My first missionary biography read was Prisoners of Hope.
What I learned:
In reading the experience of 2 women’s experience being imprisoned for sharing their hope in Afghanistan, I was able to compare and contrast their methods and reactions.
Heather, the younger of the 2, with less experience in the culture and a shorter planned commitment, reacted most like I think I would… meaning, we share character flaws. She alienated herself from the 5 Christian women imprisoned with her sometimes, she dwelled on her fears, she placed her home in rescue by America – I do not want to sound like I am criticizing her. I can’t imagine living through this experience. I just want to learn from her, so if I am ever there, I will able to make choices, rather than just default in my weaknesses.
Dayna, who had a 3 year commitment, seemed to know how to draw strength from disciplined reading of the Bible. She seemed to be able to step outside the fear about not choosing to be in the prison, and follow Paul’s example in seeing the opportunity that she had to ministry to women that she wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. She seemed to be logical about weighing out the fact that she had chosen to come there, intended to be there, and nothing about that needed to be altered for her to minister hope.
I also learned about the political system of a country in chaos. I was surprised to see that they were visited by their family, yet still imprisoned. I realized that I assumed if I could see people who cared for me, I would assume they had the power to rescue me. I think this is a good thing to process – if I am ever imprisoned, I want to be able to thank the Lord if I see my loved one, without putting all my hope in them.