AN INCAPABLE COLT
In Wuchang Alliance Church
In the summer of 1940, I graduated from the Shanghai Chinese Evangelical Seminary. At the time, the Fuzhou Methodist Church sent me $200 and requested me to return to work in Fujian. However, with 3 cities in Wuhan just fallen into Japanese hands, many fellow countrymen had become refugees. Not fearing the violence, Wuchang Alliance Church had persisted in preaching the gospel in the occupied areas while at the same time rescuing refugees. Submitting to the Holy Spirit, I gladly enlisted to participate.
To go from Shanghai to Wuchang could be compared to placing a lamb among a gang of wolves. What should I do? I remembered the words of the hymn sung by Dr. Song: ※Submit to His will; take up the cross; run the full course; the Lord is with us; we fear not.§ I committed myself to the Lord and asked him to lead my way. Then I took off by myself in a Japanese passenger liner. As I strolled past the cabin, I noticed two bunks. Secretly, I asked the Lord to arrange a fellow passenger of my own nationality. Thank God for giving me more than I had asked for! Not only had He granted someone with the same nationality, but that person, Mrs. Huang, was also a Christian. Her husband was a staff member of the Hankow 1 Bible Society. We attended to each other on the way and arrived safely in Wuhan.
In Wuchang I resided in the Alliance Church premises in Mount Yanzhi. My place of work was the church on the thoroughfare. Each time I went from one place to the other, I had to pass by the Japanese military barracks. Daily, I looked to the Lord for His watch and care. ※The Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one§ (II Thessalonians 3:3). One day on my way home, a Japanese soldier suddenly appeared out of nowhere and began chasing me all the way. At a critical moment like this, I called on the Lord to save me. The watchman of our building was an elderly man over 70 years of age who was deaf. The courtyard was huge and it usually took him a long time to respond to the knocking on the door. This time, however, when I dashed to the front door and banged vigorously, it was opened right away for it so happened that Mr. Li was right behind it. Seeing the Japanese soldier behind me, he quickly closed the door as soon as I had stepped inside. The Japanese soldier fiercely kicked the door several times and then left reluctantly.
The Japanese soldiers always harassed the natives. They carried out body searches and house-searches without justification. To protect myself, I burned all my diaries and stopped writing them. Thank the Lord for this change of habit, for it benefited my life and work for several decades to come!
One winter night, I was awakened by Mr. Li＊s shout, ※Miss Zheng, the Japanese are here for a census check!§ ※Wait! I have to put on my clothes before opening the door,§ I said. ※The door has been kicked open!§ he cried out right beneath my window and walked away. I quickly put on my robe, got up and hid myself behind the folding screen. I cried out to the Lord, ※Lord, save me!§ Then there was the sound of leather-booted footsteps and metal bayonets outside the window. About 10 minutes later it was all quiet, and Mrs. Li shouted, ※Miss Zheng, the Japanese are gone.§ During a census check, everyone had to be present and checked against the list of names and photographs. Anyone who was present but whose name was not listed would be charged as a member of the guerilla; whereas, anyone whose name was listed but who was not present would be charged with having left to join the guerilla. This night was exceptional, and I am so grateful to the true and living God in whom I believe.
The work in Wuchang had come to an end. Again, the Lord had guided me to return to Shanghai. When I took off, two sisters saw me to the German wharf in Hankou. Just as we got off the tricycle, a drunken Japanese soldier came up and grabbed my purse from my hand. He kept looking at it and smiling at me. Standing on the wharf, I called on the Lord for His gracious care. The soldier opened the purse, took out all the gospel tracts and threw them away one by one. He then tore up my immunization certificate but gave me back my ship ticket and the stack of cash. After taking a good look at the purse, he returned it to me, and left laughing. I thanked the Lord for His gracious hand that had led me away from Wuhan and back to Shanghai safely.
1. Hankow has now become part of Wuhan, which is located close to the middle of Mainland China.