By Yuan Jing
The arrest from the CCP forced me to leave home.
One day at the end of December, 2013, the bitter wind was roaring outside with giant snowflakes falling from the murky sky. Before long, the pines and cypresses were clothed with a thick white coat.
In the house, my whole family were in a gathering together. Our 11-year-old son was singing a hymn praising God in a sweet voice and dancing to the music, while my husband and I were sitting on the couch, humming and clapping our hands. The merry singing echoed around the room, filling it with warmth. Suddenly, there came an urgent knocking at the door, which stirred up an unpleasant feeling inside me. Immediately, we stopped singing and put away the book of hymn. When the door was opened, my brother-in-law rushed in and said anxiously, “Yuan Jing, something bad has happened. Your sister was arrested by the police while spreading the. When I went to the police station to see her, she told me that the police had been tracking and monitoring you two for three months. They know that you are also a believer in God. This time they got your sister, and their next target is you. So your sister asked me to tell you to go into hiding quickly.”
This unexpected news threw me into a complete loss. I never thought that we had been tracked by the police for three months without knowing it. Now my sister was arrested, and I didn’t know what torment she would suffer. I then thought of the videos I had seen before, in which the brothers and sisters were subjected to ruthless beatings after they fell into the hands of the CCP police. Some of them were wounded, some maimed, and some were even beaten to death. The CCP is really savage! At that time, I was full of worries about my sister, but the urgent situation didn’t allow me to think further, so I simply packed my luggage and hurriedly left home.
Because our son needed to go to school, my husband and I entrusted him to a relative, and then we went into hiding in different places. For the three of us who had always lived together, this was the first time that we were forced to be parted from each other because of the police’s pursuit. As time wore on, my longing for my family was growing intense, especially when Spring Festival approached, so I planned to return home to meet them during the festival. I thought: “The police are on holiday during Spring Festival, so they won’t come to arrest me.” So, on Chinese New Year’s Eve, I set off for the bus station at first light. On my way there, I came across the church leader on a bridge, who said to me, “Thank God I met you here. You can’t go home now. Your sister-in-law was arrested by the police yesterday, and they asked her about the whereabouts of you and your husband. It’s too dangerous for you to go home now. You can’t take that risk. We all know that the CCP in essence is the demon that hates God, and that its policy on belief is ‘Troops Won’t Be Withdrawn Until the Ban Is Done.’ I learned that they had arranged for some people to stake out the houses of the brothers and sisters who are on the run, in attempt to arrest those who return home during Spring Festival because of their longing for families.” Hearing what the church leader said, I came to realize that I had no discernment about the CCP and that I was too simple in my thinking.
After I returned to the host family, I told the host family sister about what had just happened, and then she read me a passage of God’s words: “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…. 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!”
The sister then fellowshiped this, “From God’s words we can see that the CCP has always been persecuting believers in God. Outwardly, they put up banners saying ‘religious freedom,’ but behind the scenes, they frantically pursue and persecute us Christians, and even adopt various means to banish our beliefs. They hang up banners and post slogans everywhere, from major streets to little alleyways, spread various heretical fallacies on television and the Internet, and use huge rewards to incite neighbors to surveil and report on us believers. Their purpose is to make us renounce our faith and betray God. Their essence is truly evil and despicable, and they are specifically hostile to God. Today, God has become flesh in order to express words and lead us to pursue the truth and walk the correct path in life, and to cleanse and change our corrupt dispositions, so that we can live out the likeness of a real man. But the CCP just doesn’t allow us to. However, the more they oppress us this way, the more discernment we gain on their evil essence.”
“It’s true. Before, I never experienced such an environment, and thus had no knowledge of the CCP. But through what happened to me recently as well as the revelation of God’s words, I’ve gained some discernment about the CCP’s essence of resisting God. They claim freedom of religious belief, but in fact frantically arrest us believers. They are actually a gang of liars who cheat and deceive people, who act one way to people’s faces and another behind their backs. They really are despicable!” I said, filled with righteous indignation.
