By Zhou Jun, Germany
In a few days it would be Christmas Day, so the streets were full of festival atmosphere. As I was memorizing words with drooping head inside my classroom as usual, my classmate Anna who came from Philippines sat next to me and asked curiously: “Jun, will you return to China this Christmas to reunite with your family?” At her words, I was speechless, just looking at her and not knowing how to reply her.
She asked me with concern, “Jun, how are you?” I came to myself at once, smiled apologetically and replied, “I’m fine.” After a moment’s pause, I continued, “I tell you a story. Do you want to hear, Anna?” On hearing I would tell a story, my classmates, who were from Canada, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Rumania and other different countries, gathered around me, and said, “Jun, do you tell the story? We also want to hear!” Looking at their expectant eyes, I took a deep breath, and then began to tell the story.
“I was born in a blissful and happy family. From my childhood, I believed in God with my mom. She often read to me God’s words and fellowshiped with me about God’s will. Growing up under the watering of God’s words, I felt very happy. However, all of this was interrupted on account of the persecution of the CCP. Ten years ago, I was thirteen. One day during that winter, just when I came back home from school, my aunt came to my home in a fluster, caught me, and said anxiously, ‘Xiaojun, your dad has gone to the police station.’ I asked in surprise, ‘Why did he go there?’ She replied, ‘A few days ago, in order to prevent your mom from believing in God, the government people did ideological work with your dad. They asked him to report your mom’sto the police. As a result, he did go there taking all your mom’s books of God’s words as the evidence. I tried to stop him but failed. Hurry up! Go to find your mom and tell her not to come home.’ Before she finished her words, I had rushed out to find my mom. I ran fast through the streets and paths beside the paddy fields and went to the places where she had been to find her.
“On the way, I felt extremely miserable and anxious inside. In the past, my dad and mom were a loving couple and they took me under their wings and were very fond of me. Moreover, my dad supported mom in believing in God, and when brothers and sisters came to my home, he received them with her. But since he believed the rumors and slander spread by the CCP government, he who was honest and kind before had begun to strongly oppose my mom’s believing in God. To obstruct my mom, he often quarreled with her, beat her brutally, and even encouraged relatives and friends to prevent her from believing in God. What I didn’t expect was that he actually reported my mom to the police that time. Didn’t he know doing that meant my mom would be sent to prison and suffer the torture and cruel treatment? When I thought mom would be arrested by police and that I would never see her again, I felt extremely sad as if the sky had fallen and I didn’t dare to think what would happen if she was arrested.
“I searched for mom in the village, along the streets and near the paddy fields, but I didn’t find her. So I could do nothing but stand in the doorway and look around for her. I was afraid of hearing the police whistles and the worry and fear made me cry in spite of myself. In helplessness, I prayed to God, sobbing, ‘O God, today my dad went to the police station to report my mom’s belief in God, and the police are coming for arresting her. God, I’m really scared and worried that she will be arrested. God, I can only rely on You. I beg You to give me faith and power.’ After the prayer, I thought of these words of God: ‘You should know that all things in the environment around you are there by My permission, I arrange it all. See clearly and satisfy My heart in the environment I have given to you. Do not fear, Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you; He has your back and He is your shield.’ Right! Everything is in God’s sovereignty. The CCP police wanted to arrest my mom, but they couldn’t achieve it without God’s permission. With God backing me strongly from behind, what would I fear? When I thought of this, my uneasy heart gradually calmed down, and I also had courage and strength in my heart.
“Waiting for a long time, I finally saw my mom was back. I flew toward and hugged her and repeated with a trembling voice, ‘Mom, run! Run! Later, my dad will bring the police to arrest you.’ After hearing my words, she hugged me tightly, and said to me again and again in a broken voice, ‘Mom has to go. Take good care of yourself. When running into things, you need to pray to God more. We have God at our side, don’t be afraid. I’ll be okay and take care of yourself. …’ Her eyes moistened and tears also blurred my sight. Seeing my mom would leave me, I couldn’t help but run after her. As I ran with her, taking her hand, I said to her in tears, ‘Mom, mom, take care of yourself. Don’t worry about me. God will guide me. Mom …’ I kept running until we reached the roadside. I watched her receding figure, and all I could do was constantly wipe the tears from my face. How I wished to see her once more! How I wished to have her accompany me by my side all along! But I didn’t dare to say any words to detain her, as I knew if she stayed, she would be arrested and tortured by the police, and even more, her life would be in jeopardy.
