What Happened Overnight

by Liulian

It was grey that night. The unlighted room looked as if it were painted black. Su Ke and Sister Li were packing in alarm the books of God’s words of the arrested brothers and sisters. While packing them, Sister Li said to Su Ke, “The CCP’s rule is too dark. I heard that some brothers and sisters preaching the gospel in XX were arrested too.” Su Ke’s heart skipped a beat, and she thought: My older daughter is preaching the gospel there. Has she been arrested as well? … After a while, a sister who acted as a lookout came in and told Su Ke, “There’s nobody outside now, so you can go.” Then, Su Ke hurriedly went back home and packed up her own books of God’s words. The moment she just poured a glass of hot water and sat in the living room, rrrrring, the ringing of the phone broke all the silence. An urgent voice came over the phone, “Your older daughter has been arrested. Now, the CCP is on the way to your home. You’d better hide out immediately.” The call made Su Ke disorientated. It took her some time before she could pull herself together and turn off the light reflexively.

On this winter night, her son and her young daughter had fallen asleep. Before leaving, she went upstairs in the pitch-dark night to see her young daughter for the last time. However, as she went upstairs and stepped into her bedroom, she heard a violent knock at the door and then came the shouting of her name “Su Ke.” Obviously, her young daughter awoke with a start to the noise. She walked into Su Ke’s bedroom barefooted and said in a trembling voice, “Mom, what happened?” Su Ke put both her arms round her 15-year-old daughter and comforted her, “Don’t be afraid and just be quiet.” Tears rolled down her face unceasingly like pearls from a broken string, dropping on the soft hair of her daughter. Her daughter asked in whispers, “Mom? Who are the people outside the door?” Su Ke’s heart leapt into her throat and whispered, “They are the police who come to arrest me.” She held her daughter more tightly and said in a low voice, “Don’t be afraid. We’ll be OK. We have God’s care and protection. You can sleep in my bed.” Though it was noisy outside, the room was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Su Ke walked to the door barefooted and opened the door a crack cautiously. Instantly the light of the police warning lamp shone into her eyes. Su Ke immediately closed the door tight. Only then did she know that her house had been surrounded by the police. Su Ke could only pray to God in great agony. At that moment, she heard a neighbor say, “I think the adults are not at home. Only their kids are in the house. If you have something urgent, you may ask their grandmother. She just lives behind the house.” The noise didn’t disappear until half an hour passed. Su Ke returned to her bedroom and found her young daughter trembling with fear. She grabbed Su Ke with her cold and clammy hands and said, “Mom, it seems they have left. You should hasten to leave. They will probably come again tomorrow.” Su Ke said, “The situation is very severe now….” Before Su Ke finished her words, her daughter slipped on the coat and said, “Mom, since the police have come to our house to arrest you, you’re not safe at home. Now, the police have just left. It is still dark outside and nobody will know. Mom, please be quick to leave home and find somewhere to hide.” Su Ke choked and knelt down to pray together with her daughter. After the prayer, she thought of God’s words, “God has already endured all suffering that man has never endured, and long ago suffered more humiliation in man’s stead. What else can you not let go of? What could be more important than the will of God? What could be above God’s love?” (“Is the Work of God So Simple as Man Imagines?”). God’s words comforted her and gave her great strength. She was determined not to leave God whatever happened. Her daughter asked in a low voice, “Mom, do you have any place to go?” Su Ke nodded. Her daughter watched her go downstairs step by step in the dark. Finally, no sound could be heard after the door closed.

