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Day 611

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 -

My days continue dragging on, hoping I’ll get the call down to the unit office where they tell me I’m getting an immediate release. Today I had a false alarm, been paged to come down to the office only to find out my unit team assigned me to a class that will prepare me for a job when I get out of prison. I told the officer I don’t need a job when I get out, I’m retirement age and own a business. He told me that I could take a test that if I passed, I’d not be required to take the class, but if I did not take the class I’d be penalized. As usual, I figured out, it’s merely another way the prison is forcing us to create another extra revenue stream for them. Educational classes here are pretty much a joke.

Even though I’m separated from my wife and family and the outside world, I realized how blessed I am. Things could be so much worse. I could be a prisoner in Iran, Myanmar, China, Pakistan, or some other difficult country that mistreats its prisoners.

God truly touched my heart when I heard what Lizzie Atwater wrote about her family in 1900. She was one of almost 200 missionaries and 30,000 Chinese Christians massacred by the “Boxers” in China. She wrote this twelve days before she, her husband, and baby were killed for Christ’s sake.

“Dear Ones, I long for a sight of your dear faces, but I fear we shall not meet on earth. I am preparing for the end very quietly and calmly. The Lord is wonderfully near, and He will not fail me. I was very restless and excited while there seemed a chance at life, but God has taken away that feeling, and now I just pray for grace to meet the terrible end bravely. The pain will soon be over, and oh, the sweetness of the welcome above!

“My little baby will go with me. I think God will give it to me in Heaven, and my dear mother will be so glad to see us. I cannot imagine the Savior’s welcome. Oh, that will compensate for all these days of suspense. Dear Ones, live near God and cling less closely to earth. There is no other way by which you can receive that peace from God which passeth understanding . . .

“. . . I just keep calm these hours. I do not regret coming to China but am sorry I have done so little. My married life, two precious years, has been full of happiness. We will die together, my dear husband and me. I send my love to you all, the dear friends who remember me.”

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