When the Lord returns, how can we recognize His voice and welcome Him?
One noon in late fall, Hanmei had just finished the domestic chores when she heard a sudden burst of knocking at the door. A sister in the church came to tell her that the CCP police would put the believers who got arrested before into prison again and that some brothers and sisters had been arrested these past few days. So she asked Hanmei to leave home quickly to hide herself. When Hanmei heard of this news, she couldn’t help but remember the scenes of her being arrested two years ago.
In 2012, it was the time to spread the kingdom gospel of God. For the sake of repaying God’s love, Hanmei devoted herself to the busy work of the gospel with her brothers and sisters. But she had never thought that they were arrested by the police when they were preaching the gospel. After several days, because Hanmei’s husband was paralyzed, and one of his relatives, the village headman, went to beg the police and paid 950 yuan in fines, eventually, they reluctantly agreed to release her. When Hanmei thought that she was arrested and subject to fines, she was incredibly angry because they didn’t do anything illegal but only preached the gospel.
But unexpectedly, that wasn’t over. Now the CCP would recapture the Christians who had previously been arrested. The evil party is so lawless! Where is rationality? Where is fairness? Hanmei was filled with hatred for the CCP. Facing this environment, she thought: If I leave home to hide myself, then there is no one to look after my husband. If not, I’ll be arrested again. When she thought of this, she shed tears unknowingly. Looking at her husband and then thinking of what the sister said just now, she realized that once she was arrested this time, she wouldn’t be set free easily. In this emergency circumstance, she had to temporarily entrust her husband to her married daughter and left home hurriedly.
After three months, because Hanmei worried about her paralyzed husband and was afraid that her daughter was too busy to look after her father, Hanmei wanted to go back home. One evening, when she had just gotten home and was cooking the meal, suddenly, one of her neighbors forced his way into her house, pointed at her and said loudly, “You’re finally back. You can’t escape again!” With that, he phoned the police. When the sudden matter came upon her, Hanmei was trembling with fear and continuously prayed to God in her heart and asked God to guide her. Only then did she know that the CCP had arranged for informers to monitor her around her house. Now, she regretted that she had come back home blindly, but everything was late. With the neighbor blocking the gate fiercely, Hanmei wasn’t able to get away even though she wanted to. In panic, she prayed to God again, “God. Facing this matter, I don’t know what to do. Soon later, the police will come to arrest me again. Please protect my heart, guide me and give me strength. Even if arrested by the CCP, I won’t betray You like Judas. May You lead me.” After the prayer, a thought arose in her mind: Climb over the east wall near the main room. She realized that this was God’s guidance. So she hurried to climb over the wall, and crouched down. Just then, she heard a few people force their way into her courtyard. One of them said hurriedly, “Where’s Hanmei? Where’s she?” Hanmei’s neighbor answered, “Just now, she was at the door of the main room.” As they were speaking, they entered the room. Soon, they came out of it. Hanmei heard a strange man say, “Damn it! We let her get away again …” At the time, Hanmei incessantly cried to God. Suddenly, a beam of a flashlight lit the wall, and Hanmei’s heart pounded and she was ready to be arrested. At that moment, she heard someone say, “See the traces of climbing over the wall. She has already gotten away. No wonder we can’t find her. This time she gets a treat.” Then, another person said, “Let’s go.” After a while, the courtyard became quite.
Then, Hanmei really experienced, “The heart and spirit of man are held in the hand of God, and all the life of man is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things.” She saw the authority with which God rules over all things. Everything is in God’s control and people’s thoughts and ideas are also in God’s orchestrations. Without God’s permission, anything will not happen. God has the final say in everything. Just now, if the police had shone a flashlight on the outside wall, they would have found her easily. From that, Hanmei saw God’s care and protection, so she was more confident in God. Because she was afraid that her neighbor was watching her in secret, she didn’t come home until about midnight. When she entered the room, she found it had been turned upside down by the police, and with fear, her paralyzed husband looked pale and trembled because they all the time asked him about where Hanmei was. At that time, she knew that she could no longer stay at home and the police would come to arrest her at any time. Thereby she had to take her husband and leave home that very night.
