Taking Up the Cross and Pledging My Life to Follow the Lord (II)

By Chen Xu

Facing the Heads of Evil Cops, I Looked Up to the Lord and the Lord Bestowed Upon Me Courage and Faith

Early next morning, the prison guard handcuffed me and clothed me in the prison “yellow jacket,” and then brought me to a room about the size of three normal rooms. Upon entering it, I felt it was so gloomy. I saw the chief of the Public Security Bureau, the chief of the Political Protection Section, and the captain of the National Security Team, and in the middle of them sat the Minister of Public Security. I felt astonished while seeing tableware and beds there. For I had never thought that the police of the Political Protection Section would live in the detention house to interrogate me, and that I, an ordinary religious believer, could alarm so many government officials and cause them to make such efforts. In many years of believing in the Lord, I had never gone beyond moral bounds and never done anything unlawful. However, just because I didn’t believe in the Lord within the scope prescribed by them, I enjoyed such a “generous treatment.” That was just incredible! In the past, I always thought that the state policy was good, and that people could enjoy the freedom of belief. At this moment, I couldn’t help feeling indignant: Oh! The state does not allow the freedom of religious belief but restricts it. How blind I was to believe the lies of the CCP. Thinking back, the CCP had been cracking down and persecuting religious belief since the establishment of the nation. Many believers, due to the arrest of the CCP, had no safe place to stay and enjoyed no freedom. During the Cultural Revolution, Pastor Han in my local place was publicly criticized by the CCP thirteen times and paraded through the crowded streets in steeple-crowned hats for his belief in the Lord. There was also a preacher, Mr. Wei, who was labeled as a counterrevolutionary, and condemned as a spy. Under the suppression of the CCP, their sons couldn’t get wives due to their family backgrounds. Thinking of this, I felt indignant in my heart. When I saw the ferocious looks on the faces of the vicious policemen, I couldn’t help feeling nervous. I thought: Since they take this matter so seriously, they won’t let me off easily. I felt afraid in my heart, and immediately prayed to the Lord Jesus, asking Him to give me courage and faith. Then I remembered the Lord Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). The Lord Jesus’ words made me full of power and faith. I firmly believed that my life was in God’s hands, and I wouldn’t die without God’s permission. Then I made a resolution to pledge my life to stand the testimony for the Lord. At this time, the Minister of Public Security asked, “Where do you usually go to attend the co-worker meeting? Which provinces do your co-workers come from?” No matter how he questioned me, I just gave no answer. Seeing this, four or five evil cops put up their fists and came for me. One of them said, “This is Minister Bai from the Public Security Ministry. If you dare refuse to answer his questions, we’ll beat you to death.” Since I had committed my life into God’s hand, whatever they asked me, I just kept silent all along. Seeing that I didn’t say anything, they sent me back to the cell.

They Interrogated Me by Cruel Tortures but Gained Nothing

In the afternoon, they again brought me to the interrogation room. Before I could keep my balance, a tall evil cop kicked me to the floor fiercely and ordered me to kneel down. Another evil cop took out a stick with four edges and gave me a head-on blow, and immediately the stick broke in half. Then he took out another one and struck my head hard. I felt dizzy, and with a sudden rush of blackness, I fainted to the ground. When I just came to myself, several tall evil cops held me and took off my cotton jacket. They then handcuffed me behind my back, and stuffed two beer bottles under the handcuffs, and then rotated the bottles with force. While doing this, they cursed, “Aren’t you capable? Aren’t you tight-lipped? You dare disregard the questions from Minister Bai. You’re courting death! I haven’t seen anyone who can walk out of here without confessing. We’ll torture you to death today! We’ll see whether you speak up or not!” At that time, my arms were so painful as if they were broken, and I broke into a cold sweat. In the midst of pain, I prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, You bestowed life to me. I only wish to commit myself into Your hand. May You give me faith and power so that I can overcome the cruel tortures. Please keep me from being a Judas and selling out brothers and sisters.” When I really couldn’t bear the pain, I cried out loudly, “O Lord, may You receive my soul.” The Lord Jesus showed me mercy when I prayed and called to Him. Seeing that I could barely hold on, the evil cops loosened my handcuffs for a while. This allowed me to see the great power of the Lord. I thanked the Lord for His protection and had more faith in my heart. A while later, the cops handcuffed me again and tortured me until six or seven o’clock in the evening.

