YOUR ROD AND YOUR STAFF THEY COMFORT ME
Back To First Detention Center
When we arrived in Shanghai, the Public Security car was already waiting at the wharf to take me right back to the First Detention Center to re-examine my case. However, with neither remaining 1 nor new offences, what was there to be re-examined?
It turned out that ¡°My thoughts [are higher] than your thoughts¡± (Isaiah 55:9), ¡°He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver¡± (Malachi 3:3). Over the next seven-and-a-half months, the Lord daily placed me on His scale to reveal my impurities; in so doing, he particularly refined, purified and edified me.
This time, I did not have to re-learn the hand-cuff lesson. My main task was to be educated by the cadres throughout the day on class struggles and on patriotism. Despite the cadres¡¯ exhaustive efforts to persuade me, the result was like that of playing music before the cow; for I was determined to ¡°let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partakers with them¡± (Ephesians 5:6, 7).
Failing persistent education, the next course of action was candid confrontation. One day, the interrogator said to me, ¡°When I first saw you at the time of your arrest, I thought well of you. You¡¯re a very gifted sister. How did Junying Zhao pick out someone like you ¨C so young, pretty, eloquent, and gifted!¡±
Pointing at him, I said, ¡°This is most insulting to me.¡±
He said, ¡°A character like you should succeed in whatever you do. Of all jobs, why did you choose to be a preacher? How nice it¡¯d be if you were a Marxist propagandist! Now, you¡¯re accused and interrogated; if only you¡¯ll alter your way of thinking, you can change from an anti-revolutionist to a revolutionist. It was the Public Security Bureau that put the anti-revolutionary hat on you; likewise, we can also remove it. You simply have to side with us for your position to change to a revolutionist. If only you¡¯ll co-operate, the relationship between an interrogator and the interrogated will cease; we¡¯ll then be on equal footing.¡±
I responded, ¡°I¡¯m not involved in either revolution or anti-revolution. The Heavenly Father has called me to preach only. I¡¯m no politician; I¡¯ll not succeed but will fail terribly in politics. At present, I don¡¯t participate in politics and you call me an anti-revolutionist; if I do, I¡¯ll be anti-revolutionary because one has to lie in politics. I¡¯m a child of God and can¡¯t lie; one plus one can only equal two. I didn¡¯t serve the Kuomin Party government during its rule, nor will I serve the Communist government now; I¡¯m not popular in any regime. As you¡¯ve said, the Kuomin Party suspected I was a Communist and had tracked me for one-and-a-half years; now the Communist Party even says I¡¯m anti-revolutionary. All this is just beyond my comprehension.¡±
Another day, the interrogator wanted to show me the notes of Miss Waijun Jiao regarding what she spoke at the political study, which I firmly declined. He told me to compose an article entitled ¡°My Lovely Country,¡± which I did. Having read my writing, the interrogator commented, ¡°This article is very well written, comprehensive and detailed, rich in contents and sentiments, an indication that you¡¯re a good writer as well as a patriot. It was an error in our work that you were arrested.¡±
Once, the interrogator said to me, ¡°I¡¯m simply sitting in the office. Why have you come in (been arrested) one after another? This shows that there are people in your church working for us. I hope you¡¯ll also participate in this type of work. This is underground and secret work, and I¡¯ll be your leader. I¡¯ll oversee all your lodging, living expenses and work. You¡¯ll just have to obey and follow me; I¡¯ll teach you to say half a sentence and you may finish off the other half. You¡¯ll also have to obey in full. After leaving, you¡¯ll live in the place we¡¯ve prepared for you. You¡¯ll associate with brothers and sisters and assume a spiritual appearance; you may pray for others and speak in a spiritual manner; except you must act as my informant. We¡¯ll contact each other in restaurants and cinemas; you just show up whenever you¡¯re ordered to report. If you excel, not only will you be cleared of offences based on your merits, but you may even be given the chance to go overseas.¡±
I thought: ¡°To have brothers and sisters imprisoned for me so that I can be out of prison? To have them labor for me so that I need not labor? Lord, even if I were to die, and die right here, I cannot betray You and my friends!¡± Therefore, I responded, ¡°I can¡¯t oblige you! I don¡¯t want to be controlled; I want absolute freedom. In the Methodist Church, I rejected the director¡¯s appointment, and in the ¡®Student Union,¡¯ I never poured a cup of tea for my superior, Junying Jiao; I can¡¯t swear I¡¯ll obey you from now on. I don¡¯t go to movies or restaurants, and I can¡¯t act as a contact or informant. As for leaving the country, I¡¯ve already done so earlier but have chosen to return.¡±
¡°God is not mocked¡± (Galatians 6:7)! How can I cheat and harm brothers and sisters by assuming a spiritual appearance? With determination, I borrowed a pair of scissors after returning to the cell and asked someone to cut off my long hair. I did this to destroy the spiritual appearance, determined to follow the Lord, not stooping even if circumstances were to grow dimmer.
