By Du Jun
All Our Family Were Saved by Grace
In the first several years after I got married, my family was very poor. What’s worse, my wife had breast cancer, I had very serious stomach problems, and my daughter had tuberculosis. Our family all lived in the torment of illnesses. To see doctors, we used up our only savings. When we were living in suffering and desperation, in December 1993, a relative preached the salvation of the Lord to me, and our family all accepted it and believed in the Lord. Gradually, our sickness was gone unknowingly. To repay the Lord’s love, I went out preaching gospels with other brothers and sisters. Blessed by Him, we soon brought in more than a thousand new believers, and established over twenty churches. Thus I was promoted to be an elder of our church and brothers and sisters all came to my home to attend meetings.
Persecutions Came Upon Me
In August 1994, seeing more and more people believed in the Lord, the Chinese Communist government began to arrest believers. Once in a meeting, when I was doing preaching, the chief of police and a cop burst into my house. The chief roared at me: “From now on, you mustn’t hold gatherings. Your gathering is illegal. It’s forbidden by the state.” I asked in confusion: “It states clearly that everyone enjoys freedom of religious belief. How could it be illegal?” The chief said haughtily: “Freedom of religious belief? That’s just for foreigners. If you want to believe, you must register and join the Three-Self Church. Only the Three-Self Church is protected by the state.” I said: “Wein order to gain life. If we are registered, we’ll submit to the control of the council, which means we’ll believe in the King. Since we believe in God, we should only rely on God, but not on power. Just as the words of Jehovah God say in the Bible, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, said the LORD of hosts’ (Zechariah 4:6).” Seeing that I had a strong resolve, the chief threatened us: “If you insist on believing, we’ll arrest you!” After that, they stormed off.
One day in March 1995, the cops arrested me and thirty-odd brothers and sisters and we were taken to the police station. Finding that there was no enough space for us, they locked us up in the cinema nearby. Later, the cops took me into a temporary interrogation room upstairs in the cinema. As soon as I came in, a cop shouted loudly at me and ordered me to kneel down. Before I realized what was happening, another cop came up, pulling my hands behind my back, and cuffing my two thumbs. Following this, they started to interrogate me: “Who preached to you? Where does he live? How many people are there in your church?” No matter what they asked, I just said I didn’t know. Hence, the police were shamed into anger, one of them raised the chair and threatened me: “Speak! Or I’ll beat you to death with the chair. This is the world of the CCP. If you want to believe, believe in the CCP. Speak!” Seeing their ferocious looks, I couldn’t but think of the’ word: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). The Lord’s words made my heart brighten up. I came to realize: If I said nothing, they couldn’t continue the interrogation, but once I dropped a word, they would interrogate incessantly. Hence, I prayed silently to the Lord, asking Him to give me faith. And then, no matter how they interrogated me, I just replied that I didn’t know. They also forced me to sell the brothers and sisters, or they would fine me. At that moment, a policeman received a call from the county, saying that a tourist ship had capsized in the Changjiang River and that six Taiwanese were drowned. They were asked to leave for the scene right away to help deal with the incident. Having no time to take care of brothers and sisters, they fined me and several major co-workers 200 yuan, and then they had no choice but to release us. Afterward, I heard the village head say the police intended to have fined us 50,000 yuan once they arrested us believers in the Lord. However, as a result, they didn’t get the money, but paid relatives of the victims several millions for insurance and burial fees. I then thought of the word in the Bible: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay” (Romans 12:19). Having seen the Lord’s deeds, brothers and sisters and I were firmly resolved to walk the way of following the Lord.
