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“Ra, Ra, Ra! Give me an A,” shouted the presenter.

“A!” came the audience’s enthusiastic reply.

“Give me a B,” the speaker followed up.

“B!” the crowd once again cheered.

“What does it spell?” asked the presenter.

“Happiness!” all joined in unison.

“What are we going to make?” the speaker excitedly pressed his acolytes.

“MONEY!” the crowd roared with enthusiasm.

I beelined for the exit before fluid started oozing out of my broken eardrums.

When I woke up that morning, attending a multilevel marketing convention in the neighboring province somehow had not come to mind. I had planned to spend a quiet day translating and editing. But a phone call changed my plans.

“Pastor, we will be by your house in an hour to pick you up. You’re coming with us to Nakhon Sri Thammarat! We will stop by and pick up K to go with us,” Eck’s mother enthused.
I did some mental calculations. Eck obtained freedom from prison last week and lives three hours to the northwest. Nakhon Sri Thammarat is two hours to the south. Their route passes our house. This excursion is an opportunity for me to meet and encourage Eck. However, K is another former prisoner who abruptly severed all communications with us over a month ago and might be hostile. I have no idea what they will be doing in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.

Eck is the fourth former prisoner who learned to rejoice in the three angels’ messages while incarcerated and with whom we are working. Temptations from his former life combine with the jeers of old friends. “You aren’t really changed. In another month, you will be drinking and carousing as before.”

I quickly sent a text message to a few dear friends to pray for love, wisdom, and protection and prayed with Duang for the same. “If they don’t feed me to the sharks, I will be home this evening,” I quipped to Duang.

Dinner was ready that evening when they returned me in one piece without my having signed up for multi-network marketing. We shared a meal before my hosts for the day continued their drive home. We pray that these new friendships will last throughout eternity.

Please pray for Eck and his friends. Another seven will be released soon. Please pray for us as we encourage these former prisoners in their walk with Christ. And please pray for more opportunities to reach the hearts of others, even if it means early hearing loss surrounded by those worshipping at the altar of money.

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