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Testimony of sister Chi Faling

China Aid (03/09/06)

To read the full story, click here: Testimony of sister Chi Faling

I am Chi Faling. I was born in a little village in the mountains of Tongbai , Henan Province. There are nine girls in my family, and I am the youngest. Folks in the village just call me “the ninth” or “sis No. 9”.

I attended my first worship gathering when I was about eight years old. My fourth elder sister took me there. I was very surprised to see those worshippers, because they all closed their eyes. At that time I didn’t know they were worshipping God. But they really left a deep impression on me. By the time I was nine, my fourth elder sister had already left home to preach the gospel. My parents missed her very much. As a result, they came to the Lord too. Each time they came back from the meetings, they would bring back a little note, on which were a couple of Bible verses. They couldn’t read, so I just read to them. Gradually I started to read the Bible too. My favorite book at that time was Ecclesiastes. I loved the first chapter, which said, “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the teacher. Everything is meaningless. There is nothing new under the sun.” So I started to think about life. By then my third elder sister had been out for three years too, to preach the gospel. My parents put all their hopes in me, that I could be someone and leave the countryside for good. However, that was not how I felt. My knowledge grew; so was my bitterness and sorrow.

At the end of the year 1996, my fourth elder sister who had been out evangelizing came back home for a visit. It was a Sunday when I saw her. The second day I returned to school again, but I really longed to go with her even then. So when I went home the next day, I took my pack, quilts and blankets with me. My parents were really mad. They wouldn’t let me go no matter what. So I had to go back to school again. But my mind was not with the school anymore. I kept thinking about a praise song my fourth elder sister taught me, called There was a Pair of Hands, as well as the book of Genesis she often talked to me about. I was learning knowledge with my peers in high school, but there was a battle going on in my mind. On the one hand, my parents really wanted me to be someone. On the other hand, I was still holding on to my dreams. I had a hard struggle between the two, and felt meaningless and exhausted. When I took the exams, be it entrance exam or the final, the struggle grew even stronger in my heart. Sometimes I asked again and again, “O vast land, thou have raised a question in me: Who lords majestically over thee?” At the end of the year 1997, I wrote a letter to my fourth sister, who was still out there evangelizing.

It was January 7th, 1998 of the Lunar Calendar when I received a letter of acceptance, informing me to go to a school of theology. An evangelist paid us a visit. On seeing him, my parents were so mad that they didn’t even want to cook any supper. We just grabbed a bite of whatever was there. They just wouldn’t let me go. Feeling hopeless, I tried to talk to them, saying, “I guess they just want to take you out to listen to the sermons.” I wanted to pacify them for the time being, and wait at school for them to change their mind. Then in mid March, my mom and my youngest aunt went to see me at school. I came out of the classroom to meet them. The first thing mom said to me was, “I guess I have to dedicate you to the Lord, since I have made my vows to Him.” I was filled with joy. I almost leapt up on hearing this. On the next day, I took a train with this aunt, and headed for the South. Then I started to attend the theology classes. The students there had been studying “The life of Jesus” for almost a month. But thanks be to the Lord, I could adapt to the intensive studies quickly just like everybody else, though I had been fresh out of high school. After over two months’ study of the theology based on salvation, I got to know what preaching the gospel really was. I was eager to serve the Lord and to devote all my being to Him. Later I was sent on mission as an evangelist of the Gospel Legion. At that time, the South China Church was putting out the South China Church Periodical. Under the leadership of our teacher (Pastor Gong), I had my share of the work as well. However, the whole atmosphere around us was more and more hostile. From May 27th on, persecutions befell many brothers and sisters, no matter where they were or what they were doing. As a result, the work with the periodicals had to call it a stop.

About 10 p.m. on August 13th, 2001, I was with Sister Li Li in a reception house in a village of Chaihu Town ship, Zhongxiang City . We were praying before sleep, when the dog barked wildly. Then we heard banging noise form the gate of that house. I knew something went wrong. So I stopped praying, and hid my sack in another room. While I was in that room, I heard Sister Chen Kaixiu of the reception family crying out loud in the yard, “I’m still in the shower! What do you think you are doing? I’m taking a shower, and you guys just broke in like that?” I hid my sack, and was about to run away though the side gate. (There are a front gate, a back gate, and a side gate to her house.) I was about to run from there when a man grabbed my arm and said, “Got you!” I looked back into the yard, where people holding flashlights were searching everywhere. Some of them even went to search the corners. Then the man who grabbed me twisted my arms behind my back, and pushed me into the center room, and demanded that I stand against the wall. There were several of them in that room too, a couple of them in police uniforms, while others not. They were holding flashlights, electric clubs and handcuffs. They found a series of South China Church Periodicals, copies of Bibles, and two sacks from the room in which we were praying. Then Sister Li Li was escorted in too, with her arms twisted behind her back. The next was Brother Xu Xinghai, the husband of Sister Chen Kaixiu. He was barefooted, wearing but a pair of shorts. His hands were handcuffed behind his back. There were more than ten people surrounding us in the central room. Several men walked around in the yard, and searched the rooms. Seeing that there was nothing more to be found, they decided to take us away. Then a big guy in a T-shirt came to me, and held my arms with my belt behind my back. I was so furious that I screamed, “Leave me alone! Let go! I know how to walk!” He let go of my right hand, but still held my left hand and my belt. Then they pushed the
three of us into their cars. I could hear Sister Chen Kaixiu crying and screaming behind us. Then these two cars went fast to the Police Department of Chaihu Township.

