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Pledging My Life to Devotion

Zhou Xuan    Shandong Province

On April 3, 2003, I went with a sister to visit a new believer. This new believer had still not been set in the truth and ended up reporting us. As a result, four evil plain-clothes police came and aggressively forced the two of us into their vehicle and took us to the police station. On the road, my heart was extremely nervous, because on my person was a pager, a partial list of names of members of our church, and a notepad. I was afraid that the evil police would discover these things and I was more afraid that my brothers and sisters would call my pager, therefore I continually and urgently prayed to God in my heart: “God, what am I supposed to do? I ask You to provide a way out for me and not let these things fall into the hands of the evil police.” Following this, I took the things from my bag and quietly moved them into my waist and said that my stomach was not feeling good and I had to use the restroom. The evil police swore at me saying: “You are full of shit!” Upon my repeated requests, they had a female police officer watch me as I went to the bathroom. When I removed my belt, the pager fell out and I easily picked it up and threw it into the sewer pipe. Because I was afraid at the time that the female officer would discover the bag in my waist, I didn’t throw it in the pipe, but rather placed it in the garbage can; I thought that I would use the bathroom again at night and then throw it in the toilet. As it turned out, I never went back to that bathroom. It turned out that the evil police found the bag I had thrown away in the garbage can.

The evil police locked the sister and I up in a room and made us take all our clothes off so they could search us. They even sifted through our hair to see if we were hiding anything. After they were done searching, they handcuffed us and locked us in the room. When night came, the evil police separated us for intense interrogation; they asked me: “Where are you from? What is your name? When did you come here? What are you doing here? Where do you live? What do you believe? What is the name of the person with you?” Because they were not satisfied with my answers, the evil police furiously said: “We show leniency to those who confess and sternness to those who resist. If you don’t tell the truth, you will have yourself to blame! Speak! Who is in charge of you? What are you doing? Speak and we will treat you leniently.” chinese christianAt the time I thought: I haven’t broken the law or committed any crimes, the police can’t do anything to me. Therefore, no matter how they tried to force a confession out of me, I didn’t answer them, because I had already made up my mind: I will absolutely not be Judas, I will not sell my brothers and sisters and I won’t sell the interests of God’s family. When they saw that they couldn’t get anything from me, they became flustered and began hitting and kicking me fiercely saying: “Since you are not saying anything, we will teach you a lesson by racking you into a spread eagle!” Then suddenly there was another burst of violent punching and kicking. Afterward, one of them ordered me to sit on the ground, and handcuffed my hands and twisted them toward my back as tight as he could. Then he placed a chair behind me and used a rope to bind my hands to the back of the chair. He used his hands and exerted all his strength downward, putting pressure on my arms. Immediately, my arms felt like they were going to break; it hurt so bad that I let out a shrilling yell. They went back and forth like this on my arms incessantly torturing me for a couple of hours. Afterward, I couldn’t bear it and twitched from head to toe. When they saw this, they said: “Don’t pretend like you’re crazy, we have seen this many times before. Who do you think you are scaring? Do you think that doing this will let you off the hook?” They saw that I was still twitching and one evil policeman said: “Go to the bathroom and put some feces in her mouth, see if she eats it or not.” They used a stick to get some feces and rubbed it in my mouth and made me eat it; I was still foaming at the mouth and they saw that I was still twitching, so they let me down from the seat. My entire body hurt unbearably like I had cramps from head to toe and I yelled in pain as I lay paralyzed on the floor. After a long period of time, my hands and arms began to move again. The demons were afraid that I would bash my head against the wall and kill myself, so they gave me a helmet. Afterward, they dragged me back to the small iron room. I cried and prayed to God: “Oh God, my flesh is too weak. I wish for You to protect me. No matter how Satan persecutes me, I would rather die than betray You like Judas. I won’t sell my brothers and sisters or the interest of God’s family. I am willing to stand testimony for You to shame that old Satan.”

