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When Fear Tried to Own Me

August 14, 2019 BY Cristina

My family and I lived south of Houston for six years. We loved listening to KSBJ and were always so encouraged by the music and all the DJs working there. When we moved to a country in the Far East two years ago, we lived there knowing that our faith is considered an illegal practice and where all social media, news media and views against the ruling authorities is blocked by their internet servers. However, it was amazing to find that it was still possible to download the KSBJ app on personal devices and listen freely without any restrictions. It appeared as if they had little knowledge of the impact of the message of gospel through Christian radio. Praise the Lord for their ignorance in that area. That brings me to the nightmare that became my Thanksgiving Day of 2018. There is a huge long story behind everything that happened to me. To summarize, I was sentenced to five days in a foreign prison where no one in charge would speak to me in English. That Thanksgiving morning, before I went to the police station (thinking I was just going to pay a fine), I had been listening to KSBJ. Francesca Battistelli’s “The Break Up Song” came on the radio and I remember it playing in the back of my head as I faced one of the scariest situations of my entire life. Fear was a constant shadow trying to creep up my shoulder and whisper in my ear. But God kept reminding me that he was with me and that I was not a prisoner to fear. I may have been behind bars, but I was free in the ways that mattered the most. My mind was filled with songs I remembered hearing first on KSBJ. As I woke up every morning sharing a prison cell with 10-12 Asian women and other foreigners, I held onto hope that God was right there with me. Somehow I was able to choose joy even when my heart was breaking and my arms physically ached to hold my four children – ages 5 to 11 – whom I wasn’t even allowed to see or contact the entire time I was there. (Thankfully, they were safely at home with their dad who had not been arrested.)

Thank you, KSBJ, for being part of that voice of hope and healing, reminding me to “choose joy” and hold onto the hope of eternal life. I wish I could personally thank all the artists whose songs inspired me during those difficult days being separated from everyone I cared about. Jonny Diaz and his song “Joy” was with me when I woke up my first morning there. Hillary Scott’s “Thy Will” became my anthem of sweet worship and prayer every night while I was given an hour of ‘patrol duty’ to watch all the other inmates sleeping. So many others … Mandisa, Toby Mac, Tauren Wells, for King and Country, to name a few. I heard them all on KSBJ. And their songs continue to bring hope and inspiration as we continue working in a country where Christian workers are few.

Thank you to all of you who work at KSBJ and for those who continually support this radio station. I just want you to know your station is affecting lives of people on the other side of the world.

Sorry this descriptions got so long. I tried to shorten it as best as I could.