I Was Sentenced to Three Years of Hard Labor
Twenty days had passed. Never had I thought that the public security bureau, the procuratorate, and the court deployed a large number of policemen and arrested about 35 people, including co-workers and host family in a while. They also went to my home to arrest me, but coincidently, I wasn’t at home that day, so they didn’t catch me. The next day, they brought guns with them and awaited me on my way home. The moment they saw me, they forcibly took me to the police station. After arriving, the chief of the police said to his subordinates: “The material about Du Jun is ready. Send him to the county prison directly.” Then they instantly conveyed me to the prison. One month later, the police took me to the court and conducted the public trial. The judge asked me: “What is your belief? Why do you believe?” At that point, I remembered the Lord once said: “But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues you shall be beaten: and you shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them” (Mark 13:9), so I said calmly: “I believe in the true God, the Lord Jesus. Because not long after I believe in the Lord Jesus, all our family’s sickness was healed.” As soon as I finished the words, the judge shouted at me harshly: “You are deceived. The foreigners ask you to believe in God, they are actually asking you to have patience so that they can control you.” Only after hearing his words did I realize that the government’s purpose in arresting us was to maintain its political regime. But I knew clearly that we believers in the Lord only practiced His word, and didn’t do anything that broke the law. Today, I could undergo such things and suffered hardships the Lord had suffered, this was my honor. So I made my view clear: I’m determined to believe in the Lord. The judge saw I wasn’t tempted at all, so he said: “When we have a meeting, we want but can’t collect many people. But when you hold meetings, hundreds of people take part; you are fabricating rumors and making trouble, deceiving people, and disturbing social order. So I’ll sentence you to three years of hard labor! If you insist on believing in God, we’ll shoot you.” Hearing the judgment, I was angry, but when I thought of word in the Bible: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Mat 17:24–25), the Lord’s word gave me courage and I had faith in following the Lord to take up the way of the cross.
Preaching thein Prison
Later, I was ordered to be reformed in a farm. In prison, I thought of Joseph. At the time, though he was harmed by the evil and sold to Egypt, he didn’t deny the name of Jehovah, and thus Jehovah was with him. I also thought the scripture said: “Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mak 16:15). Therefore, I testified to the prison guards and prisoners of the Lord’s gospel and many of them accepted and believed in the Lord. The chief of the labor camp had skin tag on his arms, and he had seen many doctors but failed to be cured. Then I preached the gospel and testified to him about the Lord’s grace, and prayed for his sickness. Soon, his sickness was gone. As he had received blessings of the Lord and seen the miraculous deeds of the Lord, he too believed in the Lord and thus we often chatted and attended meetings together. Afterward, he arranged for me to cook meals. During the busy farming season, I could even take leave for half a month to go home helping my wife gather the harvest. I knew clearly within that this completely was the Lord’s grace, and the manifestation of His wisdom and His almightiness! It made me realize the Lord can do everything that man can’t do. Even though I was in the prison, the Lord is with me. Though my life was a bit hard, I felt incomparably honored to preach the Lord’s gospel there.
What I Heard After Being Released
Two years later, my sentence was commuted by one year and I was released in advance. Only on arriving home did I know, when I was in prison, the CCP still didn’t stop persecuting Christians. In April 1995, when my elder daughter was attending a co-worker meeting in a host family, the police arrested all the twenty or so brothers and sisters present. Among them, a sister was sentenced to two years, two brothers were held in detention for 15 days, and the rest weren’t released before they were fined 50 yuan. In August, a brother in our church was arrested. Since the chief of the police dared not beat believers, he asked an underworld thug to beat him while he and two other cops squatted and looked by their side. Unexpectedly, when the hired thug was going about beating the brother, the thug suddenly vomited blood and fell to the ground. The chief was scared, so he released the brother. From this the brother had seen God’s deeds, his faith was greatly strengthened and he insisted on preaching gospel to witness God after being released.
A Few Thoughts
Through experiencing the persecution of the CCP, we saw the Lord’s power was infinite. When our life was threatened, it was the Lord who protected us from the danger, so that we could survive. We also saw why the CCP arrested and persecuted us: Outwardly, they hated us; in actual fact, they hated the Lord. Just as the Lord said, “If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you” (Mat 15:18). Thank the Lord for His love! From then on, no matter how great dangers and tribulations come upon me, I’ll follow the footprints of my Lord and move forward!