A few days later, tortured by the growing longing for my husband and son, I really wanted to go home, but meanwhile I was afraid I would get arrested if I did that, so I was caught in a dilemma. Afterward, I learned that my husband had taken our son home, so I planned to go back to see them. On the night of the eighth day of the first lunar month, I set out under the cover of night. It was a dark night with no stars but a waning moon hanging in the sky, and from time to time, there came the whistles of the birds. The deathly silence struck fear into my heart and I thought: “Will the police find out if I go home? Can I make it home safely? Will I be able to see my son?” Along the way, I kept praying to God, asking Him to lead and protect me. With a nervous heart, I finally arrived at my front door. Before entering the house, I looked around to make sure that no one had seen me and then quickly opened the door. At the sight of my little boy, who was thinner and darker than the last time I had seen him, I felt so distressed and, in a broken voice, I called his name.
Upon seeing me, my son cried out, “Mom, you’re back …” And then he threw himself into my arms. After a while, he stopped crying and said to me, “Mom, grandma and auntie gave me some gift money, and I’m going to save it.” “Why?” I asked. “Because I saw in the videos that many uncles and aunties were arrested due to their faith in God. If someday you and dad get arrested by the police, I can use that money to pay for the school fees and buy food. Then you won’t need to worry about me.”
Hearing what my son said, I couldn’t help but shed tears and hold him to my chest, and he again burst into tears. Feeling heart-piercing pain, I thought: “I just believe in God and follow the correct path, but the police persecute me to such an extent where I even have to sneak into my own house to see my son, who is only 11 years old yet has to worry about his future life. All this is caused by the CCP police.” Though I got home safely that night, I felt very insecure in my heart. Because there were many surveillance cameras around my house, once the police found out that I was at home, they would definitely come to arrest me. So the next day when dawn was just breaking, I woke up my son and said to him, “I have to go, sweetheart.” Hearing this, my son tugged at my coat and looked at me with some reluctance. After a moment of hesitation, he unclenched his fingers and said, “OK, mom. I understand.” Casting a last longing look at my son, I overcame the reluctance in my heart and trudged out of the house.
My family being shattered, God’s love guided me.
Unconsciously, four years passed. In 2018, I needed to go to my hometown church to take care of something, and I wanted to take this opportunity to go home and see my husband and son. One morning in August, I woke up early and set out in Sister Wang’s car. Along the way, the thought of meeting my husband and son made me both nervous and excited. I thought: “It has been four years since I left home. How are my husband and son doing?” Meanwhile, I was worried about my safety, so I kept praying to God in my heart.
Sitting in the car, I looked outside through the window. The familiar streets and shops before my eyes made my desire to meet my husband and son even stronger. Sister Wang then reminded me, saying, “After all, you have been away from home for a long time. We don’t know anything about the situation of your family, so we’d better be cautious. You also need to pray to God more in your heart.” What Sister Wang said served as a reminder to me. It’s true! China, after all, is a country that has no freedom of belief and cannot tolerate the existence of Christians. It is necessary for me to be cautious. So after we arrived, I asked Sister Wang to wait for me in a place, and I planned to go to Sister Wu, who ran a shop in the vicinity, to get some information about the environment.
Wearing a mask, glasses and a cap, I walked toward Sister Wu’s shop. After entering the shop, I recognized Sister Wu and then happily walked over to her. At first, she thought I was a normal customer and greeted me, smilingly, “Can I help you, ma’am?”
“It’s me. Yuan Jing,” said I as I pulled off the cap and mask.
At the sight of me, Sister Wu’s smile immediately froze and her face became somewhat grave. She then drew me aside and said in a low voice, “Sister Yuan, why did you come back today? Now the CCP has stepped up its persecution of belief, and they are wantonly arresting us. Your husband was arrested on June 30 at his brother’s home, and now has been sentenced to prison. A while ago, the police went to your brothers’ houses to ask your whereabouts, and threatened that they wouldn’t stop until they got you. It seems that they won’t let you off this time. So please don’t go home.”
Upon hearing this news, I felt a deep oppression at heart and couldn’t help trembling all over.
“Then … what about my son?” I asked, choked with sobs. “Do you know where he is now?”
“I don’t know exactly where he is. I just know that he has recently been ill. But there are some brothers and sisters looking after him, so you don’t need to worry,” said Sister Wu as she gently patted on my hand.
Learning that my son was sick, I really wished to immediately fly to him, but I didn’t know where he was. Besides, as the police were hunting for me, I knew if I blindly went to the brothers’ and sisters’ houses to look for my son, I would subject them to danger. At that time, my heart was torn by a piercing pain.
Sister Wu then said, “The situation here has been really tense. On June 25, the CCP launched a joint operation, during which many well-known brothers and sisters were arrested. It’s dangerous for you to stay here, so you’d better continue hiding yourself somewhere else. Be careful! Remember to pray to and rely on God more.”
