Sunday, 31 August 2008


A preacher, completing a temperance sermon, spoke with great fervor! "If I had all the beer in the world, I’d throw it all into the river."
With greater emphasis, he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d throw it all into the river."
And finally he said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I’d throw it all into the river, too!"
As he took his chair, the song leader stood and announced with a smile, "For our closing hymn, let us sing number 365:"
"Shall We Gather at the River."

Saturday, 30 August 2008


Not So Easy Rider !
The controversial Florida Outpouring/Revival led by Todd Bentley has come to an abrupt end as news emerged of Bentley’s ‘marital difficulties’ and his relationship with an unidentified female member of his team. The Fresh Fire Ministry founded by the evangelist has asked Bentley to step down from all ministry for a period of rest and refreshment! Also the live broadcasts of the Florida meetings (they are continuing under associate members of the FFM team) have been pulled from God TV, up to this they had been broadcasting nightly since the beginning of the crusade. Obviously those critics of Bentley and his unorthodox methods feel suitably vindicated, while his supporters are, I expect, at the very least crestfallen. Having watched quite a few of the televised meetings I veered towards giving Bentley the benefit of the doubt on the basis of the apparently dramatic healings but also because I was genuinely impressed by many of his sermons and their solid Biblical basis. Some of the criticisms levelled against him were petty in the extreme ,like the Christian disdain for his tattoos many of which he had done after his conversion. The one reference condemning tattooing marks on the body came from the same Old Testament chapter that also forbade the wearing of silk and cotton fabric mixed, and a host of other archaic rules that seem peculiar to that place and time and not transferable to the 21st century! Other issues however gave more serious consideration for concern like his reliance on angelic visitations and revelations which Bentley seemed to experience on a frequency even unknown to bible saints. In dealing with the Spirit realm there is need for great discernment as there are two sources of angelic encounter and the New Testament warns believers that Satan himself can masquerade as an angel of light to deceive the saints of God. There is also the line of argument that any man used of God is subject to mighty diabolical attack and Todd Bentley won’t have been the first (or the last, for that matter) to fall from grace while being part of a genuine move of God. I suppose one thing that this whole experience should teach us is the pre-eminency of Gods Word when it comes to what we believe and how we adjudicate where someone is coming from. Our experiences must flow concurrent with the stream of Scripture and we should allow it to be a lamp for our feet and bread for our soul ,letting God be true and every man a liar. And our reading of the Word must infuse in us a hunger to press in to the presence of Jesus Christ ,our Living Word. Let me leave the last words to A.W.Tozer who expressed this need of the hour with his usual succinctness and spiritual clear-sightedness…"Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such a way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and centre of their hearts.”
Gerard O'Shea

Tuesday, 26 August 2008



On Friday next (August 29) my mother Kathleen O'Shea will be dead 11 years. She was a wonderful woman who worked hard to keep her two children and yet never lost her great joyful appreciation for the gift of life. She was sustained with a hearty sense of humour and a keen love of nature, especially her garden flowers and pets. I forever remember Mam smiling and bathed in sunshine,a re-assuring presence that kept our home a warm and happy place - here are a few snapshots taken from her rich and colourful life...
With her beloved 'Darkie' c 1940

With my brother Tony and myself c 1960

Her grandchild Deirdre is tucked away
there behind the paper c 1985

With yours truly c 1978

Admiring her garden c 1990

Feeding the swans at Westfields c 1993


Peace at last
We always remember you
As we near this fateful day
On that Friday when He called you
And you had to fly away…
Life goes on without you
But never Life the same,
You’ve left a space among us
That nothing can replace.