On the third day, the evil police took the notepad and list of church member names that I had thrown into the garbage can and interrogated me. When I saw these things, I felt especially uncomfortable and full of self-blame and regret. I hated that I was so cowardly and timid and that I wasn’t courageous enough at the time to throw the bag into the sewer pipe, which resulted in this serious consequence. I hated even more that I didn’t listen to the arrangements of God’s family and brought these things when fulfilling my duty, which has caused the church this great loss. I deeply knew that I deserved the hardships I was suffering this day and that it was God’s chastisement and judgment coming upon me, and I was willing to accept it. I was also willing to rely on God to triumph over Satan. At this time I thought of a hymn of experience: “I don’t care about the path ahead, I only carry out God’s will as my mission; neither do I care whether I receive blessings or suffer misfortune in the future. Since I have chosen to love God, I will be faithful to the end. However great the dangers and adversities lurking behind me are, however rough and rugged the path ahead, since I aim toward the day God gains glory, I cast everything far behind and diligently press forward” (“Marching on the Path of Loving God” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I silently hummed this song and my heart again had faith and power. The evil police asked me: “Are these things yours? Be honest with us, we won’t treat you unfairly. You are a victim and have been lied to. Your religion is an evil cult; the God you believe in is so vague and distant, it’s a pie in the sky. The communist party is good, and you should rely on the party and the government. If you have any trouble, you can come to us and we will help you resolve it. If you need help finding work, we can also help you. Just confess everything about your church; tell us what these people on your list are doing. Where do they live? Who is your superior?” I saw through their lying tricks and said: “These things are not mine, I don’t know.” When they saw that I wouldn’t reveal anything, then their true face was revealed and they ferociously beat me down to the ground and continued to violently beat me and exert all their strength to drag me about by my handcuffs. The more they dragged me, the tighter the handcuffs got and cut into my flesh. It hurt so bad I cried out loud and the evil police fiercely said: “We will make you talk, we will squeeze you a little bit at a time like toothpaste to make you talk!” Finally, they took both of my hands and bound them facing out on the back of the chair and made me sit on the ground. They hit me and exerted their strength and pressed downward on my arms; I felt an unbearable searing pain like my arms were going to break. The evil police tortured me and snarled at me: “Speak up!” I unhesitatingly said: “I don’t know!” “If you don’t speak up we will kill you; if you don’t speak up then don’t expect to live; we will imprison you for ten years, twenty years, your whole life; don’t expect to ever get out!” When I heard this, an idea flashed into my mind: I must resolve to be willing to go to prison for life. Afterward I thought of a hymn of experience: “Give the sweetest offering to God, save the most bitter for myself. Stand and firmly testify for God, don’t give in to Satan. Oh! Heads may break and blood may flow, but the dignity of God’s people can’t be lost. God’s trust rests on the heart, I must determine to humiliate the old Satan” (“I Wish to See the Day God Gains Glory” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). God enlightened me, making me firm and courageous and giving me the faith and determination to suffer everything and stand testimony for God. As a result, the evil police’s plot did not prevail; they tortured me until they were tired, then they sent me back to the iron room.

A few days later, I was tortured by the evil police until I had no strength. I was in a complete absent-minded trance and my hands and arms were numb. In facing this cruel and inhumane torture, I was especially afraid that the evil police would come back and interrogate me. As soon as I thought upon this, my heart couldn’t help but shiver with fright. I really didn’t know what else they would use to torture me with, and I didn’t know when this interrogation would end. I could only continue to pray in my heart to God and ask God to protect my heart and give me the will and power to endure the suffering so that I would be able to stand witness for God and make Satan fail in complete humiliation.