Under Sister Wu’s exhortations, I left her shop with a heavy heart.
I then went back to the place where Sister Wang had been waiting for me. Sitting in her car, my mind was in a whirl. I thought: “Now my husband is in the demonic prison. How will the evil police torture him? Will he be able to stand it? And my son—how should he live?”
Just then, Sister Wang said gently, “Yuan Jing, we should look at this thing in accordance with God’s words. I remember God’s words saying, ‘Proof of the great red dragon’s progressive collapse can be seen in the continued maturation of the people. This can be obviously seen by anyone. The maturation of the people is a sign of the enemy’s demise.’ And in the West there is a saying: ‘Those whom God wishes to destroy, He first makes mad.’ The time when the CCP persecutes Christians to the extreme is the time when God destroys it. Nowadays, the CCP is incredibly savage, everywhere arresting Christians, but the brothers and sisters didn’t succumb to its despotic power and sell out the interests of the church. Since your husband has been sentenced to prison, it shows that he didn’t betray God. He didn’t sign the letter of repentance or become Judas. This is a strong and resounding testimony, and even more something that can give comfort to God. We should pray for him and entrust him to God, asking God to give him faith and the will to endure suffering, and lead him to experience His work in the demonic prison. Your son’s illness is also in God’s hands. Besides, the brothers and sisters in the church will take good care of him. You don’t need to worry.” Hearing the sister’s fellowshiping, I nodded my head.
After I returned to the sister’s home, I read a passage 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. … Because of people’s suffering, their caliber, and all the satanic disposition of people in this unclean land, God does His work of purification and conquest so that, from this, He may gain glory and gain those who stand witness to His deeds. This is the full significance of all the sacrifices that God has made for this group of people.”
In pondering God’s words, I came to understand this: Today, my husband is under arrest, I am suffering the separation from my son because of the CCP’s persecution, and our family can’t reunite—it’s true that we have suffered some hardships, but there are God’s good intentions behind this persecution and tribulation. Such trials and tribulations have strengthened my resolution to follow God. At the same time, I’ve seen how God uses the CCP government to do service for perfecting us into overcomers, to allow us to see its evil essence more clearly, and to strengthen our faith in Him, so that we can be eligible to inherit His blessings and promise in the future. So our suffering has value and meaning. Having recognized this, I made thisto God in my heart: “O God! Though my whole family have suffered some hardships in this environment, I know our suffering is valuable. I am willing to suffer and entrust my husband and son into Your hands….”
In October, I unexpectedly received a letter from my aunt (a believer in God), in which she said, “Yuan Jing, now you’re wanted by the police on the national network. They say that you are a church leader. They repeatedly forced your husband to tell them where you are, and also often went to your mother’s and brother’s houses to ask your whereabouts. So you mustn’t come back. Don’t worry about your son. He is now living with his aunt.” After reading the letter, I was stunned. I had never expected that the CCP would put so much energy into a common person like me. They treated me, an unarmed country woman who just has faith in God as a national fugitive, investing so much human and material resources in pursuing me—how ridiculous they are! In today’s society, there are so many evil people involved in stealing, robbery, assault, and murder, etc., but the police don’t do anything about them. Instead, they rampantly arrest and persecute us believers in God. They are truly mindless and preposterous!
Being hunted and wanted by the CCP on the network, I could only stay in the sister’s house, not daring to go out, let alone return home. Whenever I thought of how sad my son was when he learned that his father had been arrested, I really wanted to go back to him and comfort him by his side, but I just couldn’t. My helplessness, my suffering, my struggle—who brought all this to me? The CCP claims to allow freedom of religion and constantly says that it is us Christians who don’t want our families and abandon our children. But is it really the case? It was actually their ceaseless pursuit that caused me to flee and unable to return home. At this thought, a wave of pain welled up in my heart and I couldn’t stop tears falling down my cheeks. God, however, silently gave me faith and strength by my side. I then thought of the saints who followed the Lordthroughout the ages—which among them hadn’t endured suffering? So I wiped my tears and made a resolution that no matter how arduous the way ahead would be, I would follow God to the end. Over the past few years, I learned to rely on and look up to God when encountering difficulties, and every time I didn’t understand and lived in weakness and pain, it was God’s words that led me out of my suffering. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I just want to say: With God beside me, I shall not be alone!