“I just didn’t think that this parting is ten years.” When I spoke these words in a broken voice, Anna wrapped her arms around me, and other classmates sat around me in silence. I tried to calm myself down and hold back my tears. Then I continued telling them my experience.
“In these ten years, although I lose my mom’s companionship when growing up,has been with me all along. Besides, with the help and support of my brothers and sisters and the watering and shepherding of God’s words, I don’t feel lonely. For the sake of my living, I began to work when I was 15 and I once did every kind of the difficult and dirty work. Every Chinese New Year, when I saw other moms buy her daughters new coats, and that they cuddled up together, laughing and talking, I would gaze at them dumbly, as if I had returned to the past: At that time, my mom would prepare hot meals and clean and warm clothes for me, and also fellowship God’s words with me every day…. If the CCP government didn’t persecute and arrest us Christians, my mom and I wouldn’t be separated, and I wouldn’t suffer all these pain and harm. It was the CCP government that destroyed my happy family.
“In this decade, I always worried about my mom, and in countless nights, I dreamed she dragged me, and we kept running, and then the evil police closed in on us from all sides…. Every time I woke up from my nightmare, I would come to God and pray, for only God knew what deep sufferings I underwent, and only God could soothe my pain inside. I often thought: The national constitution expressly stipulates that citizens have freedom of religion; moreover, that weis a good thing, and we are taking the right path of life. But why does the CCP government persecute us Christians, with the result that my mom is forced to abandon our home and live in exile and that we can’t see each other?
“Later, I saw God’s words say: ‘For thousands of years this has been the land of filth, it is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts roam its every corner, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations, being ruthless and vicious, trampling this ghost town and leaving it littered with dead bodies; the stench of decay covers the land and pervades the air, and it is heavily guarded. Who can see the world beyond the skies? The devil tightly trusses all of man’s body, it puts out both his eyes, and seals his lips firmly shut. The king of devils has rampaged for several thousand years, right up until today, when it still keeps a close watch on the ghost town, as if it were an impenetrable palace of demons; this pack of watchdogs, meanwhile, stare with glaring eyes, deeply fearful that God will catch them unawares and wipe them all out, leaving them without a place of peace and happiness. How could the people of a ghost town such as this have ever seen God? Have they ever enjoyed the dearness and loveliness of God? What appreciation have they of the matters of the human world? Who of them can understand God’s eager will? Small wonder, then, thatremains completely hidden: In a dark society such as this, where the demons are merciless and inhumane, how could the king of devils, who kills people in the blink of an eye, tolerate the existence of a God who is lovely, kind, and also holy? How could it applaud and cheer the arrival of God? … Forefathers of the ancient? Beloved leaders? They all oppose God! Their meddling has left all beneath heaven in a state of darkness and chaos! Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin!’
“China is an autocratic and atheistic country. To obtain their ambitions of permanently ruling over China, outwardly, the CCP government falsely claim that there is freedom of religion in China, but internally, they have labeled Christianity a cult and labeled the Holy Bible a cult book. They also crazily arrest us Christians everywhere, which has led to countless Christians being imprisoned, maimed and killed. The CCP truly is a satanic demon who resists and hates God. Besides, they also fabricate various rumors to slander us believers, which leads to the family members of Christians being involved—The CCP not only doesn’t allow them to attend school or work, but threatens and intimidates them. Just like my dad, after he believed the CCP’s lies and was threatened and intimidated by them, he began to use any means to prevent my mom from believing in God and reported her to the police. To escape being arrested by them, my mom had to leave our home and live in exile. Thereafter, my warm and peaceful family was broken. In these years, I have not only lost my mom’s companionship, concern and care, but suffered the discrimination and ridicule of the people around me, which has left eternal bitterness in my soul. All of these are caused by the CCP government.”
