By Li Ping
On Chinese New Year’s Eve of 2015, the sky was especially clear and sunny. On the way to a brother’s home, Li Ping saw that families were posting Spring Festival couplets on their front doors and every reunited family was welcoming the Chinese New Year in festive mood. Suddenly a wave of sorrow welled up inside him. He couldn’t help thinking of his aged father who was at home alone and needed to be taken care of. However, he was hunted by the CCP government because of believing in Almighty God, so he couldn’t return home to fulfill his responsibility as a son but led a fugitive life. Thinking of this, he was more sorrowful and also felt hatred for the atheistic country that confines people’s thoughts and does not give them freedom of belief. And he hated the CCP government for oppressing and persecuting believers in God, for making him and his parents separate, and for ruining his happy family life. He choked back sobs, breathed a sigh, and moved on. His experience of being arrested, persecuted and hunted by the CCP government recurred to his mind.
In winter of 2012, Li and some brothers and sisters were arrested by the CCP government when preaching the. The police tortured him for confession and forced him to betray and brothers and sisters, using both the carrot and the stick. Under the adverse environment, he earnestly prayed to God and relied on God. Thanks to God’s care and protection, he did not betray God even though the police used tricks and torture methods on him. The police did not get any information they wanted from him so they detained him for ten days.
It was not the end. The atheistic CCP government has always hated believers in Almighty God extremely and never given up on eliminating all of them. Before long, the CCP police “visited” Li’s home in an attempt to arrest him. Under God’s care and protection, he escaped being arrested. However, on that occasion, the police booked his mother for believing in Almighty God, which means that his mother would be arrested anytime. From then on, his mother did not dare to return home, and was forced to lead the life of the homeless.
Not long after that, brothers and sisters notified Li that the CCP government again ordered the arrest of those believers in Almighty God who were famous, and who had been arrested and had their information recorded. At the news, he thought that he was in danger of being rearrested, and that if he still lived at home, he not only couldn’t take good care of his father but would make his father worry about him. Therefore, in order to escape the arrest, he decided to leave home. Then he hurriedly said farewell to his father. At the moment when he walked out of the house, he felt both sorrow and hatred. Not knowing when he would see his father again, he could not help but turn to look at him. Seeing his father with a stoop standing by the door and waving farewell to him reluctantly, he thought: “Father will live alone. Will he be able to bear all the burdens?” At that moment, his eyes blurred with tears, and he wanted to take care of his father at home. But then he thought: “After I was arrested by the CCP government last time, the police cruelly tortured me and ill-treated me. If they arrest me again, they surely won’t let go of me. And if I, unable to bear cruel torture, betray brothers and sisters, then they will possibly be arrested and persecuted. So, in order to protect brothers and sisters, I must leave home to flee from the arrest.” Then, filled with hatred of the CCP, he dried his tears, reluctantly left his father and took the train to someplace far away from home.
During the time when he fulfilled his duty outside, he once passed his home on a bus. On that occasion, he very much wanted to go home to see his father. However, he remembered that, an old brother, who often preached the gospel together with him, was arrested by the CCP government because of going home to see his family. Afterward, the old brother was sentenced to 3 years in prison on a false charge. Until then, he wasn’t released yet. At the thought of this, Li gave up his idea. Filled with hatred of the CCP devils, he thought: “It is a self-evident truth that we believe in and worship God. Why do they force us to be unable to return home and reunite with our family?” In his pain, he remembereds, “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! … Now is the time: Man has long since gathered all his strength, he has devoted all his efforts, paid every price, for this, to tear off the hideous face of this demon and allow people, who have been blinded, and have endured every manner of suffering and hardship, to rise up from their pain and turn their backs on this evil old devil. … Are you happy to let it torture you to death? The face of the deep is chaotic and dark, the common folk, suffering such affliction, cry to Heaven and complain to earth. When will man be able to hold his head up high? Man is scrawny and emaciated, how could he contend with this cruel and tyrannical devil? Why does he not give his life to God as soon as he can? Why does he still waver, when can he finish God’s work? Thus aimlessly bullied and oppressed, his whole life will ultimately have been spent in vain; why is he in such a hurry to arrive, and such a rush to depart? Why does he not keep something precious to give to God? Has he forgotten the millennia of hate?” (“Work and Entry (8)”).
