Cachlingngngng... The iron gate slide shut behind me - echoing softly through the almost vacant hallway. My only ticket to freedom - an invisible stamp on my left hand. Through the hallway, around a curve, past the doctor's offices, and out into the cold, brisk, winter air. The razor sharp barbed wire coils crowning the fences were a daunting reminder... liberties are stripped under high security.
Over 1000 men... 40 year sentences... 20 years... perhaps only 5... who knew? Of course they knew. They knew all too well the compound with its daily routines. The life behind those iron bars...
As we crossed the large field, the shadowy figures of the men could be seen making their way back to their assigned barracks. Small groups scattered here and there. Some alone, fighting the biting cold.
We entered the stream of men as we approached the small chapel.
"Good evening brothers" come the warm greetings... and it was there my heart melted. - Hundreds of men with hundreds of hearts - calling for love. You could see it in their eyes, in their expressions, in their greetings... Though a complete stranger - I was their brother.
How could I forget chapel that night.
The passionate shouts of over 20 men's voices singing "Victory in Jesus".
The heart felt embraces of true brothers in Christ.
The joy that shone on their faces.
The simple heart-felt prayer of faith...
I found behind those prison bars the hearts of men set free
To sit with Christ in heaven's realm and with the angels sing
I found the love of brotherhood and felt the strong embrace
I heard the prayer of simple faith that only God can bring
If this is half the love we'll find when persecution's fires rage
Then Father let me take my stand
Behind those iron bars...
Cachlingngng.... Yes, hearts set free... And as I left I knew that part of my heart will stay with them... You see, their my brothers...