LIFE IN EXILE
About a week later, on January 29 th, some ministers and elders of the nearby Shanghai Christian Assembly were labeled as "elements of counter-revolutionary gang" and were arrested. Following this, other co-workers and elders, of whom my father was one, were gathered at the Assembly's meeting-place located at 145, Nanyang Road for closed-door interrogation, isolated from the media and their families. The cadres exerted great pressure on them, coercing them to disclose each other's faults and to confess their own crimes of "conducting counter-revolutionary activities under the cloak of religion." Soon afterwards, on February 1 st, the leading media in Shanghai, as well as other parts of the nation, reported with exaggeration and distortion of facts on the Christian Assembly's "shocking counter-revolutionary activities under the cloak of religion." Some authorities concerned also arranged "accusation meetings" in an effort to destroy the Christian faith. We must admit, though, that such activities did expose the hidden sins of certain church leaders, resulting in deep feelings of hurt among brothers and sisters.
In mid-February, some brothers and sisters (including my father) who were earlier interrogated in confinement, were also arrested and locked up in the Shanghai Tilan Bridge Prison. My father had been ill with cirrhosis and had been working as usual until the arrest. Fifty days later, on April 13 th 1956, unable to withstand the torture of sleepless interrogation, he died a martyr1.
I was in Suzhou at the time and was accused of being a "young core member of the counter-revolutionary gang under the cloak of religion" as well as being a representative of the gang's "chief culprits" in Suzhou. I was ordered to attend a series of accusation meetings (I was the target) held in the largest theatre in Suzhou, and to denounce "from a higher plane of principle" with exaggerated, distorted and even fabricated criticisms and "down with xxx!" slogans. Meanwhile, I was ordered to teach as usual, to correct student assignments and to prepare lessons. In addition to my responsibilities as a physics and chemistry teacher in a senior class of a prominent high-school, I had to report to the Public Security office every night to "deal with my issues", returning home no earlier than 11 p.m.
Yet, praise the Lord! No matter how weak and pitiful a man is, the Lord is merciful and His grace is always sufficient. Whoever trusts in Him will not be put to shame. During this time, the Lord gave me an experience of "when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in You" (Matt. 10:19-20). How wonderful that the Lord truly rules over all; He made me experience "the preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord" (Prov. 16:1; Ex. 4:12). How amazing that God not only taught me what to speak but also controlled the questioning of my interrogators! Therefore, those who honor God need not be afraid, for He will never permit "lords and kings" to drive His children to despair. God will make our enemies forget, or not think about, what we cannot submit (such as betraying brothers), and will also teach us to be "wise as serpents and as harmless as doves (Matt. 10:16)."
For details, please read The Path of Life (Drawing Near to God), published by the Chinese Christian Testimony Ministry.