Our memories still sustain us
Though they seem mere shadows now
All ,poor consolations
As our hearts are heavy bowed,
But there’s that hope inside
That eases sorrow’s pain,
For that Day of Days to come
When we all will meet again.
Gerard O'Shea

Monday, 25 August 2008


Dear God:
So far today, I've done all right.
I haven't lost my temper, haven't been grumpy,
nasty, selfish or overindulgent.
I'm glad of that, but in a few minutes,
God, I'm going to get out of bed
and from there on I'm going to need a lot more help.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


At 16 I had my first experience of a poetry reading at the City Theatre in Limerick city. Three poets were assembled to read from their works but the only one I can remember is Michael Hartnett from Newcastlewest, I remember him for two reasons: the power and beauty of his poems and his demeanour on the evening. Hartnett was dressed in a plain black suit with white shirt and tie and had his elderly father accompanying him, both sitting behind a long table with two pints of Guinness before them. The other ‘poets’ were decked in more avant-garde gear and while looking the part of the free-spirited artistes their readings did not deliver the punch of Hartnett’s pieces. I learned a valuable lesson all those years ago, it’s not the appearance that matters but the substance and he as an upcoming writer dazzled and impressed with the quality of his compositions.
About 25 years on from that initial encounter I again had the pleasure of attending a reading by Michael Hartnett this time in the medieval splendour of king John’s Castle. I arrived at the event early and had the opportunity to meet the poet for a few minutes before the event. He told me that he had got the bus down from Dublin (where he then lived) as his wife would never allow him to travel on the train because of the onboard bar facilities. By this time he was an alcoholic and much of his later poetry hints at the shadow of this spectre which remained with him all of his life. At that meeting I got the opportunity of telling him how he had impressed me as young man, by then the ravages of his addiction were evident in his frail frame although his voice had lost none of its rich tenor and commanding delivery.
For about 10 years Hartnett wrote only in Irish describing English as 'the perfect language to sell pigs in‘. This move severely restricted his readership and in monetary terms cost him dearly but it shows the integrity of the man in his chosen craft. He died in 1999. ~ Gerard O'Shea ~
The Blink Of An Eye
I see the Morning Star
Through my childhood skylight
And close my eyes and dream for fifty years,
Re-living every set-back, every high-light;
I open my eyes and there’s the Evening Star.
And suddenly it’s twilight.

Michael Hartnett


After she woke up, a woman told her husband,
"I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine's day.
What do you think it means?"
"You'll know tonight." he said.
That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife.
Delighted, she opened it to find a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams"


And after...

I feel like a man with blood on my hands. Armed with a Bushman saw and a telescopic loppers I at last faced my sprawling Buddleia tree with murderous intent . I am not a card-carrying member of the Green party but I do love trees and most things that nature throws up from her munificent bounty. This Buddleia however tree was different …each year it spread its cascading arms over a wider circle of my modest suburban garden taking with it a large swathe of light. The more I pruned and trimmed it the bigger and more menacing it became, which brought me to this dark hour in my otherwise tolerant and pacifistic history. After blood ,sweat but no tears ,the leafy edifice at last yielded to my onslaught, my exertions providing much merriment I’m sure for my on looking neighbours! Over three hours I did mortal combat with my garden nemesis cutting down the once majestic tree to a scaled down version resembling a modern sculpture at an art exhibition. By way of recompense I want to include this Victorian poem ,even though I know this will be the most hypocritical blog I’ve included to date. This then is my gesture of appeasement (pathetic,I know) for my act of outrage on a freely living thing. ~GOSh.~




Woodman, spare that tree!

Touch not a single bough!

In youth it sheltered me,

And I'll protect it now.'

Twas my forefather's hand

That placed it near his cot:

There, woodman, let it stand,

Thy axe shall harm it not!


That old familiar tree,

Whose glory and renown

Are spread o'er land and sea,

And wouldst thou hew it down?

Woodman, forbear thy stroke!

Cut not its earth-bound ties;

Oh, spare that aged oak,

Now towering to the skies!


When but an idle boy

I sought its grateful shade;

In all their gushing joy

Here too my sisters played.

My mother kissed me here;

My father pressed my hand -

- Forgive this foolish tear,

But let that old oak stand!


My heart-strings round thee cling,

Close as thy bark, old friend!

Here shall the wild-bird sing,

And still thy branches bend.

Old tree! the storm still brave!

And, woodman, leave the spot:

While I've a hand to save,

Thy axe shall harm it not.

