A Letter from China
[What happened last week: Sister L, along with several other workers and leaders of the church in China, were arrested, interrogated and imprisoned in May of 2010. Sister L, who was released after several weeks, wrote a letter testifying to God’s sustaining grace throughout the ordeal. This is the conclusion of her letter.]
As I mentioned, there were seventeen people, including myself, staying in the small prison room. Some were there for drug trafficking, stealing, cheating or killing. They wrangled just for not being distributed a piece of meat or fought with each other for just a drop of detergent. I felt very sad and cried when I saw these things happen. Everyone was under great pressure because of the situation, and everyone was miserable from missing their loved ones. Why should we fight and quarrel instead of being loving, encouraging and comforting to one another?
I prayed for everyone in the room and loved them with my actions. I respected them, understood them, and that changed the atmosphere in the room because Jesus was there. Some of them believed in God then. Everyone was glad to share with others clothes and other daily supplies. There was no longer any fighting. Among the prisoners was a lady who changed tremendously. She was condemned to die and was awaiting her death sentence. She cried often and didn’t want to eat on many occasions. She could not cry out or keep skipping her meals as these activities were not allowed in the prison. She said she could not even commit suicide as her feet were in cuffs. She was so selfish that no one wanted anything to do with her. We had very crowded sleeping conditions; everyone could sleep only on one side. She used to wake the person up next to her by elbowing her very hard, yet she would get very angry if anyone even touched her when she was asleep. This made everyone unhappy, as it disturbed everyone’s sleep.
Everyone was afraid to sleep beside her. I kept comforting her, encouraging her and sharing my food with her. She noticed it and asked me to share my beliefs with her and to teach her how to pray. She changed; she shared her feelings with me and didn’t glare at others anymore, and she felt ashamed of her previous conduct. Never did she wake others again, nor did she mind even when others occupied her sleeping space. One day she prayed that she could see her daughter who she hadn’t seen for a long time. On that day, the superior came and agreed to grant her request and allowed them to talk face to face, which is impossible, as it is not allowed in prison. She felt the greatest favor of the supervisor and of the Lord. She then announced to everyone after God answered her prayer, “Please pray to God when you are having troubles.”
The officer on duty observed the good atmosphere and expected the peace to be maintained for some time. Others remarked that Christianity is more than 100 times better than Falungong (a rapidly growing, non-Christian religion in China). Such words really comforted me!
There were some dialogues with the interrogator that were very interesting. I will share a sample of them.
Every time I would say hello to them very politely, they would say, “L, you are in a good situation!” I would reply: “Yes, because we have Jesus and are very happy. Thank you for giving us such a chance and for letting me taste the feeling of losing my freedom and experiencing life in prison.” They would respond with, “Is that your true thinking or derogatory words?” They could not understand and would become angry. “Oh. Is this the place where you experienced life? Is this the place where you can preach?”
Another time they asked “How do you feel about being imprisoned?” I replied, “Since we didn’t follow the legal process of publishing, we should take the consequences of not obeying the law. But I know that it was the will of God, and we wanted first to follow His will.” They could not totally understand and were angry at me. They would shout, “L, we say this, you say that, don’t tell us such a load of garbage.”
Once they asked me, “If you faced difficulty or broke the law, would you look for the police?” I answered that it depended on the situation. They then gave me the example. “If a thief broke into your home and took your goods, would you call the police?” I told them, “No, he took what he needed. I would not call the police.” Police B was very angry with me and said, “You are really blind to the law.”
They could not understand our thinking, and we could not communicate in the same way.
About two weeks had passed since I was imprisoned. I occasionally met F and K, but never saw Pastor Z, knowing nothing about him and worrying about him. On a particular Sunday we were served Malabar spinach for lunch. I knew that is Z’s favorite, and I could imagine him enjoying his meal. I prayed, “Oh God, please let me meet Z or even just look at him from far away.” I actually met him on my way to the next interrogation. I stood there, and he passed by me, although obviously he didn’t notice me as he was without his glasses. I smiled; he noticed me then and was somewhat astonished, and he left me with a smile which made me feel at ease. That was one more thing that I needed to thank God for.
When I was arrested, my computer and hard disk were with me. My only worry was that the data in the disk might become the evidence that they could use against us to sue us. While I was traveling on the train, three police officers were constantly watching me, and I was handcuffed the whole time. I had no idea how to destroy the hard disk or hide it. I kept praying and asked the Lord to help me.
One morning, I woke up early and saw the three of them sleeping. I wanted to take my hard disk, but I was afraid that if I moved they might hear and wake up. I prayed and asked the Lord to put them in a deep sleep. Things went very smoothly as I took it out and hid it. They knew nothing. Then I prayed to the Lord to protect the hard disk so that I could take it back when I was released.
One month passed. After my release, I boarded the train traveling between H city and D city and, after praying, asked the conductor to help me search for something. Thank God, the conductor agreed and allowed me to look for it. But when I could not find it, I remembered that there are a total of four trains running from H city to D city. According to the schedule I had not found the right train. The conductor agreed to contact the other conductor and ask him to look for it. He said, “It has been a long time since you lost it. Why did you come so late?” I could not answer him but prayed in my heart, asking the Lord to move him to patiently help me. As I had expected, they found it on the other train and told me to pick it up at the nearest train station. They even responsibly took down my phone number. I got the disk the next day, and it had remained intact. God loves us. In answer to my sincere prayer, He helped me find the hard disk, even after a whole month.
We are serving such a wonderful God! His providential workings are always with us! I praise His name and His love towards us!
Pastor Kang writes that he has heard that many of the policemen and jailors so respect our leaders’ faith and deportment that they call them into their offices to ask them the reason for their faith. They even ask counsel for family problems and ask them to pray for them. Some of the jailors have started to bring raw vegetables for the prisoners to eat after they realized that our leaders do not eat any meat, which means that they have nothing to eat at times.
When Pastor Kang visited Korea recently, some of the workers were able to cross the border to see him. He wrote: “Sister Lu, who was in jail and released, was in our meeting. I was so happy to see her. I could clearly see that her prison experience made a big difference in her life. She was more calm and meek in her deportment, and her conversation showed that her trust in God had deepened. Several who have been released are house or city bound. They are being watched very carefully, so it is nearly impossible for them to travel. We have already selected other leaders to take over their jobs. Our printing work is still going on, and our colporteurs are gathering strength. They are already going up and down the streets with our books. They feel it is their life mission for God; they sense that there is little time left to spread the Three Angels’ Messages throughout the large land of China. We currently have 650 active colporteurs on the streets all over China. Since most of our male leaders have been arrested or their IDs registered with the police, we must now use our sisters and young people to carry on the work. Another precaution we must take is to use only cash. It is not safe to store large sums of money in the bank since we are being watched so closely. What little money we have we must move around from place to place often so as not to arouse suspicion. We practically need to start our China ministry all over again due to the current persecutions and the arrest of our leaders.
“My friends, this kind of persecution is going to come to us in the United States rather soon! I hope and pray that we are going to be prepared for the coming hardships that we may glorify Him in any given circumstances. Brothers and sisters, we must have the faith of Jesus!
“Please remember our ministry in China in your prayers and pray for the safety of our people as they minister to all in the country!”
By Pastor David Kang. Light for Life Ministry, PO Box 300, Franklin Springs, GA 30639. Phone: 706-377-1004. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.