When the evil police saw that I wouldn’t confess, they joined with the National Security Brigade and the Public Security Bureau to interrogate me. There were over twenty people there taking turns interrogating me day and night trying to force me to confess. That day, two evil police from the National Security Brigade who had already interrogated me once before came to me and initially spoke kindly saying: “If you confess the truth, then we will let you go and we will guarantee your safety. … Only the communist party can save you, and God can’t save you….” When one of them saw that I wouldn’t utter a word, he became flustered and began yelling at me with foul mouths, making me sit on the floor. He kicked me as hard as he could in the legs with leather shoes causing unbearable pain. Another evil policeman asked him: “How is it going, is she talking?” He said: “She is pretty stubborn, no matter how you beat her and she won’t talk.” The person fiercely said: “If she doesn’t talk, then beat her to death!” The evil policeman threatened me saying: “Will you not talk? Then we will kill you!” I said: “I have said everything I need to, I don’t know!” He became so angry that he appeared completely crazy, then he roared like a wild beast and began beating and kicking me. Finally he became tired from beating me and found a rope about the thickness of a finger and wrapped it around his hand a few times. He ferociously whipped my face over and over saying: “Don’t you believe in God? You are suffering, so why doesn’t your God come and save you? Why doesn’t He come and open your handcuffs? Where is your God?” I gritted my teeth and endured the pain. I silently prayed in my heart to God: “Oh God, I am suffering this hardship because of my rebelliousness; it is what I deserve. God, You were crucified to redeem us; even if they beat me to death today, I will never be like Judas. I want You to be with me and protect my heart. I am willing to give my life to stand witness for You and humiliate the old Satan.” I thought of a hymn of experience: “There is no pity in death, and there is no surprise to it. God’s will surpasses all. … God saved me and has delivered me to Satan, this is God’s beautiful will; my heart will love my God forever” (“Return Love to God” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I closed my eyes and endured Satan’s crazy torture and beatings. At that moment, it was as if I forgot about my pain. I didn’t know what time the punishment would end. I didn’t dare to think about it, and I couldn’t even think about it. The only thing that I could do was incessantly pray and cry to God. God’s words also gave me continual faith: “Be not afraid; Almighty God of hosts must be with you. He will be your support and your shield” (“The Twenty-sixth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). I thought about how the great red dragon is merely a paper tiger doomed to be defeated by God’s hands. It is also under God’s feet. If God didn’t allow it, death would not come upon me; without God’s permission, not a strand of my hair would be lost. And if I share the bitter with God today, then I must share the sweet with God. I also thought of “Song of Triumphing Over the Great Red Dragon”: “Have you ever accepted the blessings that you were given? Have you ever sought the promises that you were made? You will surely, under the guidance of God’s 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 the master of all creation. You will surely be an overcomer before Satan. You will surely, at the downfall of the kingdom of the great red dragon, stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to God’s victory. 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 God, and will surely irradiate all within the universe with His glory.” The power of God’s word is boundless and caused my faith to multiply; I had the determination to fight Satan to the end. When the evil policeman was tired of beating me, he asked me again: “Will you speak?” I firmly said: “Even if you beat me to death, I still won’t know!” When the evil policeman heard that, he couldn’t do anything. He threw the rope and said: “You are damn stubborn, like a mule. You are really good, you won’t say anything even if you die. Where did you get this much strength and faith from? You are really more Liu Hulan than Liu Hulan, you are more CCP than the CCP!” When I heard him say this, it was as if I saw God sitting on His throne triumphantly, watching Satan being humiliated. I half cried and half praised God: Oh God, by relying on Your power, I can prevail over Satan, the demon! In light of the facts, I see that You are omnipotent and Satan is powerless; Satan will always be defeated under Your control. If You do not allow it, Satan will not be able to torture me to death. At this time, God’s words once again enlightened me: “The disposition of God is one that belongs to the Ruler of the living beings among all things…. His disposition is the symbol of authority … it is a symbol of how God cannot be[a] suppressed or attacked by the darkness and any enemy force …” (“It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Having experienced the great red dragon’s cruel persecution, I truly saw God’s love and salvation for me and I experienced the power and authority of God’s word. Without God’s word leading me every step of the way and by only relying on my own strength, it would have been impossible for me to overcome the torture and beatings of the great red dragon. Likewise, it made me see the vulnerable and battered image of the great red dragon. I saw through the demonic substance of its inhumanness and disregard for life and I detested it and cursed it in my heart. I wished to completely break all connections with it and follow Christ and serve Christ for eternity.

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