On March 12, the authorities again came to our house while I was at school and left a message for me to come to their headquarters.
When I got home from teaching, we gathered up any papers the authorities might consider incriminating (even though they weren’t) and put them into a brief case. I told Barbara to take it and go to someone else’s house just in case they came to search ours. Then I went to the headquarters.
I was surprised to see my coworker Jules there, too. The authorities took down our identity information and then led us out to a van and drove to my house. I was not concerned about this since we’d already made our preparations.
However, when we arrived and went in, I was shocked and then angry to find that Barbara was still there! She remained calm, however, and after letting us in, while the authorities were busy looking through the apartment, she picked up the brief case and walked out. And no one stopped or questioned her! I was relieved. A three-star God sighting.
After going to Jules house for the same routine, we returned to the headquarters where they put us in a large cell. Again we were surprised: there was my disciple Orin!
For most of us who were rounded up that day, this was the first time to be taken into custody and be put in a cell. There was a lot of uncertainty, and therefore fear. Since we all knew what could happen, we were apprehensive.
The fellow who placed us in the cell pointed to a man standing in the middle of the room. “Do not talk with him; he is to stand there for twenty-four hours so he will come to himself and tell us what he knows!”
I thought to myself, “Is that just a command, or are you really telling us what will happen to us if we don’t give you the information you expect to get from us?”
As the evening wore on, they brought in more believers, including Elly and my former student, Sam. The women were kept on the outside of the cell bars and were given chairs to sit on.
Our cell was sparsely furnished: just one park bench. If they kept us for the night, we would obviously have to sleep on the cement floor.
Sam and I had had an appointment for a discipleship lesson that evening, so we sat on the park bench and did our study right there. We were not allowed any personal possessions like a Bible, but this didn’t hamper us at all. Sam’s assignment had been to memorize half a chapter in the NT and we just did our lesson out of memory on that chapter.
Around 10 pm I decided to lay down and get what sleep I could. I had never slept directly on a cement floor before, and I was not surprised at how uncomfortable it was. This was accentuated by not having any pillow.
I also discovered that lying on my side was the most uncomfortable position, because the seam of my blue jeans cut into my leg.
After a while the Lord gave me the idea to take off my shoes, put them together and use them for a pillow. Then, lying on my back and putting my arm over my eyes to shut out the bright lights, I was finally able to fall asleep.
Picture: my “shoe pillow”