Eko, a Muslim, has the biggest smile, even in the midst of this difficult situation. Despite the cramped jail conditions (a cell that is meant for four men houses 18 men—he said they have to sleep side-by-side to fit everyone in), Eko has decided to make the most of a bad situation. He spends his days teaching other inmates to read.
Eko has just one week left in jail, so he’ll be able to start a new life, albeit a bittersweet one, as he continues to deal with the loss of his girlfriend on the outside world.
Ever since Eko went to jail over a year ago, Brad and I have visited him, prayed for him, and shared his story with a friend of ours in the States. This friend faithfully prays for Eko daily. This friend recently offered to help Eko with a gift of clothes or money toward a motorcycle or whatever Eko may need to start his new life.
When we told Eko the news last week, he was speechless. We explained that our friend (who lives in the States and has never met Eko) had been praying for Eko. But Eko just couldn’t grasp why someone who he didn’t know, and who lives on the other side of the world, would care enough to pray and to give him a gift. We told Eko that our friend loves God, and is a follower of Christ, and therefore cares for Eko, and wants Eko to get a fresh start.
Eko then told us a story about another prisoner at the jail, (one of the students he teaches to read) who has 20 years left on his sentence. While most of the other prisoners are angry and unhappy, this man, also a follower of Christ, is friendly and always seems to experience joy in his days. This man is a great encouragement to Eko.
I love to see how God is caring for and loving Eko by using His people in Eko’s life. I hope and pray that what started as a tragedy ends as a triumph.