To Dinh Trung has put hundreds of miles on his bicycle, traveling bumpy dirt roads to minister to the K’Ho tribe. This is one of sixty tribes in Vietnam that the government forbids visitors to evangelize. As he entered the village on April 4, 1995, police suddenly pulled him off his bicycle and started to beat him. They videotaped him and ridiculed him in front of the villagers.
He was taken to prison and held for six months before his trial. When he sang a children’s song called, “Love the Lord Day and Night,” he was sentenced to spend even more time in prison. Eventually, due to pressure on the government from Christian aid organizations, Trung was offered release six months early. But, although he had a faithful wife and two small children waiting for him, the evangelist wasn’t ready to leave! He saw this as another divine opportunity to preach to the lost. What could they do to him? He was already in prison! Through Trung’s efforts in the prison near Quang Ngai, many came to Christ. After hearing of the numerous Christians praying and petitioning on his behalf, how could he pass up this opportunity to set an example by forsaking his life for the kingdom of God? Trung refused his early release and chose to remain in prison and continue his work as an evangelist.
Trung was once a prisoner of the state and subjected to cruelty and torture. However, when he chose to remain in prison for the duration of his sentence, he became a prisoner of Jesus Christ. The state tried to break him. His new Master—Jesus—restored him. The state tried to silence his message. Jesus took his message to every prison cell, making Trung twice the evangelist he was before his sentence. Trung reminds us what it is like to enjoy freedom under Christ’s rule even in the midst of feeling enslaved to this life’s worry and woe. You may feel like you are a prisoner to a similarly depressing situation. Let Jesus set you free by allowing him to become the true Master of your life.