By Yang Yang
After finishing the housework, I sat down for a rest. Picking up theon the table and flicking through it, I repeatedly read a verse, “the whole world lies in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). At this moment, I unconsciously looked at the calendar, then I realized I had been abroad for more than a year.
I still clearly remember the time when I stayed in China. At that time, it was extremely cold. There were no leaves on the tree in the courtyard outside the moat, only the branches in the cold wind. The police cars passed through the gate of the moat from time to time, and the moat seemed to have been sobbed up by the sharp siren. That day, I made an appointment with Sister Wang for preaching theto the University of Science and Technology, but before I arrived at the university, she was arrested by the police. I burned with anxiety at that point of time and there was nothing I could do. I thought: The Chinese Communist Party police always interrogate and torture Christians with ruthlessness. Sister Wang was already more than sixty years old, how could she endure the cruel tortures? After returning home, I was also afraid that the police would come to find me as well. Whenever I heard the footsteps outside the door, my heart would jump, and if there was someone knocking at the door, I would wonder if they were the police. During that period, many brothers and sisters of our church were arrested by the CCP police because they preached the gospel. Therefore, we felt very frightened as soon as we saw the police. I really didn’t understand: We are walking on the right path by believing in the Lord. Preaching the gospel is the most righteous undertaking, through which more people can obtain the Lord’s salvation and receive His blessings. Why does the CCP still persecute us Christians? At that moment, I did really experience the authenticity of this verse “the whole world lies in wickedness.” In panic, I felt the time passed so slowly.
I knew such a thing was permitted by the Lord. Even if I would endure sufferings or anxiety, I could not complain against the Lord. I had thought that I would have no choice but to live under such environment all along. Unexpectedly, later a sister came to my home, and told me some brothers and sisters had chosen to go abroad tobecause of the persecution of the CCP. So she also encouraged me to go abroad. When hearing this, I knew there must be God’s good purpose behind this. And the Lord has said, “But when they persecute you in this city, flee you into another” (Matthew 10:23). But at the thought of leaving my home and son, I felt extremely sad in my heart. My son was still in college, if I left home, who else could take care of him? When could I see him again? At the moment, I was really unwilling to leave my son. But the CCP’s persecution of Christianity was becoming more and more fierce, and brothers and sisters were arrested constantly. Even if I didn’t leave home, I could not attend meetings, nor could I preach the gospel, for cameras were installed throughout the streets and our every act and move was totally under the surveillance of the CCP government. Therefore, I could only pray to the Lord in my heart and ask Him to give me faith and strength so that I could overcome my weakness and truly obey Him.
That day when my son knew I was about to leave, tears streamed down his face and he sobbed for a long time. Then he said, “Mum, don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t mean to stop you from leaving. Just at the thought of your going abroad, I know I will become an orphan, so I really don’t want you to leave. Nevertheless, I understand you will be safer in foreign countries, which also makes me feel assured. Because the Chinese government has been redoubling the fight against Christianity, they are arresting you Christians comprehensively, and they even install cameras in our college campus. Mum, you’d better leave. The further you go, the better it will be for you. You will be safe when you arrive in democratic countries, and then I needn’t worry about you….” On hearing his words, I was so moved and I didn’t know what to say.
It was the last time that I had a long conversation with my son before going abroad. What made me happy was that my son didn’t stop me from leaving home even though he didn’t want me to leave. This really was God’s wondrous deeds, and I knew it was the Lord who made a way out for me. Finally, I arrived in America and stepped onto the land of freedom. Though I am far away from my hometown, I broke free of the CCP’s control and affliction, so that I can continue my faith in the Lord. I feel much released as if a great burden has been taken off my mind.
In the past, I often prayed for those in power, asking the Lord to change and choose them so that they would come to believe in the Lord someday. I always thought the reason why those in power persecute religious beliefs was that they didn’t recognize the Lord as the true God. Later, I met a sister who also fled to America because of the CCP’s persecution of her faith in God. Only through her fellowship did I know the evil people in this world who resist God are the evil spirits following Satan. Satan competed with God for status and sat equal with God when in Heaven. As a result, it was struck down midair. Afterwards, this evil spirit possessed the snake. Through the snake, it said to our progenitors Adam and Eve and deceived them into betraying God. Later, it began to deceive and corrupt mankind. After those evil spirits were born again to become man, they look like man from the outside, but their spirits are evil spirits, belonging to Satan and demons. The book of Revelation in the Bible said, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9). Only then did I have some understanding of this verse: In the spiritual world, those angels who betrayed God are just those in power who persecute Christians on earth; after being born again, they are still enemies of God; they hate believers in God and try every possible means to arrest and persecute Christians because they hate God and the truth. No wonder thesaid, “If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). For these years, I have never understood why the CCP arrests and persecutes Christians. But now I can see clearly the substance of the CCP through the sister’s fellowship.
Therefore, I realized even more that only God loves man, and He is the embodiment of love. When the Lord came to work, He showed the utmost love and compassion, curing all kinds of diseases, restoring sight to the blind and allowing the paralyzed to walk; He also had mercy for sinners and bestowed upon us bountiful graces. However, in the end, He, being innocent, was nailed to the cross, redeeming man from condemnation by law. The Lord never forces people to follow Him, but only expresses the truth to get man to repent; the Lord doesn’t clarify anything for mankind, but the work He did has proved His tolerance and mercy for us. Looking back over the years, I see when I live in peace and joy, the Lord merely watches me, and He never thinks about taking credit, nor does He make me be grateful to Him; when I am upset and painful because of some daily vicissitudes, the Lord’s word comforts me and His loving hand accompanies me all the time. Especially in those days when I suffered the CCP’s persecution, the Lord sent brothers and sisters to support and help me, leading me through the hard years; every journey during my escape from the country filled with blood, China, to this free country contains too much God’s painstaking efforts …
Nowadays, when thinking back to everything that has happened, I have more faith to walk the path ahead. Since the Lord has brought us to this day, He will definitely accomplish His promises in the things to come, appearing to us again and bringing us to return before His throne. The Bible says, “Sowas once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). “And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6). From these words, I came to know when the Lord appears the second time, there will be the everlasting gospel spread to all people from all nations, and those who eagerly wait for the appearance of the Lord will return before God. Therefore, I much more eagerly hope for the Lord to return earlier and wait for the arrival of this day, so that I can finally meet the Lord.