By Zhang Li, China
In 1997, I accepted God’s work of. Through reading , I understood many truths, knowing that as a creature of God, I should perform my duty. Considering that many people were still struggling bitterly in the darkness without hearing God’s voice, I wanted to witness the appearance and work of God in the last days to them at once, allowing them to hear God’s voice as soon as possible and be raised before God’s throne, lest they would be left in disasters to weep and gnash their teeth. Therefore, I became actively involved in the preaching of the gospel. However, I was reported by evil people, being coerced into leaving home and starting the life of a vagrant.
Escaping From the Sudden Arrest
After 5:00 pm on March 21, 2007, I went out to work. Not too far away from my house, I received a phone call from my father-in-law. “Come back! Zhijun (my husband) was arrested by the police.” Hearing his quivering voice, I felt extremely nervous and instantly realized that: The police must have come for me for I am the most famous believer in God in the village. Without capturing me, they will surely not let go of my husband. Though not believing in God, my husband is in favor of my belief, and sometimes he has helped our church. Once I thought of this, my heart was pounding and my mind was in great confusion. I thought: What should I do? Since they haven’t captured me, will they strike a vicious blow at my husband? The evil police of the Chinese government arrested a young brother for believing in Almighty God in our village last month. Detained for over twenty days, the young brother was tortured black and blue all over, and had several fractures. Even now, he is still lying on the bed, unable to walk by himself. The more I thought about it, the more I was afraid that my husband would be cruelly tortured by the CCP police, and I feared that he would betray brothers and sisters if he couldn’t bear such torture. I hastened to pray to God, “Oh! God, encountering the arrest by the CCP police, I am very scared. Though I haven’t been captured, they took away my husband. I can’t see through their evil intention. Please keep me. I will never become a Judas or do anything that betray You, but stand testimony for You. God! May You protect my husband from betraying brothers and sisters.” After I was done praying, I thought: I can’t go back home now. It is too dangerous.
In desperation, I hurriedly escaped to the mountain. When I arrived at the mountain, the day got dark. I heard branches swaying violently in the wind, its leaves rustling, with the terrible sounds of night birds mixed in. It was really hair-raising. I stayed in the barren mountain lonely and hopelessly and extremely frightened. I could only pray to God ceaselessly, asking Him to keep me and give me courage and faith. After praying, I remembered God’s words, “You shouldn’t be afraid of this and that. No matter how many difficulties and dangers you face, you shall remain steady before Me; do not be obstructed by anything…. Be not afraid; with My support, who could ever block the road?” (“The Tenth Utterance”). God’s words comforted me a lot and my frightened and nervous heart was calmed down slowly. I considered: That’s true. Today, I encountered the CCP’s persecution and arrest, but God is with me and He is my support. Without God’s permission, the police can’t harm me. Thinking of this, I wasn’t as afraid.
At 11 o’clock in the evening, my husband telephoned that he would come and get me. Hearing this, I knew he had already come back safely. I became joyful immediately and thanked God in my heart. After a while, at the sight of my husband, I hastened to ask how it went. He said, “The police meant to come for you. Without finding you, they took me to the police station for questioning. They said that someone reported you spreading the gospel every day and you are a main pillar of The Church of Almighty God. So they forced me into telling them where you were. I had to tell them that you went to take care of our mother. Then they locked me up in the police vehicle and took me to our mother’s house. Considering that our parents have already been over 80 years old and our mother has been ill, I was concerned that she might be frightened. So I asked the police whether I could enter into the house first and let our parents know what was going on. But the police disagreed and directly rushed into the house. They threatened and asked our father where he hid you. Also they said they would put you in jail to stay eight to ten years if they found you. As last, they searched the house from top to bottom, without finding you, they left a phone number and threatened that they would expel our father from the party membership before the public if he didn’t cooperate with government to report you immediately when you came home. They also said that they would surely nail you.
Hearing that the police went to my mother’s house to get me, I became more indignant and said, “What law have I broken by believing in God? How can they treat me and my family like this? I don’t steal or rob. What’s wrong with my believing in God? Why don’t they arrest those corrupted government officials who harm so many people in China, those who are murderers, arsonists, thieves or rapists, and those who commit many evil deeds and hurt the people? They only strike a vicious blow at us the ordinary people, and won’t leave our family alone. Is there no justice in China?” My husband replied, “Now China is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. They can do whatever they want. If they claim that we have broken the law, then we do. There is no venue of justice or reason for us. If we disobey them, they will put us to death, and even our family will have to suffer with us. It seems that you can’t stay in our house. We have to find somewhere to hide.” After hearing these words, I became tense again and hurriedly asked my husband to take me to my brother’s house for a night by motorcycle and take me out of our village on the following day.