Lesley Nelson-Burns

Monday, 18 August 2008


I found this reflection on a very beautiful
blog by a lady called Nancy,
i think
that we all focus
on doing
and finding
the work
that is going on
around us,
when the real work
is actually being done
in us.

Sunday, 17 August 2008


They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods….
But there is no road through the woods.
Rudyard Kipling


The Ladies Marathon in full flight

The Olympic Games are beginning to take their toll on my frail frame. In the early hours of this morning I watched as the Romanian Constantina Tomescu-Dita strode home to victory in the Ladies Marathon at around 3.30a.m. our time. I sat transfixed as British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe was interviewed after the race about her punishing finish, last year she didn’t even complete the course , this time despite lack of preparation she stumbled tearfully home in 24th position. Paula is a well known figure around these parts , as she has done a lot of her training right here in Limerick under the watchful eye of physiotherapist Gerard Hartmann. Yesterday morning I saw the soccer match between Cameroon and Brazil go into extra time before Brazil scored a two goal victory! I even witnessed America’s Michael Phelps swim to a new Olympian record, gleaning a total of eight gold medals in the games and Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba decimating the 10,000m world record !
Now this schedule of sporting events is all very well for those athletes who have been preparing for the last four years but pity poor me…no warm-ups…no circuit training…no psychological coaching…just trust into the Beijing cauldron of franticness cold! And I think I may not be alone in my nocturnal and early morning vigils because with the rainfall our Irish summer has thrown up this year , a lot of people are either house or pub bound as the pitter-patter of precipitation provides the background score to this crazy mixed up season. This morning I turned my back on the allurements of Olympian human endeavour and wrapping up well, with brolly aloft ,walked to the local shop for the newspapers, making the trip in about 20 minutes…a new personal best for me incidentally!
Despite my stalwart commitment to viewing the unfolding dramas in China, Ireland seem to be nowhere near getting any kind of medal, our best hope in the boxing seems to be disappearing rapidly. Our rowers also are out of contention even with Pallaskenry’s own Sean O’Neill on board, so the bunting in that little County Limerick town is presumably now flying at half-mast. Ah well the Olympic spirit is all about the taking part and not the winning, at least that’s what they told us at school many years ago, and in that spirit none of the athletes can be faulted as the human physical energy expended is something to behold. Who knows, after limbering up today ,I might even be in a position to resume my place at the Bird Nest Stadium (via my reserved armchair seating) to cheer them on to the final hurrah!

Gerard O'Shea

Saturday, 16 August 2008


Sign behind an Amish carriage:
"Energy efficient vehicle.
Runs on grass and oats.
"CAUTION: Avoid exhaust!"

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


Moses parting the Red Sea

Johnny was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday School.
"Well, mum, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
"When he got to the Red Sea he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely.

Then he used his walkie-talkie to radio headquarters for reinforcements.

They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and saved the Israelites."
"Now, Johnny, is that really what your teacher taught you?" his mother asked.
"Well, no, mum, but if I told it the way the teacher did, you'd never believe it."


The two beauties of Beijing, Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi

The Beijing Olympics kicked off to a dramatic start last Friday (August 9th) with a stunning opening ceremony that basically left the global TV audience open-mouthed in amazement at the precise execution of this colourful pageant , with elements of music, song ,dance and intricate choreography spread over a huge canvas by hundreds of participants. The visual effects were stunning, culminating in the traditional lighting of the Olympic torch by Chinese gold-medal winner in gymnastics, Li Ning,who lapped the walls of the great Birdnest Arena, apparently flying through the air! One of the most moving moments in the whole performance was the plaintiff singing of 9 year old Lin Miaoke, her sweet voice echoing through the great Arena , and causing many I’ve no doubt to shed a little tear! However it has now emerged that she was actually miming the song because the girl who actually sang it Yang Peiyi , was not considered good-looking enough for the great occasion! What a pity that even the Chinese have succumbed to the cult of ‘the pretty’ for the sake of our jaded TV appetites, reflecting the current obsession with appearance rather than substance. Imagine trying to instill the values of character over cosmetic into your less than super-model child in an environment where every add and TV programme screams out the real values of our time, we want health and wealth and beauty paraded before us…it seems that the contemporary message is ‘the race does go to the swift!’ How different from God’s perspective and indeed prescription for a truly contented and happy life, when He inspired Peter to write these words…“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (1 Peter3:4) The Chinese organisers of the Beijing extravaganza cannot be criticised for merely aping the ‘consumerist’ values of the capitalist West, it’s a pity though that in our impoverished spiritual state these are the only lessons we are capable of passing on to that great country once known as the ‘Sleeping Giant’.
Gerard O'Shea