When we got there, the three of us were taken out of the cars into an office. We stayed a couple of minutes there. Then I alone was taken into a bedroom, which was inside a dining hall. A slim man in yellow police uniform came and interrogated me. He asked my home address, name, and why I believed in Jesus. So I told him. However, he still flew in a rage. He smashed at the table and said, “I guess you are not going to say the truth today. If you don’t behave yourself, I’ll send you to Zhongxiang Police Department. They’ll kill you there, you bitch!” That was the end of the interrogation. Then a woman wearing a colorful dress came in. She frisked me but found nothing, since there were no pockets in my clothes. Later on, Sister Li Li and I were locked up in a very small cell. It was really dirty inside, with only a narrow slab of cement just above the floor, which served as the bed. On the board was a piece of cotton batting, which was old and filthy. Obviously, it hadn’t been washed for a long time. The bathroom was inside the cell, too. That’s were they put us. There was a man in front of our door, whose duty was to watch over us. One day before I went to bed, I asked Sister Li Li to hand me some toilet paper. But before it was morning, another woman came up to frisk us and questioned us, “What verses did you hand to each other last night?” She searched the whole cell, including even the toilet. Twice we were frisked under her command that our clothes be taken off. Still she found nothing. Later Sister Li Li was transferred to a cell close by. Between her cell and the one I was at was a room where someone of the police staff lived.

About 4 o’clock on 14th, August, three men came from Zhongxiang Police Department, where they were to take us. We had just gone out of the cell when two of them put a rope as thick as a thumb around my neck and shoulders. They tied me up really tight with my arms behind my back. I could hardly breathe. Then we were escorted to the cars. After that, the three men from Zhongxiang Police Department shook hands with the superintendent of Chaihu Police Department, and patted each other on the shoulders, saying, “It was really a hard work. We were real good as a team!” On seeing this, I was very angry. Those people laughed at our being caught while the cars headed towards Zhongxiang Police Department. The man who sat beside me glanced at us and said, “Li Ying was caught on May 27th, and Gong Shengliang was also caught. You are still analyzing and talking about the May 27th, right? By May 27th the next year, you would have to recall how your church had perished one year before!” He continued as the car went further on, “Yu the Great passed by his own house three times without entering, just to control the flood. But I have passed by my own house five times without entering! I haven’t spent a decent night with my wife and children for days!” We had figured out that they were going to take us to Zhongxiang Prison, where many brothers and sisters of our church were kept. As it turned out, they did take us there. When we entered the yard, they took the ropes off. By then my arms couldn’t feel a thing. Then we were taken to a room outside of the lockup house. When we were about to go in, Brother Xu Xinghai came out of that room. He had been arrested with us. We saw that he was still barefooted in his shorts. His back was all black and blue from beatings. Sister Li Li and I signed our names on the detainment paper there. Then they confiscated our watches, belts, and the cash in our purses. After that, the officials in charge of the prison took us into a cell.

It was cell No. 3 that we were put in. The official opened the door and said to us, “See? It’s all your people here with you!” We went in, and saw that Sister Tong Cuijuan, Sister Zhang Hongjuan, Sister Ren Haihua, Sister Cui Guilian, and Sister Liu Zhongju were there. On seeing them, I could hardly believe my eyes. I was shocked at their arresting so many of us. It was like a heavy blow on the church, I thought, and felt bitter in my heart. They were shocked too to see us sent in there. So we sat down, and asked them what had happened. We learned that Sister Wang Lan was beaten so hard that the bones in her wrist were broken, and that her waist was injured, too. She had to lie down in bed all day. We all tried to strengthen each other in faith. Since the Lord allowed this to happen, we would depend on Him for strength. So we prayed as usual in pairs, with one person keeping watch. Thanks to the Lord, we were greatly strengthened.

To continue reading, click here: Testimony of Sister Chi Faling