With her sisters and brothers’ help, Hanmei rented a courtyard and lived there with her husband. Her sisters and brothers often gave some vegetables and grain to them. Later, she lived a church life and fulfilled her duty, feeling a hint of relief in her heart. Though the days were bitter, she was content with that. She knew that this was much better than living in prison. One day, Hanmei’s daughter sent a sister to her with a message which said that since Hanmei left home, the police had been to her daughter house several times. Because of failing to find Hanmei, they went to ask her daughter to tell them her whereabouts. Her daughter didn’t tell them about it. In order to prevent the police from following her daughter to arrest Hanmei, her daughter said that they couldn’t keep in contact later and told her to be careful.
One day soon after, the church sent Hanmei a message again, and asked her to leave at once because a sister’s husband heard that the police would go to arrest Hanmei for somebody finding and peaching her. Faced with the sudden news, Hanmei was at a loss. The only thing that she could do was come before God to pray, asking God to protect her heart, give her confidence and strength and lead her to walk on the path ahead. She saw God’s words, “For thousands of years this has been the land of filth, it is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts roam its every corner, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations, being ruthless and vicious, trampling this ghost town and leaving it littered with dead bodies; the stench of decay covers the land and pervades the air, and it is heavily guarded. Who can see the world beyond the skies? … Forefathers of the ancient? Beloved leaders? They all oppose God! Their meddling has left all beneath heaven in a state of darkness and chaos! Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin! … Why put up such an impenetrable obstacle to the work of God? Why employ various tricks to deceive God’s folk? Where is the true freedom and legitimate rights and interests? Where is the fairness? Where is the comfort? Where is the warmth? Why use deceitful schemes to trick God’s people? Why use force to suppress the coming of God?” Through the revelation of God’s words and her personal experiences, Hanmei saw that the CCP government is indeed the Satan’s regime that hates the truth and God the most. Externally, they hang banners promoting “Citizens enjoy the right of freedom of religious belief,” but in reality they furiously arrest and cruelly suppress Christians by all kinds of means. The CCP extremely viciously persecutes and arrests believers of God, for the purpose of making people deny and betray God, controlling people firmly under their domain, so as to maintain its dictatorship, turn China into a region without God, and to prevent people from worshiping God, thus making people resist God and eventually get destroyed and go to hell together with them. Hanmei thought: I’m sixty years old, and my husband’s paralyzed, who needs to be taken care of. But the CCP doesn’t have the slightest regard for whether someone lives or dies. They have pursued me all the time everywhere just because of my believing in God and walking on the proper path of life. Their despicable objective is to let me give in to them and betray God for being unable to bear their persecution and torment. At that moment, Hanmei saw that the CCP’s vicious intention was too mean and evil and a rage flared up inside of her. She thought again: Since I believed in God, although I have experienced many dangerous circumstances, the notifications from my brothers and sisters and God’s marvelous protection have made me escape from danger again and again. From my experiences, I realize it is God who has led me to where I’m today step by step. When she thought about this, she had the faith and determination to stand testimony for God in her heart. No matter how difficult and rough the path ahead was, she would follow God to the very end. At this moment, she no longer felt cowardly, and instead her heart calmed down a lot. Because she believed that everything is in God’s hands and Satan is doomed to be defeated by God’s hands.
With the help of her brothers and sisters, Hanmei quickly moved again. This time, a sister in the church let Hanmei live in her own house. In such a dangerous situation, ignoring her own safety, the sister still helped Hanmei. Hanmei knew that all this is God’s love and she couldn’t help bursting into tears. Hanmei didn’t know how long her fugitive life was, but she was filled with, no matter how difficult things were, she would follow God and go forward.
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