LIFE IN EXILE
CHAPTER 5 My God-Given Wife
Timely Delivery from My Wife
Just over a month after moving to Anhui, my wife made a surprise1 visit all by herself. Despite the long and arduous journey, she made the visit without concern for her own safety and the social humiliation. One afternoon as I was resting under the large canvas shade, I heard a call, “Yu, your wife is here to see you!” I stuck my head out and found that indeed it was no joke! Not caring how I looked, I dashed out, overwhelmed.
Most inmates were forced to part with their wives and children. I remember that in the detention center in 1958, the bride of a couple married for only 5 days came crying and wailing, demanding a divorce. It was a well known fact that the wife and children of one who was on Labor Reform would share 80% to 90% of their suffering. Besides, their relatives made clear breaks from them, and they were humiliated wherever they went. For the peace and safety of the family, it was only reasonable for divorce requests to be granted. Therefore, very few couples remained married; fewer still were spouses who made visits to Labor Camps. A visit to the Labor Camp was a very humiliating act. Moreover, how could a career woman, a physician, from the city walk more than 7 miles of country roads with no means of transportation in addition to 2 miles of winding, desolate paths and field-ridges? And how could she carry the load of 66 pounds? And traveling all that distance in the last phase of the so-called “Three-Year Natural Calamities” too? Thank God for His spirit that compelled her to do so; “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).
1. I later learned that she had sent a couple of letters which I did not receive, probably because there was no postal service in such bleak and desolate areas.