After supper, the same group of people took turns to interrogate me throughout the night, and each time two of them interrogated me for two hours. They handcuffed me and ordered me to take off my cotton jacket and sit on a block of cold stone specially prepared for the prisoners, while they all wore coats and some even wrapped themselves with quilts. They took turns to have a rest but did not allow me to sleep. Being interrogated the whole night, I was too sleepy to open my eyes. As soon as they saw me close my eyes, they would lash me with a whip and beat my head with a stick. If I lowered my head, they would scold me ferociously, “Are you praying to your Lord?” Thank the Lord for His keeping! I didn’t yield to them no matter what means they used. Finally, as they failed to gain the information they wanted through days of interrogation, they changed to the soft tactic.

They Switched to Soft Tactic

Once, when they interrogated me again, they changed their former ferocious looks and said to me falsely, “Say, who is your leader? Who are your co-workers? Where are they from? What are their names? Where do they live? Just tell us! It will only take you three or five minutes, and soon you will be free. Then we’ll go our own way, and you also don’t need to suffer all night anymore. Isn’t this good? Or you can call your co-workers to come here and we will provide accommodations and food for them. We’ll just have a meeting with them, and as long as they promise they won’t act against us, we’ll release them immediately. You know, the policy of the CCP is to be lenient to those who confess, and harsh to those who resist. So the wise option is to cooperate with us.” I was very indignant at their nonsense, thinking: Have I not suffered enough tortures and afflictions from you during these days? I will by no means let brothers and sisters suffer your tortures. I have already seen through your hypocrisy! Then I prayed to the Lord in my heart, asking Him to protect me so that I could guard against Satan’s schemes and not fall into their trap. At that time, I remembered the Lord’s words said, “And when they bring you to the synagogues, and to magistrates, and powers, take you no thought how or what thing you shall answer, or what you shall say: For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:11-12). I found the direction from the Lord’s words and prayed to Him: Oh Lord! I’m willing to rely on You to overcome the afflictions of the devils. And no matter how they tempt me, I’ll just ignore them. When they interrogated me again and asked me who my head was, I thought: Man cannot be the head. Only the Lord Jesus is our Lord and our God. At this point, I replied, “We don’t have the head for only the Lord Jesus is the head of mankind.” They were rendered speechless after hearing my answer. Then they asked me, “Who is your leader? Who conducts the meetings?” I knew I couldn’t sell out brothers and sisters no matter how they questioned me, so I said, “I am the leader and I conduct the meetings.” Dissatisfied with my answer, they continued to ask me, “Answer our questions honestly! Tell me, who attended the meeting? Where are they from?” “I don’t know,” I replied. Then they flew into a rage and showed their ferocious looks, saying, “You don’t know? Okay. You’ll know it when we torture you.” Immediately, four or five big guys rushed to me like hungry wolves hunting for food. They surrounded me and beat and kicked me. Then they handcuffed me behind my back and pulled ropes around me. As I still refused to yield to them, they continued to torture me …

My Big Toe Being Wounded by the Evil Cops, the Lord’s Words Gave Me Faith and Power

Once in particular, several evil cops bound me tightly with ropes. Then one of them stomped savagely on my big toe with the heel of his shoe and crushed it. All at once, a piece of flesh on my big toe fell off, with blood streaming from it. It was so painful that I couldn’t help trembling all over and screaming, but they didn’t care about my life or death at all. After the interrogation, I ached terribly and couldn’t move. Seeing that I really couldn’t walk, they dragged me back to the cell like dragging a corpse. At that time, I felt my whole body was aching, especially the big toe, to the extent that I felt cold all over. A feeling of sorrow stole over me: Oh! How much longer do I have to endure this suffering before it ends? How will they torture me tomorrow? I really don’t want to stay in this devilish place for a single moment. I would rather be beaten to death than be tortured like this. The more I thought about it, the more upset I felt. I was especially weak in my heart, so I prayed to the Lord silently, “O Lord, I’m weak now. May You enlighten me and make me understand Your will. Please give me faith and power so that I can stand testimony for You. I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!” After the prayer, a passage of the Lord’s words appeared to my mind clearly: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:10–12). The Lord’s words gave me faith and made me realize: My being arrested today by the CCP evil cops is permitted by the Lord. It’s even more the Lord’s grace that I can experience the hardship in prison. That I suffer persecution for my belief in the Lord is a glory and a blessed thing. At this time, the pain of my body was gradually relieved. Then I remembered those saints who were martyred for God’s work and gave up their lives to do God’s will: James was beheaded, John was sawed, Peter was crucified upside down, Stephen was stoned to death…. Their sufferings were approved by the Lord and their sacrifices were remembered by God, and they were the examples I should follow. Compared to the sufferings they underwent, what I was enduring was too small to mention. The Lord’s words gave me faith and power, and led me out of weakness. So I made up my mind: To defend the true way, I will fight against the devil Satan even at the cost of my life, and stand testimony for the Lord till death.

To Be Continued …

Part Three: Taking Up the Cross and Pledging My Life to Follow the Lord (III)

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