWAM staff saying: “'I don't know exactly how to explain what I want to say because I am someone who is usually not very bold. However, what happened yesterday helped me to know many things about Jesus - because for someone to come and wash someone else's feet is not an easy thing. Nobody has ever done something like this for me in my life. I was really touched. It caused the tears to flow from my eyes - not tears of sadness, but tears that flowed from God's great love shown through you. I know now how great God's love is - that God has allowed you all to come and help us to know God more. I know that God is real and that God loves me so much. Thank you so much. I will walk in His ways, in His will in every way.”

The DTS student who missed class that day was shocked when he heard from his classmates what went on in the classroom while he was gone. It was a very special lesson for him in “Hearing God’s Voice.” He may not have been able to be in the classroom, but God wanted him to be included and he heard God’s voice for himself.

The fifty Prison DTS students are in for an incredible journey…. And this is only the beginning.

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