The north wind was blowing hard in this dark night. On the road, Su Ke recalled the meeting several days ago: Her older daughter held a book and read, “The methods of these demons are extremely cruel, and it is as if ‘education’ and ‘nurturing’ have become the traditional methods by which the king of devils slays man; using its ‘profound guidance’ it completely covers its ugly soul, dressing in sheep’s clothing to gain man’s trust and then taking advantage of when man is sleeping to completely devour him. Poor mankind—how could they know that the land upon which they were raised is the land of the devil, that the one who raised them is actually an enemy who hurts them” (“Work and Entry (9)”). “This gang of accomplices! They come down among the mortals to indulge in pleasures and stir up disorder. Their disturbance causes fickleness in the world and brings panic in the heart of man, and they have distorted man so that man resembles beasts of unbearable ugliness, no longer possessing the slightest trace of the original holy man. They even wish to assume power as tyrants on earth. They impede the work of God so that it can barely move forward and close off man as if behind walls of copper and steel. Having committed so many sins and caused so much trouble, how could they expect anything other than to wait for chastisement? Demons and evil spirits have been running amok on earth and have closed off the will and painstaking effort of God, making them impenetrable. What a mortal sin! How could God not feel anxious? How could God not feel wrathful? They cause grievous hindrance and opposition to the work of God. Too rebellious!” (“Work and Entry (7)”). After reading, she blinked her big eyes and said, “Mom, it is not easy to believe in God in China, but it is our blessing that we can follow God here. No matter how rough the road ahead is, we should rely on God to walk to the end.” Su Ke smiled, but the smile didn’t last long before she was lost in contemplation. Taking a deep breath, she thought, “Now again the CCP begins to arrest the brothers and sisters who follow God right and left. So many brothers and sisters of the Church of could not return home and had to lead the lives of vagabonds, of the homeless because of its pursuit….”

The cold winter night was so deep and terrifyingly quiet that no sound of animals could be heard. Looking backward from time to time, Su Ke rode her electric scooter without any slackness and kept alert to the spies that might shadow her on the way. She felt afraid and prayed to God every now and then. At that moment, she thought of God’s words, “This is because this path is the one that God opened up for us since the beginning of time and has been passed on to our generation after tens of thousands of years. So we are succeeding our predecessors who did not walk the path until its end; we are the ones who have been chosen by God to walk the last section of this road. Thus, it has been prepared particularly for us, and no matter if we receive blessings or suffer misfortune, no one else can walk this path” (“The Way … (7)”). God’s words comforted her heart and gave her strength. She realized that it was God’s predestination long ago that she could endure sufferings of persecution and tribulation in China, this atheism country, and it was her honor to suffer with God today. Su Ke parked her electric scooter outside a shabby house. She knocked at the door, but received no response. Then, she went to another one, but still received no response after knocking at the door. She had to ride her electric scooter to her younger brother’s house which had been vacant for quite a while and managed to stay there for one night.

Before dawn the next day, Su Ke knocked at the doors of several other houses and received no response either. She wheeled her electric scooter on the street and passed by a telephone booth. She paused for several moments and stood hesitating. Finally, she decided to park her scooter and dialed a phone number. Her young daughter’s anxious voice came over the phone, “Mom, do not come back. The police came to our house again to arrest you. Everyone is OK. It’s only that you cannot come back. Did you hear that? …” After hanging up the phone, Su Ke breathed a long sigh of relief and kept on giving thanks to God in her heart. She clearly knew that it was all due to God’s care and protection that she could be safe and sound. At that moment, Su Ke came across a sister. That sister took her home and told her, “Many brothers and sisters have to leave their home, live the life of a vagrant and have no place to go because of the CCP’s pursuit and persecution.” Only then did Su Ke know the reason why she received no response after she knocked at the doors of several houses.

After a while, when a bowl of steaming food was placed before Su Ke, her eyes were wet again. At that time, she felt more warmth of the Church. Although it was only one night for her, she felt as if that night were as long as one year for she suffered so much in that one night. Through that situation, she saw clearly the CCP’s substance of resisting God and understood that God used it to do service to perfect His people. She knew that all are in the hands of God and her older daughter could go through this experience by relying on God. After understanding God’s heart, she had a firmer resolution and more courage to follow God.

After the meal, Su Ke joined the preaching the gospel resolutely.

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