I was scrolling through pictures of a “Church Planter Conference” organized by the “Nepal Calvary Ministry.” They were on the page of Joel Lamb, one of the two speakers.
Joel was an evangelist when I was a teen. He married a local girl named Rose. His parents ran the Country Mission Camp that I attended. He’s the pastor of Community Chapel in Somerville, Texas.
I was not surprised Joel posted pictures of food and the people at the conference. But I skipped over one picture of what looked like a cement bunker in the night. Going back up through the pictures, I noticed what Joel wrote…
“A prison where 8 of our pastors and 40 Christian women are held for their faith.”
I don’t have names but I added them to my prayer list: “8 pastors and 40 women in Nepal.”
Hebrews 13:3 instructs us to pray for those in prison. But what do I pray beyond asking for their release?
Genesis 39:21-23, “But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer.
(22) The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners – he ended up managing the whole operation.
(23) The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.” The Message
I can ask God to:
- Reach out to them in kindness.
- Put them on good terms with the jailer.
- Put them in charge.
- Give them free rein.
- Make sure everything works out for the best.
I don’t want to do what the cupbearer did.
Genesis 40:23, “But the head cupbearer never gave Joseph another thought, he forgot all about him.” The Message
* * * * * * *
Now the verses from Saturday and Friday make sense. God was asking me to pray for Joel.
Genesis 35:1, “God spoke to Jacob: ‘Go back to Bethel…'” The Message
Country Mission Camp was my Bethel. It’s where I committed to serve God wholeheartedly.
* * * * * * *
Joel and Rose named their son Benjamin. Whenever I see that name, I think of this couple.
Genesis 35:18, “With her last breath, for she was now dying, she named him Ben-oni (Son-of-My-Pain), but his father named him Ben-jamin (Son-of-Good-Fortune).” The Message
Benjamin in the Bible was first named Ben-oni, son-of-my-pain by his mother because of a difficult birth. His father changed it to Benjamin, son-of-good-fortune.
In 2 Chronicles 4, another mother named her child “pain” after a difficult delivery. Jabez went to his Heavenly Father who changed his destiny. Now we associate Jabez with blessing, enlarged territory, and the Father’s hand on him.
* * * * * * *
The last time I heard Joel preach was in 2008. David and I took Mom to see him because he lived with our family for a few months when he was starting out. He would go on short trips for meetings and used our home as a home base. (He was single.)
Genesis 32:1, “And Jacob went his way. …” The Message
I don’t know when I will see Joel again but when I do, I am going to ask for an update on the prisoners in Nepal. His last post said he was stranded in Istanbul. I will keep praying until he is safely home.
October 13, 2019: Genesis 38-40.
October 12, 2019: Genesis 35-37.
October 11, 2019: Genesis 32-34.
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