Brother Gui had been serving as a house church leader in Northern China for many years. Now at 77 years of age, he still had no home to call his own and was constantly on the move ministering. Travelling one cold December day to meet-ings his thoughts were interrupted when the bus he was on came to an unexpected stop – the engine had died. They were stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Stepping off the bus he decided to see if he could find a warm place to spend the night. The walk would do him good, a welcomed distraction from dealing with the purpose of his trip
to resolve a dispute among house church leaders. He was weary and depressed with the constant in-fighting.
His life was lonely ever since his wife passed away. As he walked, his thoughts focused on her and how much he still missed her. Then thoughts of his young son flooded his memory and his heart grew sad.
Eventually he walked into a village and knocked on a door. A little cross was notched on the doorpost. “Is there anyone here who loves the Lord?” he asked. The door opened, and Gui was warmly welcomed. The family, seeing him cold, gave him some hot congee and steaming vegetables to eat.
He then learned they were getting ready to travel to a neigh-boring town to hear a dynamic Bible teacher speak. “What’s his name” asked Gui. “Brother Wang,” they replied.
As they made their way to the meeting, they told Gui stories about this Brother Wang. “We once held a training seminar here and heard the police were coming to arrest us. Brother Wang and our pastor helped everyone escape. When the police arrived, they only found Wang and our pastor. Then he did something that astonished both the police and us. He offered to go to prison if our pastor, whose wife was eight months pregnant, would be allowed to go free. Incredibly, the police accepted his terms, and Brother Wang spent the next three years in prison.”
“How old is he?” Gui asked. When told he was in his early 40’s, a glimmer of pain swept Gui’s face. “What’s the matter?” he was asked. He replied, “I once had a son. I knew him for only two months. He was killed in an earthquake, but if he was still alive he would have been in his early 40’s too. My wife called him the ‘Christmas Child’ since he was born at Christmas time. I called him ‘Isaac,’ because we had despaired for so long of having a child.”
Brother Gui then began to tell the moving story of how he and his wife had been evangelists in the 1950’s. They refused to join the government approved church, while an unbeliever named Wu accused them of criminal wrongdoings. They knew it was only a matter of time before they would be imprisoned or killed, like so many other Chinese Christians, but what would happen to their baby boy? They had no family to give him to.
One night, Gui’s wife had a vision and heard God say, “Give your son to your enemy.” Knowing nothing about this, Gui was drawn to Genesis 22:2, the story of God commanding Abraham to offer his son Issac as a sacrifice on an altar. What was God saying?
As they shared with each other, the couple decided to do the unthinkable. They would give their only child who they deeply loved to the one who wanted them arrested. They would give him to Wu and his wife, who were childless. Shortly afterwards Gui and his wife were arrested and imprisoned.
It wasn’t until 1978, when Gui was released, that he learned that his wife had died in the terrible famine of 1958, and that his son had disappeared along with the Wu family under the rubble of a devastating earthquake in 1975.
As they arrived at the meeting place, a crowd of 200 people were already packed into the house. Like many others, Gui had to sit in the courtyard and listen through an open window.
When Bro. Wang began preaching, Gui was startled. It was like hearing himself speak. The phrases the speaker used and the way he said them sounded so familiar. Confused, he pushed his way up to the window causing a commotion as he fell over people. The preacher stopped, and there was an eerie moment of silence as the two stared at each other.
“I’m sorry for interrupting your powerful message,” Gui began. “You see, I had a son who would be around your age right now. If he had lived, he would have looked and sounded just like you.”
The young preacher began to tremble. Suddenly, his legs buckled, and he had to be caught before he fell. Clutching his chest, he asked “Are you Daddy Gui?”
Upon realizing that they were father and son, every-one began to cry. The son who was thought dead was now alive. The preacher told how he had indeed been brought up by Wu, who was so impressed by Gui’s selfless act that he had become a strong Christian. “I’m not your real father,” Wu used to say to him. “Your father was a great man of God, full of grace and love. He gave you to me, and I will give you all my love and the encouragement to put God first, just like your father would have done.”
Wang’s adopted parents had moved away from the earthquake zone before the tragedy, but both had died of cancer in their 60’s. Wang became an evangelist and tried to find his real father, but Gui had changed his name so many times to avoid arrest that he had proved untraceable.
As father and son continued to hug and weep, an elder of the church stood up and declared, “It’s December. We have seen our sermon tonight.” To think he would never have discovered his son who he thought was dead if his bus hadn’t broken down. With God there are no mistakes…
With persecution escalating inside China thousands of pastors and evangelists have gone missing. Many have been arrested while others have gone into hiding disconnecting from all technology that can easily be tracked by communist authorities. House churches by the thousands have been closed.
Chinese authorities are now actively rewriting the Bible and other religious texts so that they reflect communist ideology. Can you imagine the concern of Chinese believers who will at some point be unable to read the story of God’s love for them! The old days of Mao are back with a vengeance to destroy Christianity. This is a spiritual battle and the need for Bibles and support continues to increase!
YOUR GIFT IS AN INVESTMENT
Your gift today will provide the one essential so desperately needed – a Bible. For $3.30 we can print a Bible inside China and deliver it to Christians who are desperate for the Word of God! We have no idea how long this will be possible but for now we can help meet this urgent need!
You can also help support our Wounded Martyr’s Fund that assists pastors and their families who can no longer work because of injuries they’ve received from persecution. A gift of $43 a month will help support a wounded martyr for a month.
As our way of thanking you I want to send you the inspiring and gripping book ‘Leaving Buddha: A Tibetan Monk’s Encounter with the Living God’ that tells the story of Buddhist monk Tenzin Lahkpa and his incredible journey to faith. Read this gripping book and be inspired at what God can do!
Merry Christmas from my family and all of us at AsiaLink!
(Reverend) Dale R. Hiscock
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Above all be sure to send your gift by midnight December 31, 2020.