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I remember interviewing two ex-prisoners in Laos who were arrested and imprisoned for sharing the Gospel. Their treatment was severe, they were beaten then left in a small, dark prison cell, with stocks binding their ankles.

Part of their punishment was to deprive them of any food for days at a time however, they were told by the guards that if they denied Christ then they would be released from the stocks and relocated to a better cell, with food. Knowing this would be their reward for renouncing Christ, they both said, “We will never deny our Lord.”

Fortunately, in their cell directly behind them, was a small drain where water was channelled to the other prison cells and when it was flowing, they would stretch back, cup the water in their hands and drink quickly before the guards came. By God’s grace this water was enough to keep them alive.

Every day they received this miracle water and every day they rejoiced. Often the guards were amazed – how could they be laughing? They thought the prisoners had lost their minds but like Paul and Silas they sang songs of joy and worshipped God each day.

Finally, after three months in this prison cell, they were released and relocated to a larger cell with other prisoners. As they told me of their time in prison, the memory still produced tremendous joy. They had encountered Jesus and they knew He had not abandoned them.