From God’s words, Li saw through the CCP’s demonic essence of resisting God. He thought: “Since the atheistic CCP took control, it, under the guise of promoting ‘freedom of religion’ and ‘legal rights of the citizens,’ has been secretly doing its utmost to resist, tear down, and disturb God’s work, and oppressing and persecuting all Christians frantically, especially believers in Almighty God. For example, it carries out inhuman tortures on believers in Almighty God, to the extent that it beats them to death with impunity. After arresting believers in God, it imposes false charges on them, confines their thoughts, and restricts their personal freedom. … In China, those who follow the right path by believing in God cannot lead a peaceful life. There are countless Christians persecuted by the CCP government. Some of their families were broken up and their family members were separated; some of them were maimed or died in prison. … It has been a long time since I couldn’t return home because of being hunted by the CCP government. Today, I pass my home but all I can do is look from afar, not daring to go home. The right to fulfill my filial duty is stripped away. The CCP does extremely evil things and is utterly devoid of conscience, which proves it is Satan the devil that is in power in China. In such a ghost town of China, I’m fortunate enough to receive Almightyin the last days. This is really God’s great uplifting and love!” From each word and each line of God’s word, he appreciated that God was feeling anxiety and sadness for us human beings, waiting for us to accept His salvation as soon as possible and to depart from the harm of Satan. He was no longer willing to be weak and passive. He was willing to hand over himself to God, put aside his concern about and yearning for his father and commit his everything to God. He prayed to God for leading him out of difficulties and through the tough days. His only wish is to expend himself for God, to fulfill his duty of a created being, and to share with those souls wailing in the dark.
Shortly after Li put aside his concern about his father, and devoted himself to his duty body and soul, he saw God’s wonderful deed. When he passed his home on a bus again, he saw from afar that his father was working in the field in front of his home and looked much stronger than before. He was very emotional. He never thought his father who had always been in ill health could work in the field. He felt genuine gratitude and praise for God deep in his heart and said to himself: “This really is God’s care and protection!” Looking back on the past, he felt God’s love for him was too great: God saved him out of the den of demons; after he handed over his father to God, God took good care of his father. Li felt ashamed that he had very little. Consequently, he established a resolution: I’m willing to obey all of God’s arrangements, hand over my parents to God, expend myself for God all my life and fulfill my duty faithfully to repay God’s great love.
At that point, a gentle breeze blew on his face. His worries were completely dispelled and he was very relieved. He couldn’t help but think 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 whoare subjected to humiliation and persecution. That is why these words will become reality in you group of people” (“Is the Work of God So Simple as Man Imagines?”). God’s words comforted Li. He thought: Even though I have been persecuted and hunted by the CCP devil and fallen into danger many times, I have enjoyed the sweetness of God’s love. God is by my side at all times, comforting, supporting, and encouraging me with His words. Through experiencing the arrest and persecution by the CCP government, I not only gain discernment of the CCP devil’s essence of hating the truth and resisting God, but I also have the resolution to cast the darkness, to yearn for righteousness and to satisfy God. Furthermore, in the environment where black clouds weigh heavily, so many brothers and sisters have stood witness for God with unbounded confidence. It shows that has been fulfilled on this group of people. A group of overcomers have risen up to bear witness for God. Isn’t this the sign and evidence of God’s victory over Satan?
The crepitation of firecrackers brought his mind back to the present. He held his head high and walked toward the brother’s home. On the Chinese New Year’s eve, he would have dinner, have a meeting, read God’s words, sing hymns to praise God, and share experiences and testimonies with brothers and sisters from different places. At the time, he felt much warmth and happiness. He thanked God for His love from the depths of his heart.
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