Friday, 8 August 2008


George MacDonald, writer and mystic

George Macdonald 1824-1925) is remembered today mostly for his works of fantasy especially his collections of fairy tales. Regarded by C.S.Lewis as his literary ‘Master’ MacDonald also left behind him a rich body of metaphysical poetry including the book-length ‘The Diary Of An Old Soul’ from which the excerpt below is taken. The poem is divided into monthly sections and in each section there is a verse for every day, so one could in fact read the poem one verse a day over the twelve month period. This work has been called a modern day rendition of the Book of Psalms because of MacDonald’s brutal honesty when it comes to the issues of doubt and human imperfection.His literary style is not always brilliant but he never wavers from his life’s mission to lay hold of God…

” Be thou the well by which I lie and rest;
Be thou my tree of life, my garden ground;
Be thou my home, my fire, my chamber blest..
Oh, be my friend, each day still newer found..”



O Father, thou art my eternity.
Not on the clasp Of consciousness--on thee
My life depends; and I can well afford
All to forget, so thou remember,
Lord. In thee I rest; in sleep thou dost me fold;
In thee I labour; still in thee, grow old;
And dying, shall I not in thee, my Life, be bold?

In holy things may be unholy greed.
Thou giv'st a glimpse of many a lovely thing,
Not to be stored for use in any mind,
But only for the present spiritual need.
The holiest bread, if hoarded, soon will breed
The mammon-moth, the having-pride, I find.
'Tis momently thy heart gives out heart-quickening.

It is thyself, and neither this nor that,
Nor anything, told, taught, or dreamed of thee,
That keeps us live. The holy maid who sat
Low at thy feet, choosing the better part,
Rising, bore with her--what a memory!
Yet, brooding only on that treasure, she
Had soon been roused by conscious loss of heart.

George MacDonald

Thursday, 7 August 2008


A Priest, a Minister and a Rabbi were wondering what to do with all the money they collected at their respective services.
The Priest said: “I’ve got an idea. Let’s draw a circle, throw all the money up in the air, and what falls in the circle we give to God.”
The Minister said: “I have a better idea. Let’s draw a circle, throw all the money up in the air, and what falls outside the circle we give to God.”
The Rabbi said: “I’ve got the best idea. Let’s draw a circle, throw all the money up in the air, and let God take what He wants, and what falls to the ground we keep!”
~taken from 'Israel Today' magazine~

