By Xiao Jing, Japan
“Hurry up, everyone!” I urged excitedly. It was a very cold winter evening, but I was especially fervent because it was the first time I was leading my brothers and sisters, who had just begun to believe in the Lord, to a neighboring village to participate in a meeting.
After we arrived at the meeting place, I saw about forty brothers and sisters sitting in a small, narrow living room. After we all sat down, the preacher Brother Zhao began to give a sermon. Everyone was listening attentively, when suddenly there was loud shouting outside the door, “Don’t move!” Immediately, some policemen forced their way in. The leading policeman was the chief of the local police station, Chief Yan. He yelled at us, “Your gathering is illegal! Who is the leader? Who is the preacher?” Because this was the first time we had been faced with such a spectacle, seeing the ferocious and vicious looks on their faces, we were all afraid and didn’t dare to make a sound. Then Brother Zhao said, “Me! …” Before he could finish Chief Yan stepped up and viciously slapped him twice in the face. As he hit him he said fiercely, “This will teach you how to preach! This will teach you how to !” Then, he ordered his officers to grab us. Several policemen immediately handcuffed Brother Zhao, and then tied our arms together with a long rope one after another. They also confiscated our s and handbags, and then took us to the police station.
On our way, recalling the scene of Brother Zhao being beaten, I felt an inexpressible fear in my heart. I didn’t know what torment we would suffer. I continuously prayed in my heart, “O Lord! Please save us! O Lord! Please save us….” After this 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 , I thought of the words of the , “” (Matthew 10:28). The Lord’s words gave me faith and strength. However cruel and malicious the CCP is, it only can kill our bodies, but it can’t kill our souls. Even though our bodies die, our souls will return to God’s side. Moreover, without the Lord’s permission, we won’t even suffer a scratch. At that point, my heart calmed down.
After getting to the police station, Chief Yan put us into a dark room, saying, “If you continue to believe in God, I will have you imprisoned.” With that, he left. I looked around that room. Aside from a few pieces of wood, there was nothing in it. We were so cold that we had to keep on walking back and forth. Confronted with this new and sudden experience, we didn’t know what environment we would encounter next. We couldn’t help but worry, “What if we are really detained?” “Will we be fined?” “How will our families see us when they find out about this?” At that moment, I felt very weak in my heart. I thought of my two young children. I’m not by their side; what will they do? … I didn’t dare to think more and hurriedly prayed to the Lord, “O Lord! You know I’m very weak in my heart. I ask You to protect me and strengthen my faith.” After praying, I thought about how, in order to redeem us, the Lord Jesus bore our sins, endured humiliation and suffering and was willing to be nailed to the cross…. For a while, I was deeply moved by the Lord’s love and didn’t feel cold any more. I shared the Lord’s love with my sisters. After hearing that, they were all greatly moved and also had the confidence to bear witness for the Lord.
The next day, the police still didn’t allow us to eat or drink. I was cold and hungry, and felt flustered and weak. I knew that the CCP wanted to use these means to force us to betray the Lord. Therefore, I prayed to the Lord to protect our hearts so that we would not compromise with Satan. Just then, the Lord Jesus’ words flashed into my mind: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The Lord’s words again gave me faith and strength. Thinking over my experience, from being arrested to the present moment, the Lord was at my side all the time, using His words to guide me and always being there to help me. When I was weak, He gave me strength and confidence. Great thanks be to the Lord! Tasting the Lord’s love, I didn’t feel hungry any more. That evening, our families posted bail for us and the police released us.
After I returned to my village, my neighbors started to speak sarcastically about me and mocked me, saying, “How does it feel to be arrested?” “You are so young; what are you doing believing in God?” … Facing such slander and ridicule, I thought of the Lord Jesus’ words, “You shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of” (Mark 10:39). “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). So, I didn’t feel miserable at all. On the contrary, I felt that undergoing that suffering was an honor and a special grace the Lord had bestowed upon me. I was quite joyful in my heart.
Through this experience of being arrested by the CCP, I tasted that the Lord’s words are our help at need, and are our true reliance and the source of our faith and strength as well. I made a resolution: From then on, no matter what situation I faced, I’d sincerely rely on the Lord and stand witness for Him. I believe that with the guidance of the Lord’s words, there is no obstacle that I can’t overcome. Thank the Lord! Amen!
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