Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Going the Extra Mile in China
The house churches in Henan never pray for a change of government, but rather they pray God would save the souls of the lost in China! In fact, many Chinese Christians pray persecution will continue in China, because they are afraid if life becomes easy and their faith does not cost as much, the church will get lazy and fall asleep. They pray their attitude will be one that embraces suffering as a gift from the Lord. With that attitude, they are willing to go the extra mile, and there is nothing evil men or the world can do to them.
Brother Shui lived in Fangcheng County in southern Henan Province. During the Cultural Revolution, Christians were often forced to parade in public wearing large “dunce” hats, made of heavy bamboo. The people came out to mock and abuse the “criminals” who wore them. When the time came for Brother Shui to be paraded in public, the police were unable to find a spare dunce hat for him, so they made him walk without one. This deeply upset him, because he wanted to bear the reproach of the Lord. Each prisoner’s crimes were written on their hat. For Christians they often wrote, “This person believes in Jesus.” This was meant to be a humiliation, but many believers wore the hat as a badge of honor for their Lord. It was a witness to unbelievers, who could clearly see the peace and joy on the faces of the Christians compared to the other criminals. Brother Shui cried out , “O Lord, why did you forget me?” On the second day a dunce hat was found for Brother Shui, which made him so happy. His face shone with joy and tears welled up in his eyes as he paraded through the streets, now he was considered worthy to fully suffer for the Name of the Lord.
After the ceremony Brother Shui asked the police if he could keep the dunce hat and take it home when he was released from the prison, as a reminder of his “crimes.” The police found this request very strange, but they consented! When he returned to his farm, his neighbors were amazed to see Shui tending his cows and sheep while wearing the dunce hat! For him it was a treasured souvenir of when the Lord allowed him to suffer for the Name of Jesus. His neighbors thought he had lost his mind, and that he was a shameless man. They despised him. But Brother Shui was a man who loved Jesus with all his heart. The government was infuriated when they saw Brother Shui embracing what was meant to be his humiliation. They realized they could do nothing to make him change his ways or renounce his Lord.
The world can do nothing to a Christian who has no fear of man.
Brother Shui wholeheartedly served the Lord for the rest of his life until he went to be with Jesus last year, leaving a testimony of courage and faith to many believers.
Bind Man Healed
In 1966, in Nanzhao County (Henan Province), in a small town called Yunyang, one brother also had the experience of wearing a ‘dunce hat’ and being paraded through the streets for the Gospel. This brother was blind and couldn’t see a thing. Everyone knew he had been totally blind for many years. The people came out and beat him on the back and on the front, smearing dirt and rotten things on him, and riled against him. Two guards were placed on either side of him in order to lead him forward. Suddenly this brother began to shout, “Please don’t guide me anymore! I can see! I can see!” God had miraculously opened his eyes right in the midst of his persecution! This brother is still alive today in Nanzhao, and can still see!