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn
The Russian writer and dissident Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn has died at his Moscow home aged 89. He was a fearless critic of the Soviet regime relentlessly highlighting the oppressiveness and brutality of its excesses especially under Stalin’s leadership. In his writings he dramatised the particularly devious practise of treating political dissent as a form of madness, under which many of Russia’s notable intellectuals found themselves imprisoned in so called psychiatric facilities for ‘political re-education’.
Continuing in the great Russian tradition of novelist as prophetic witness, the parallels with Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are obvious. Solzhenitsyn experienced first hand the price of even mild dissent when after a negative reference to Stalin in a letter to colleague he was sentenced to eight years ‘deprivation of liberty’ in the notorious Lubyanka prison in Moscow. This environment inspired his novel ‘The First Circle’ and when he refused to co-operate with the research programme there he was moved to a labour camp which was the basis of his most popular novel ‘One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich’. All of his experiences were informed by his Russian Orthodox Christian faith and he continually strove to uphold the dignity of the individual whether in the face of Soviet repression or confronting the corrupting influences of Western materialism. In ‘…Ivan Denisovich’ while Ivan is working, he asks his captain about the moon and its phases. Shukhov tells the officer, "Where I come from, they used to say God breaks up the old moon to make stars" . The captain is amused and calls Shukhov a savage for believing in God. Shukhov is surprised by this response and answers, "How can anybody not believe in God when it thunders?"
The burning question for Solzhenitsyn was always by what morality should a man be guided and how in the light of that should he then proceed to live. Wherever he perceived spiritual darkness he sought to expose it ,often under his own searing illumination of Christian morality. For many his voice was a prophetic one and his role was ultimately recognised in 1970 when he won the Noble prize for literature. In his acceptance speech he remarked…"Another artist, recognizing a higher power above, gladly works as a humble apprentice beneath God's heaven; then, however, his responsibility for everything that is written or drawn, for the souls which perceive his work, is more exacting than ever. But, in return, it is not he who has created this world, not he who directs it, there is no doubt as to its foundations; the artist has merely to be more keenly aware than others of the harmony of the world, of the beauty and ugliness of the human contribution to it, and to communicate this acutely to his fellow-men. And in misfortune, and even at the depths of existence - in destitution, in prison, in sickness - his sense of stable harmony never deserts him."
This harmony of apprenticeship ‘beneath God's heaven’ never deserted him and he continued his tireless crusade throughout his life often reserving some of his fiercest criticisms for the morally bankrupted Materialism of the west. Living for several years in Vermont he observed the vacuous values of lives cut off from the Creator and a society that shapes itself without reference to Godly precepts. In 1978 he shocked so called ‘liberal’ sensibilities when he attacked the moral degeneracy of the free world in a Commencement Address at Harvard .Stunned by the viciousness of the reaction to his words he effectively withdrew from public life from that time. It seems that as long as his perceptive critical eye was directed to the Soviet regime he was to be lauded, but when he spoke out about issues nearer home he would be pilloried…sounds like an honourable prophetic role to me! Below are a selection of short quotations which show the wisdom and insight of this great figure of the twentieth Century !

Gerard O'Shea

I have spent all my life under a Communist regime, and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either.

It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones.

You can only have power over people so long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything he's no longer in your power-he's free again.

Do not pursue what is illusory - property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life - don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

I can say without affectation that I belong to the Russian convict world no less than I do to Russian literature. I got my education there, and it will last forever.

Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the 20th century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.

Sunday, 3 August 2008


Save me, O God,
for the flood waters are up to my neck.
Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
I can’t find a foothold.I am in deep water,
and the floods overwhelm me.
I am exhausted from crying for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
waiting for my God to help me.
O God, you know how foolish I am;
my sins cannot be hidden from you.
Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me,
O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated,
O God of Israel…
Don’t let the floods overwhelm me,
or the deep waters swallow me,
or the pit of death devour me.
Answer my prayers, O Lord,
for your unfailing love is wonderful.
Take care of me,
for your mercy is so plentiful.
Don’t hide from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble!
Come and redeem me;
free me from my enemies…
I am suffering and in pain.
Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.
Then I will praise God’s name with singing
and I will honour him with thanksgiving.
For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle,
more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.

Saturday, 2 August 2008


Scientists were preparing an experiment to ask the ultimate question.
They had worked for months gathering one each of every computer that was built. Finally the big day was at hand. All the computers were linked together. They asked the question, "IS THERE A GOD?"
Suddenly there was a loud crash, and in a brilliant explosion of silicon and plastic the computers fused into what appeared to the scientists to be one large computer in place of the many smaller ones.
One of the scientists raced to the printer as it finally output its answer.
"There is now", read the printout.


