14 June 2013 by Lennie Chua-
This is a story written by Lennie Chua who used to work as a country manager for her company in Kuala Lumpur but quit her job to follow God’s leading into the prison ministry in Bali, Indonesia. She is also working part-time while serving God in Bali.
I would like to share my experience in Bali with you. In February of this year, I started to serve in Kerobokan prison; this is how I came to know about Andrew Chan in 'Bali Nine.'
According to Wikipedia, Bali Nine is the name given to a group of nine Australians who was caught in their plan of smuggling more than 8 kg of heroine from Bali, Indonesia to Australia. In 2005, Andrew –ringleader of the smuggling team– was arrested at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. And on 14 February 2006, Andrew Chan was sentenced to death by Denpasar District Court- the first ever death sentence imposed in Denpasar.
But after his arrest, Andrew Chan found Christ in prison where God really changed this young man. A lot of the works in the prison were charged to the inmates. And Andrew is in charge of the church in prison and has been helping other inmates to know Christ. He is also completing his theology studies and plans to become a pastor if The Lord gives him a second chance.
According to the prison governor, Siswanto, Andrew was described as a model prisoner who has an extremely positive effect on other inmates, offering counselling and mentoring for them during their down periods. Along with Myuran, the other ringleader on death penalty, they teach inmates computing, English, philosophy, graphic design and art, make silver jewellery and screen print t-shirts.
In a conversation with him, Andrew said, “I am doing these things to help others and because I believe I have a purpose in life, not just to be held in prison and then executed. Once again, I want to say how deeply sorry I am for what I did in the past. I accept that I deserve to be punished for my crime but I beg the court that I am not executed.”
I have also personally witnessed how God powerfully used him in the prison. Recently, in a healing and deliverance church service he held, God’s presence was so strong that I could see people lying on the floor crying, praising God aloud and also getting healed from sicknesses.
Indeed, the seeds he reaped are fruitful. One particular inmate named John* experienced the power of Christ and was totally set free from his drug addiction. This inmate believed in the power of God. And since he finished his jail term, he is now actively sharing Andrew’s story from church to church.
Unfortunately, Andrew has lost all appeals in Indonesia. According to The Age, although only the president of Indonesia can grant him clemency now after his failed appeals to the court, Mr Yudhoyono is having a difficult position to offer clemency to Andrew due to a powerful political backlash of granting clemency to cannabis trafficker Schapelle Corby, which reduced her 20-year prison term to five years. Mr Yudhoyono was accused for ‘favouring a foreigner and going soft on drugs.’
Hence, facing this difficult situation, Andrew is now petitioning to the Prime Minister of Australia to help him appeal for clemency to drop his execution by fire squad to decades in prison.
What good does it bring to execute Andrew? Would not preserving his life to continue serving Christ in prison be better? Like how The Lord promised to wash our sins from scarlet to become as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18), let us pray for The Lord to have mercy upon Andrew Chan and give him a second chance in life to continue serving him, yet God’s sovereign and good will be done.
"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Although Andrew is facing execution, John* shared with me that Andrew said to him, “To die is gain, to live is Christ.” With faith in the face of life or death every day, an inmate like Andrew Chan is notified at least 72 hours before an execution.
Watch a video of Andrew Chan!
You can help by signing the petition for Andrew Chan requesting the Prime Minister of Australia to lighten the sentence from death to decades in prison. Please visit: http://mercycampaign.org/petition
Please help also by finding Andrew in Facebook by typing in ‘Friends of Andrew Chan,’ which is managed by Andrew’s lawyer.
Have mercy on Andrew Chan!
*John is a fictitious name to protect the identity of the person.
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Reference for pictures: