When A Pit Becomes A Pulpit - PREACHING IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
“When I was in solitary confinement…I could do nothing. Nothing except get to know God.”
— Wang Ming-Dao, persecuted Christian and revivalist in China.
Wang Ming-Dao is considered by many to be the greatest revivalist in the history of the church in China, largely responsible for the rapid growth of Christianity in China.
In 1955, Wang Ming-Dao was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.
But he was told that he could go free if he signed a confession to say he was not a Christian and would stop speaking about God.
Wang Ming-Dao signed the confession and walked away from the prison. Only a few steps away from the gate, he stopped.
He realised he’d made a terrible mistake, walked back into the prison, told them to rip up the confession and take him back in.
Image: Man in isolation, standing for Jesus.
Wang Ming-Dao was sentenced to a further 22 and a half years in jail – many of which were spent in solitary confinement.
"When I was put in jail, I was devastated. I was an evangelist," he said.
Wang Ming-Dao realised he could actually preach down the pit toilet in the corner of his cell, as all the sewage pipes were linked and sound carried through them.
He decided to make this his preaching platform, and over seven years he converted 96 people.
Image: A man in prayer, in his cell.
"I had no Bible, no pulpit, no audience, no pen and paper. I could do nothing. Nothing except get to know God. And for 20 years, that was the greatest relationship I have ever known.
“When I was in the cell the only thing I was focused on was getting to know Jesus, it was only me and Him in that cell. You need to build yourself a cell where it’s only you and Jesus.”
During this time, may our pits may become our pulpits as we come up with new ways to gather as one body in house churches and online services.
But may it also serve as a time of deeper intimacy with Christ, our hope of salvation and the greatest relationship we could ever know.