Brother Yun's latest book
Liu Zhenying known as Brother Yu is an exiled Chinese Christian house church leader, who has written about his experiences in the Underground Chinese church in his autobiography, The Heavenly Man. In this book he writes about numerous incidents of supernatural deliverance's as well as the extreme persecutions inflicted on believers by the Chinese authorities. As China takes the spotlight for the upcoming Olympic games there are still many concerns about its record of human right infringements and no where is this more evident than among those Christians who form part of an unofficial network of independent church groups throughout that great nation.
Brother Yu was seen as a rebel among some Chinese for not joining the 'official' government-controlled Christian organization became a wanted man across several provinces and was finally arrested and sentenced to many years in prison. However, Yun continued his ministry while in prison, with more claims of miraculous results. As a result, many prisoners and even some prison officials reportedly became born-again Christians. Apparently, while he gained increasing favour from some officials, he also became a target of increased persecutions by others. He was repeatedly beaten and became severely malnourished. It is claimed that while in prison, Yun undertook a total fast without food or water for 74 day In his 23 years of ministering in China, Brother Yun was arrested and sent to prison three different times. He spent a total of seven years in prison for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
On the occasion of his first arrest, Brother Yun was ministering at a meeting away from home. He was caught by the Security Police and thrown into a freezing cold prison cell with 4 of his co-workers. There was no heat in the cell, and outside, the temperature was below freezing.
They had thrown Brother Yun’s coat in the snow. He began to beat on an old drum with his handcuffs and sing in a loud voice Psalm 150. He says, “The more I sang the more I was filled with joy. I stood up and praised the Lord. Gradually my frozen hands and feet regained feeling and I wasn’t cold any more.”
This was only the beginning of his prison saga. During the times when Brother Yun was in the hands of the government officials, he was repeatedly beaten and tortured with electric batons. He was kicked and trampled upon. He was tortured with needles being jabbed underneath his fingernails. He was mocked by the other prisoners. He was hung by his handcuffs and transported so roughly that the cold cuffs sliced through his wrists until they were all bloodied and the wrist bones exposed.
Of this time, Brother Yun says, “I had no Bible with me so I meditated on God’s Word from memory and prayed in tears for the churches. I shouted out Bible verses at the top of my voice, clinging to God’s promises such as Psalm 27:1-3. I sang loudly day and night.”
Through all of these horrendously painful experiences, the Word of the Lord kept coming to Brother Yun, encouraging him, and strengthening him in his faith, until he could face pretty much anything without fear.
After many years in prison, he escaped from Zhenghazou Maximum Security prison from which it is reported that nobody had previously escaped. He described how he heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, telling him to simply walk out the heavily guarded prison gate. Risking being shot to death on the spot, he wrote later that he obeyed the voice, and walked straight through several prison doors that were somehow left open in front of many prison guards, across the prison yard and finally out of the main gate. Yun stated that it was as if he had become invisible to the guards who stared straight through him. Although many expressed doubts that such a thing could happen, some prison guards had apparently lost their jobs for this 'embarrassing mishap.' It is reported that the official investigation by the Chinese government concluded that "Yun received no human help in his escape." It is claimed that these reports have been also confirmed by numerous prisoners who occupied the same prison cell as Yun. Apparently, he remains the only person to have escaped from this notorious maximum security prison
His ministry struggled briefly when Chinese Christians became increasingly fearful of housing him because of the potential repercussions from government authorities. After escaping from China Yun wasn’t through with prison life—yet. Several years after he escaped, he was in the country of Myanmar to escort his family to Germany. He got caught at the border with an illegal identification card and thrown into prison. He received a 7 year sentence, but the German Embassy was able to get him out after 7 months. During this time, Brother Yun busily engaged himself in winning the prisoners to Jesus, and training them. He says, “Through song I taught many Bible passages to my new brothers in Christ.”
His ministry since has expanded around the globe. As a leader of the "Back to Jerusalem Movement", Yun seeks to send thousands of missionaries out from China into the least-gospel-reached countries of the world, most existing between China and Israel. As the worlds attention is drawn to China during the Olympic Games we can be encouraged that despite the best efforts of the communist regime to wipe out the christian witness from their land, the church of Jesus Christ continues to grow.And men yielded to the Holy Spirit like Brother Yun are in the vanguard of leading their people to the fullness of freedom which is found in Christ alone.