Prayer for Auntie M

Below is a letter written by a teammate. Auntie M is a Cambodian Christian I have never been privileged yet to meet, but I have been praying for her almost since coming to Poipet, when she was first imprisoned. Her case is, unfortunately, not uncommon here, where corruption and bribery is widespread and deeply ingrained in the court systems. Pray that Auntie M is encouraged and has a strong heart, despite her suffering.

Dear Team,
Tonight we’ll all be sleeping in comfort. Our Auntie M has just been convicted and sentenced to jail for three years. She won’t be sleeping in comfort, but in a cramped room with seven other women. She has done nothing wrong, except for daring to speak up against some wrong done in her community. In revenge, she was accused of selling drugs. Shortly thereafter, her accuser freely confessed that he had lied, but by then, Auntie M was in jail. That happened in May. She has been held in the penitentiary ever since, without proof or an accuser.
This afternoon, I went along with M’s family to the sentencing. Inside the courthouse, we were told to wait in the lobby. Right up til the last minute, the officials were asking for money. In the end, the judge sentenced her without even allowing us into the courtroom. She took the sentencing alone. We didn’t know what was happening until she was being rushed out of the courtroom. She was sobbing, having being told that she was going to do three years in jail for a crime she never committed.
Afterwards, we all drove over to the jail. In an open air room on a dirty floor, we sat on a mat and listened as M poured her heart out in grief. Flies from the nearby garbage pile landed all over us as we talked together. At first, she cried as she recounted her hopeless looking situation, but soon she turned her concern for her children. Three of her kids were there, all in their late teens and twenties. Over and over again, she encouraged her children to live for Jesus. Of particular concern is her youngest daughter, who seems to be wandering away from the Lord. M talked about her own firm commitment to Him and of her dependence on Him. She said that she can bear with her incarceration, if only her she knows that her children are walking with the Savior.
Our hearts ache for Auntie M. She has only been a believer for a few short years, yet she has been through much more testing of her faith than most of us have been through in our lifetimes. Many of us have been praying for her to be free by Christmas, which has been her big hope. Humanly speaking, that seems impossible. The inner workings of the system have conspired against her. But we don’t believe the story is over. Although the judicial system here seems to have had the last word, maybe God has something else in mind. Yes, He makes everything work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. We can trust Him. Will you please continue to pray for Auntie M that God will bless her and that His will will be done in her life? We’ll look forward to seeing how He is going to bring victory out of sorrow. Hebrews 13:3.