Being Forced to Leave Home and Live as a Housemaid Incognito
At that night I stayed at my brother’s house, I tossed and turned in bed, unable to fall asleep. Many thoughts passed through my mind: My parents are in their eighties and have sacrificed their lives for us. My mother is lying on her sick-bed now. It is exactly the time when they need our care. How I wish to stay at home and watch my parents! Nevertheless, because of my belief in God, I am chased by the CCP police. I can’t fulfill my filial piety, and even I am unable to return home, running from the police. Thinking that I didn’t know when I would return home, I couldn’t stop the tears flowing down my face and the agony knifed my heart. In pain, I prayed to God persistently, asking Him to lead me on the path in front of me. Then I thought of God’s words, “That which you are greedily enjoying today is the very thing that is ruining your future, whereas the pain you are suffering today is the very thing that is protecting you” (“The Work of Spreading the Gospel Is Also the Work of Saving Man”). Pondering God’s words and thinking about His love, I realized: If I stay at home to take care of my parents, I will be arrested by the CCP police. Now, the CCP police strike a vicious blow at believers in God and their methods are extremely cruel and sinister. The ones who have no true stature are incapable of standing the cruel torture by the evil police of the Chinese government. Although my flesh will suffer during my running from the CCP police, this is God’s great love and protection of me because God doesn’t wish to see that I am captured by Satan. Hence, drying my eyes, I was willing to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, leaving home temporarily. The next day, my husband took me to the station by motorcycle before daylight. After leaving home, I earned a living as a housemaid to protect myself.
Passing Through Grief in God’s Accompany
Later, my brother told me that the police had continuously been to my house to search for me and to demand my whereabouts from my parents after I left home. Moreover, he said they threatened my parents, ordering that my parents must find me and hand me over in the next two months, otherwise my father would be punished for harboring a fugitive and be expelled from party membership. Hearing what my brother said, I felt hurt and pained, thinking: How vicious the CCP government is! It won’t even let go of my parents who don’t. My parents are over 80 years old, but they have to bear persecution and humiliation for me. At the thought of these things, I even hated the CCP government more for being so despicable and shameful.
In October 2009, I got the information that my mother’s illness turned worse due to utter desolation and anger. She kept calling my name and wanted to see me every day. Knowing these things, I felt heartbroken and considered: I am their only daughter. If I can see my mother before she passes away, this can be considered carrying out her last wish. Thinking of this, I could no longer control my yearning for my mother. In the morning of October 9, I decided to risk my life to visit my mother with my husband together. When we arrived at the entrance to the village, a woman, running a shop, rushed before us and said, “How dare you come back! This morning, there were several police inquiring upon whether you are home.” These words astonished me. Before I understood what was going on, my husband had dragged me and jumped into a car to leave hurriedly. My feeling was complicated in the car. I thanked God for reminding me through the people around me, but at the same time, I was filled with hatred for the CCP government. With anger, I was thinking: It is right and proper for me to believe in God. Why do they forcefully deprive me of the right to visit my mother? Do they have any humanity? Just because I believe in God and walk on the right path, the CCP persecutes and hunts me so ruthlessly. Doesn’t this prove that the CCP is a party of evil?
At 8 o’clock the next morning, when I was sweeping the floor for my employer, my husband telephoned me that my mother had passed away. After hearing this, unable to hide the grief in my heart, I ran to my bedroom and wailed with my quilt covering me. Later, I thought to myself that I am in another person’s house, and if my employers knew that I was wanted by the CCP, I would be kicked out of their house at anytime. That night, lying on the bed, I tossed about in my sleep all night, thinking: My mother, who brought me up, felt alarmed for me while in her sickness, and she was unable to see me before she passed away. How I wish to return for her funeral, but I can’t! I felt pained, as if a knife was cutting through my heart. In the time of my most pain and helplessness, God’s loving hand was still holding mine. I remembered God’s words, “No matter how great your suffering, you should go on to the very end, and even at your last breath, still you must be faithful to God, and at the mercy of God; only this is truly loving God, and only this is the strong and resounding testimony” (“Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God”). From these words, I understood that God used the Chinese Communist police chase of me to reveal whether my belief in God was true or not. Thank God! Today, though I was suffering persecution for walking on the right path of life, I knew only through living this way could I have dignity and integrity. After recognizing these things, I no longer felt pained but made the determination that no matter how rough the road before me was, I was willing to be at the mercy of God and satisfy Him.
