Karl Gaspar is free! It was in this column almost two years ago that I wrote of Karl Gaspar's arrest and imprisonment in the Philippines. He had been in jail ever since.
For one who loves freedom and beauty as much as Karl, captivity is a painful and difficult thing. And yet, the imprisonment of Karl Gaspar has been absolutely full of the grace of God.
His letters have read like modem-day prison epistles. They chronicle the honest human struggles, the persistent faith, and the unquenchable hope of a brother who has put his life in God's hands. In mysterious and miraculous ways, the testimony of Karl's imprisonment has served to build faith, strengthen conviction, quicken conscience, and "equip the saints," in more places and ways than Karl could ever imagine.
The Marcos regime put Karl in prison to silence him and put an end to his activities on behalf of justice and freedom. Instead, his voice became even more strong and clear and was heard around the world. And the cause to which he has given his life has been greatly served by Karl's prison sojourn.
A letter I recently wrote to Karl reads:
My dear brother Karl,
Lately I've been rereading your letters and reflections from prison. They have become spiritual reading for me. Your epistles have served to strengthen my faith and make me confident in hope.
And I know I'm not the only one. In the mystery and grace of God, your imprisonment has touched the lives and strengthened the hearts of God's people laboring for justice and for peace all over this world.
The government thought they could silence your voice and curtail your activity by throwing you in prison; instead your witness is clearer, and you have inspired many others to action. Karl, your imprisonment has indeed furthered the cause of the gospel and rebounded to the glory of God.