During yet another interrogation, when the interrogator noticed my haircut, he was surprised as well as amused and said, ¡°Ha Ha! You even cut your hair!¡±
He added, ¡°Huiduan Zheng, if you should come across the Kuomin Party today, you¡¯ll have to be beheaded over a hundred times because of your stubbornness. Today, I don¡¯t say you¡¯re ¡®anti-revolutionary¡¯ but just ¡®stubborn.¡¯ Don¡¯t you think Communists are objective? Between you and me , there exist conceptual differences, and we need to have you reformed. Of course, to kill a person is easy, but to reform her is difficult. Even if we can¡¯t do it in 10 years, we¡¯ll take 20 years to reform you.¡±
He proposed to invite Pastor Shaotang Yang 2 to come and talk to me, saying, ¡°Do you not listen to him?¡± I said, ¡°I used to revere him; now, I see only Jesus and no one else.¡±
¡°Shall I ask your brother to come and persuade you?¡±
¡°At this time and place, I don¡¯t want to see my brother.¡±
¡°During these days, do you regard me as Satan tempting you to sin?¡±
¡°You know the Bible so well and are so familiar with church situations; perhaps you¡¯re Judas?¡±
He laughed and said, ¡°You¡¯re almost right.¡±
¡°You know so much about the Truth that the Lord will give you a harsher judgment!¡±
He went on, ¡°If what you said is true, then I¡¯ll be run over by a car and die when I cross the street tonight. There¡¯re 3 types of religious workers; namely, preachers like you, those in the ¡°Three-Self,¡± and Public Security officers like me. I¡¯m familiar with the Bible and the church situation because of my job.¡±
This person was rather intellectual, and I learned that he later became the head of the religion department of Public Security Bureau in Shanghai.
During this candid confrontation, the interrogator asked, ¡°You¡¯ve been through 6 years of reform. What are the results?¡±
I replied, ¡°In the past, I¡¯ve heard of the Lord; these 6 years of reform has enabled me to see Him with my own eyes¡± (Job 42:5).
Furious, he shouted, ¡°How dare you answer a Public Security Officer this way!¡± and pointing at the interrogation room, added, ¡°Don¡¯t you know it was right here that your Miss Zhouxin Xhang died?¡±
¡°Well, what I said was the truth! That¡¯s the result of my 6 years of reform.¡±
¡°So you¡¯ve decided not to cooperate with us? Think it over again.¡±
I shook my head. Thank God! When temptations came, it was only by His grace that we could nod or shake our heads.
At last, he said, ¡°We intended to use you because you did not easily confess; if you were spineless and easily admitted your faults, we wouldn¡¯t have wanted to use you. We can free you with an excuse that you need to be bailed out for medical treatment. You can ask Mrs. Niu to come and bail you out.¡±
¡°I don¡¯t want her to bail me out, after all, she¡¯s neither a relative nor an old friend but simply a neighbor. Besides, I believe Mrs. Niu won¡¯t do so because Christians don¡¯t do this kind of thing¡± (Proverbs 17:18).
¡°It¡¯s just a formality. Since you don¡¯t want to, we can let you return home to your brother.¡± I did not accede.
He added, ¡°We can also send you to Qingpu Camp or Chongmin Camp in the proximity of Shanghai. You can return once a month, visiting your brothers and sisters in Shanghai. This is a privilege for you.¡±
I said, ¡°I¡¯ll not go to Qingpu or Chongmin. You¡¯d better deport me and send me farther away ¨C such as Qinghai or the northeastern region.¡±
At his wit¡¯s end, he finally ordered 3 people to take me back to the Huangshan Tea-Grove Camp. Thank God! ¡°You have given us up like sheep intended for food¡± (Psalm 44:11). Despite insult, derision, mockery and scornful rebuke, you have preserved us, so that these trials have ¡°come upon us; but we have not forgotten You, nor have we dealt falsely with Your covenant; our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from Your way¡± (Psalm 44:17, 18).
1. Those offences or crimes not previously confessed to the government.
2. A book was published listing Pastor Shaotang Yang as one of the four great spiritual heroes in China, after Mingdao Wang, Watchman Nee and Yumin Jia. Elsewhere, Brother John Song (1901-1944.8.18, Phd. in Chemistry) was also listed as a substitute for Shaotang Yang. For the way brother Mingdao Wang conducted himself in his last 40 years, please read the book ¡®Another 40 Years¡¯ by brother Changxin Wang. Nee, Jia and Yang joined the ¡°Three-Self Innovation (later renamed ¡®Three-Self Patriotism¡¯) Movement.¡± Nee was arrested during the ¡°Three-Counter Five-Counter Movement¡± in May 1952; Jiao had died before the ¡°Elimination (of Qing Dynasty) & Counter Revolutionary Movement¡±; while Yang became the deputy chairman of the nation¡¯s ¡°Three-Self.¡± The ways their lives ended (Hebrew 13:7) can serve as precedents in the study of recent Chinese church history as well as warnings to us. (Reference : I Corinthians 10:6, 11)