The painful memories hurt my heart, and tears trickled down my cheeks. My classmate Emera, who came from Romania, patted my shoulder gently. And Anna shook her head with an irrepressible frown, and said: “It is a lie that China believes in freedom.”
“In a blink, years passed. The CCP government’s persecution of Christians became more and more severe, so that many of them were arrested and put in prison. Because my mom was wanted by the CCP government, the police would surely find me if they followed up. So, for the sake of my safety, my brothers and sisters arranged for me to leave my hometown. But I didn’t want to do that, for I missed my mom so much, and I expected someday she would come back so that I could reunite with her. However, I knew that in China, it was very difficult for us believers to meet our family, let alone be with them.
“Before leaving, I received a letter from my mom, which said, ‘Juner, how are you? Mom is fine. Although I’m compelled to take flight outside our hometown because of the CCP’s persecution, God is with me and brothers and sisters also accompany me, so that I don’t feel lonely. God has prepared everything in abundance for me. Don’t worry about me. I have known you will leave our hometown, but wherever we are, we should come to rely on and look up to God in everything. As long as we truly depend on God, He will surely lead us to pass through this dark and difficult time. God’s words say: “You will surely, under the guidance of My light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness. You will surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you. … You will surely be resolute and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit the blessing that comes from Me, and will surely irradiate within the entire universe with My glory.” Juner, you know what? God will surely guide us to break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness until God’s glory appears on the earth. The pain we suffer today is valuable and meaningful; it is God’s blessings and is necessary for us to gain the truth and salvation, and it is also the convincing proof of God’s victory against Satan. No matter what circumstances we encounter, we should maintain our loyalty to God, and suffer all that we should suffer to bear witness for God. This is the real love for God. You had been willful since childhood, and thus I was afraid when I wasn’t with you, you would go astray, so I could only entrust you to God, asking Him to guide, care and protect you. Thank God! You not only don’t be influenced negatively, but become sensible and obedient, and learn to cook and do housework. But more importantly, you have chosen to believe in God and perform duties in the church. I’m gratified by this. I know you are my daughter, but you belong to God even more, so I hope you can properly fulfill your duty to repay God’s love.’
“Reading that letter, I wiped my tears again and again, and offered my thanks and praise to God in my heart. Once, I was a wilful, selfish and unreasoning girl, but since my mom left me, I have learned to be independent and rely on God. The persecution and suppression of the CCP government not only doesn’t intimidate or crush me, but makes me have some discernment of their God-opposing essence, and what’s more, it also makes me truly experience God is caring me by my side.
“In retrospect, over these years, though my mom isn’t at my side, God has never left me. As I encountered difficulties, He always used brothers and sisters to help me; when I was negative and weak, His words comforted and supported me all along. Under the guidance of God’s words, I’ve known what positive and negative things are, been able to distinguish the CCP’s nature and essence of resisting God and its sinister motives, and found the correct life direction. Now, under God’s leading, I begin to pursue the truth and fulfill my duty of a creature of God, stepping onto the bright right way of human life. Thinking back to these years, I really can’t measure God’s love and keeping for me. From now on, I’m only willing to fulfill my duty well to repay God’s love for me.
“Although I have no family, God has always been with me.” After listening to me, my classmates gazed at me with approbation and admiration. At that time, I saw my teacher came toward me from behind, and I didn’t know when she started to listen to my story. And then she said to me, “Jun, through your story, we know the lies of the Chinese Communist government. In fact, they have been persecuting Christians. There is no freedom of belief in China and no freedom of human rights. We are willing to do our best to help you!”
The bell for class rang, and I turned to look out the window, thinking: It is the tenth year since I left my mom. Although I cannot reunite with her, I don’t feel lonely with God’s companionship. I only wish to do my best to pursue the truth and fulfill my duty to repay God’s love.
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