A Letter from China
In May of 2010, several leaders and workers of the church in China were arrested and put into prison. The accusation that the National Security Department made against them is that their work is a secret movement to educate citizens to rise up against the government. This accusation is the most serious crime with which anyone in China can be charged. It takes four and a half months to investigate a crime of this caliber and come to a decision. They do not count the first two weeks of the interrogation process. One of the leaders in prison was asked to sign a document saying that they are a religious group influenced by a foreign entity that wishes to attack the Chinese government. He refused to sign as it is absolutely untrue. The following is a letter from Sister LCY, who was released after several weeks in prison.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
“Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Hebrews 12:4.
On the evening of May 16, I was arrested with Sister JS, and we were taken to Dalian the next day by train. On our way we were handcuffed and had absolutely no freedom as three police officers watched us even when we drank water and used the toilet. In the following days we learned that Pastor Z and Brother F were arrested, as were Brother K, Sister J and Pastor Kang’s two translators!
In a motel, the Internal Security Division of D city police interrogated us and then passed us on to the sub branch of economy crime. Two teams were in charge of watching us until we were sent to the D city watch house.
During the interrogation at the motel, I fasted three days for my sin and earnestly asked the Lord to give me a heart loyal to Him and to give wisdom to me as well as to the other nine co-workers to answer the interrogators. During those three days, the Word of the Lord comforted and encouraged me.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 103:8-14.
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16.
During the interrogation, the Lord gave me much wisdom to answer, some of which was beyond what I could have thought. Sometimes when I worried about whether or not other co-workers would know how to answer, the interrogator answered for us, thank God.
At 11:00 pm on June 4, I was taken to prison. After the registration, I was imprisoned in a very small room that was just about ten square meters with 16 other prisoners. I couldn’t sleep but cried the whole night. I knew that it is hard to be released once you are arrested. I could see no hope at that time; all I could see was the narrow room with only walls, bars and two windows. I was very sad and frustrated when I thought about being away from my relatives and away from other colleagues. And temptations attacked me and made me question a lot. “Did God abandon us even when we believe in Him so much? Why did He allow this tribulation to come to me?” I prayed deep in my heart, “Oh, Lord please let me out by your mysterious action! Didn’t You open the door to save Paul and Silas?” But when there was no answer, I thought of John the Baptist and his imprisonment and death for God; yet Jesus didn’t save him, which was for the benefit of future Christians like me. Hadn’t I said that I would be committed to the Lord with all my heart and all my body? Wasn’t this the time to show my loyalty? These thoughts calmed me down.
In The Desire of Ages on page 224 it reads: “Jesus did not interpose to deliver His servant. He knew that John would bear the test. Gladly would the Saviour have come to John, to brighten the dungeon gloom with His own presence. But He was not to place Himself in the hands of enemies and imperil His own mission. Gladly would He have delivered His faithful servant. But for the sake of thousands who in after years must pass from prison to death, John was to drink the cup of martyrdom. As the followers of Jesus should languish in lonely cells, or perish by the sword, the rack or the fagot, apparently forsaken by God and man, what a stay to their hearts would be the thought that John the Baptist, to whose faithfulness Christ Himself had borne witness, has passed through a similar experience!”
The most difficult thing to bear was being worlds apart from those one loves, and I fully endured the sorrow of being apart from loved ones in this life. But when I thought of Jesus, I was comforted by the fact that Jesus left all the glories of heaven and His beloved Father, His familiar home and all the angels respecting Him, in order to save us. He came to this dirty and demoralized earth. Hasn’t He experienced the sorrow of parting? I cried because of our Savior’s great love for us.
I thanked God after comparing my life with Christ’s life: I had just lost my freedom, but our Jesus suffered very much until His life ended and He made an offering for our sins. I haven’t resisted unto blood so far.
I looked up at the sky through the small window and prayed; I knew He was there beyond the sky that He had created. I remembered the mysterious pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night that He had made for Israel, and I saw the thick cloud disappear when the wind blew, which made me think of the Lord’s promises.
“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” Isaiah 44:22.
The wind blew, the thick smoke from the chimney disappeared, which delighted me. Ancient Israel believed that their sin would disappear like the smoke from the burnt sacrifice which they saw on the way as they walked towards the Sanctuary. Those words gave me much faith and happiness. The Lord knows us, no matter where we are. He is close to us, and we can lean closely on Him.
For breakfast, they would give us steamed corn bread, steamed bread and salted radish. At noon, lunch was rice and a soup with a piece of meat floating on the top, and the same for dinner. It was the same every day. As we are vegetarian, the only source of vegetables was the soup, but there was animal oil in it; so we couldn’t eat it. Thank God, the supervisor of the prison occasionally gave us extra uncooked Chinese cabbage or regular cabbage. I cannot describe the thrill and gratitude in my heart when we received the cabbage. My companions in the prison said, “The government is so nice to you!”
The nine of us co-workers were separated in prison. We were required to recite the regulations of the prison every day, and self-reflect: “Confess the confession, expose others guilty, obedience teaches, deeply cuts off the root of crime, diligently transforms the world’s outlook….” In the evening, we had to stand for two hours to do that. We had no Bible to read and no possibility to read, but we could meditate on the Lord’s work, pray and silently sing psalms. The words of the Lord are our stanchion and our strength to live by.
—Continued Next Week
By Pastor David Kang. Light for Life Ministry, PO Box 300, Franklin Springs, GA 30639. Phone: 706-377-1004. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.