Schapelle Corby: Year One


On October 8, 2004, Bali customs officers found 4.1 kg of marijuana in an unlocked surf bag owned by Schapelle Corby, a 27-year-old Australian beauty student. Today, a little over a year later, the Bali High Court reduced her 20-year prison sentence to 15. Corby and her family continue to maintain her innocence and plan to appeal to Indonesia's Supreme Court in Jakarta. Her defense has argued all along that drug smugglers planted the drugs in her luggage.

Bali has found itself at the center of the news of late. Nearly two weeks ago, terrorist bombs ripped through this small Indonesian island, killing 19 and injuring scores more. Popular with foreign tourists, particularly Australians, Bali is also known for having a mostly Hindu population in a predominantly Muslim country. Today is also the third anniversary of terrorist attacks that killed 202 people in Bali. Both incidents are linked to al Qaeda.

In a prison interview given a few days before today's sentence reduction, Schapelle Corby revealed that the apostle Paul's instruction to "be not conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2) has been a source of comfort and added, "It means you can be born again." She went on to say:

I was never a believer at all. I always thought it was just rubbish. But now it has made a big difference to me. I pray first thing in the morning. I pray at night. I pray for the other people in here.
Prison conversions are often met with skepticism. When people say, "we must make the most of the time we have," paraphrasing Ephesians 5:15-16, we usually think of death. But lengthy or harsh imprisonment, like a terminal illness, strips away the cares of this world and reduces life to its barest essentials, i.e., the big questions we do our best to avoid on a day-to-day basis.

For those believers enjoying relative freedom and health, Schapelle Corby's terrible fate should underscore the importance of focusing energy on Godly purpose, before it's too late to do anything about it.


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