Afterward, my brother told me that during my mother’s funeral, the police, pretending to collect antiques, went to my mother’s house to fish for my whereabouts. I was indignant that they meant to take advantage of my weakness of the emotion caused by my mother’s death to capture me. Thank God for protecting me from falling into their claws. I remembered a hymn of life experience, “With strong will I face the roars of devils, and in the hard journey my heart becomes even stronger. The true light is shining, and death is not to be feared. … So ferocious men are, how can they tolerate God? I strive to be a good person and to follow God. It is truly hard to be a person, and even harder to believe in true God. Closely chased by Satan, I have no resting place. Serving God is right and proper. Satan being so base, my rage flames high. Tricks of the king of devils exactly reveal its satanic image. I cannot bow down to satan and become the betrayer Judas for an ignoble existence. I will undergo all the hardships and pass through the dark night. I will never yield before death and win glory for God to welcome God’s appearing” (“Rise Up in the Dark Oppression” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I repeated the hymn in my heart and I couldn’t help but hate the CCP’s guts. How cunning the CCP’s tricks to suppress God’s work were! Apparently, the religious freedom guaranteed by the CCP was a complete swindle!
The More the Devil Persecutes Me, the More I Love God
Afterward, for the sake of finding me, the CCP police often went where my husband worked to make trouble. With resignation, my husband had to leave our hometown for another place to make money. After that, the CCP asked my father for me incessantly, so that my father didn’t dare to stay at home, but had to move. In addition, the CCP also sent the neighbor to spy and watch for my tracks. I had to hide myself from place to place throughout the year, surviving as a housemaid.
During the Spring Festival of 2011, my husband and I went back to visit my father-in-law by motorcycle. Passing through our house, we went back home to fetch some clothes. Our neighbor told me that the head of the police station called him many times to inquire where I was, and even the police went to my house to search for me many times. Hearing what our neighbor said, we dared not stay at home, leaving hurriedly.
In the summer of 2014, my children’s mother-in-law who was a believer in Almighty God, and other sisters in the village were all arrested by the CCP at the same time. She got from the CCP police that they also went to our village to secretly inspect where I was. In the winter of 2015, when my children’s mother-in-law was arrested again, a policeman pointed at my name on a list and said fiercely, “Do you know her? She is your leader, the main pillar we are hunting.” My children’s mother-in-law told them nothing. Then the CCP police went to my house looking for me again, acquiring nothing.
Now, I am still unable to return home! It has already been ten years since I parted from my family and led the life of a vagrant under the coercion of the CCP government. When weak, I thought of God’s words, “Perhaps you all remember these words: ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ In the past, you have all heard this saying, yet none understood the true meaning of the words. Today, you know well the real significance they hold. These words are what God will accomplish in the last days. And they will be accomplished upon those cruelly afflicted by the great red dragon in the land where it lies. The great red dragon persecutes God and is the enemy of God, so in this land, those who believe in God are subjected to humiliation and persecution. That is why these words will become reality in you group of people … That is to say, God does the work of conquest just through those who oppose Him. Therefore, only doing so can manifest the great power of God. In other words, only those in the unclean land are worthy to inherit the glory of God, and only this can give prominence to the great power of God. That is why I say the glory of God is gained in the unclean land and from those who live within. This is the” (“Is the Work of God So Simple as Man Imagines?”). Thinking about and contemplating His good intention, I couldn’t help but think that the suffered the condemnation and resistance from the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman government when He became flesh to work. The Lord Jesus’ being crucified on the cross by them accomplished God’s redemption work exactly. Furthermore, those disciples following the Lord Jesus sacrificed their own lives and spilled their blood to spread the Lord Jesus’ gospel, making strong and resounding witnesses for God before Satan. God’s wisdom is truly exercised based on Satan’s plots. God’s work in the last days also encounters the frenzied condemnation and defiance of the religious world and the CCP regime. Through experiencing the CCP’s chasing and persecution, I could see through the demonic face of the CCP’s truth-hating and God-resisting. In this way, I might hate it and betray it from the bottom of my heart to follow God with loyalty. Finally, I could bear the true testimony of overcoming Satan. This was God’s will. Thinking it over, if not for the evil CCP’s performance and service, I would have no way to see God’s almightiness and wisdom, nor to recognize His righteous disposition and holy substance. God allows the CCP to furiously arrest and persecute God’s chosen people. This really contains God’s good intention. The Lord Jesus once said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). Today, I can suffer persecution for believing in God and walking on the right path of life. Isn’t it the greatest blessing bestowed by God?
Through the experience of having been hunted by the CCP for ten years, I saw God’s almightiness and wisdom: No matter how furiously the CCP resists God, it can’t break away from God’s sovereignty and arrangements; no matter what means the CCP used to persecute me, God kept me and saved me from danger, turning the danger to safety time and again. All of these were God’s great power and arrangements. Through the persecution and hardship, I have seen through the CCP’s demonic essence of resisting God and being against God. It also motivated my resolution to rely on God and cooperate with Him. No matter how rough the way before me, I should submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and firm my faith to follow God. I believe that eventually I can see the day when God defeats Satan and gains the glory.
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