16. God Is the Power of My Life
Xiaohe Henan Province
How time flies! Fourteen years have flashed by since I followed Almighty God. In these years, although I have undergone various trials and hardships and frustrations, with the company of God’s word and God’s love and mercy, I’ve been especially enriched in my heart. During these fourteen years, what was most deeply engraved on my heart was my being arrested in August, 2003. After I was arrested that time, I was cruelly tortured by the CCP police and was almost disabled. It was Almighty God who cared for and kept me and led me with his word of life time after time, so that I overcame the cruel tortures of the devils and stood testimony. In the experience, I deeply felt that the power of Almighty God’s word is transcendent and Almighty God’s life force is great. I firmly believed that Almighty God is the only true God who rules over everything and controls all things and is even more my only salvation and reliance. No hostile force can take me away from God’s hand or hinder my footsteps of following God.
That night, I remember, two sisters and I were having a meeting. Suddenly, we heard the dog bark and some people come over the wall outside. Immediately after that, we heard someone ram the door rapidly and shout, “Open the door! You’re surrounded!” We cleared up the things quickly and were going to leave. Just then, the door banged open. Several strong flashlight beams flashed at us, and we were blinded by the lights. Instantly, a dozen or so people rushed into the house. They forcibly pushed us to a corner of the wall and shouted loudly, “Don’t move! Behave yourself!” Then, they rummaged through the house like bandits. At that time, I heard two shots outside the door, and then someone shouted, “We’ve caught them! There’s three of them!” They handcuffed us and pushed us into a police car. Then I came to know that we were arrested by the police. After we got in the car, a vicious policeman roared with an electric baton in his hand, “Everyone, listen! Nobody shout! Whoever shouts, my electric baton will be on her. Even if I beat you to death, I won’t violate the law!” On the way, two vicious policemen wedged me into the middle of the seat. One of them wrapped his legs around mine and pressed me to his chest, saying with lust, “It’s a waste for me not to take advantage of you today!” He held me tightly while I struggled hard to free myself. Later, a vicious policeman said, “Don’t mess things up! Hurry to finish the task and report.” Then he let me go.
The vicious policemen took us to the police station and locked us in a small room and handcuffed us onto iron chairs separately. One of them watched us and didn’t allow us to speak. That vicious policeman asked us harshly about our names and where we lived. Because of nervousness, I didn’t know what to answer. So I prayed to God silently, asking God to give me wisdom and the words I should say. At that time, God’s words inspired me, “…no matter what you do, put the interests of God’s family first, accept God’s searching, and obey God’s arrangement.” (from “How is Your Relationship with God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Yes! I should put the interests of God’s family first. No matter what torments I will suffer, I can by no means get the brothers and sisters involved or sell them out, much less betray God. I should stand testimony for God and can by no means be a Judas. So, no matter what he asked, I just turned a deaf ear to him. The next morning, they prepared to send us to the detention house. That indecent vicious policeman said with a false smile, “We spread a dragnet and caught you at last. We won’t feel relaxed until we arrest you.” Having said that, he handcuffed me and seized the chance to push my breast twice with his two hands. I was very angry. I was really surprised that in broad daylight the people’s police could do such a thing. They are simply a gang of bandits and gangsters of underworld! They are really disgusting and hateful!
In the detention house, in order to make me speak out my family address and things of believing in God, the vicious policemen first asked a policewoman to use soft tactics to persuade me and draw words out of me. Seeing that I didn’t speak, they forcibly videotaped me and said that they would play it on the TV to ruin my reputation. However, I knew that I only believed in God and pursued to walk the right way of human life and didn’t do anything disgraceful, much less do anything violating the law. So I said to them, “Do as you want!” Seeing that their scheme didn’t work, the vicious policemen used malicious means to torture me. Like treating a felon, they put on me handcuffs and shackles weighing five kilos and escorted me to a car to take me out for interrogation. Because the shackles were too heavy, I could only walk with my heels rubbing the ground. I walked with great difficulty, and after only a few steps, the skin of my feet was chafed. After I got into the car, they immediately covered my head with a black bag, and two vicious policemen sandwiched me between them. I was shocked in my heart, “These devils don’t have humanity. I don’t know what malicious means they will use to torture me. What if I can’t bear them?” So, I prayed to God immediately, “O Almighty God! Facing the coming situation, I’m somewhat weak in my flesh. May you keep me and give me faith. No matter what cruel tortures come upon me, I’m willing to stand testimony to satisfy you and never betray you.” After I was taken into a room, they took the covering off my head and had me stand for a day. At night, a vicious policeman sat opposite me with his legs crossed and said ferociously to me, “Answer my questions properly! After you answer them, I’ll release you! How many years have you believed in God? Who preached to you? Who is your church leader?” Seeing that I said nothing, he roared, “If I don’t give you some color, you won’t speak!” Then, he ordered me to hold up my hands above my head and stand motionless. After a short time, my arms began to ache and I couldn’t hold on, but they didn’t allow me to put them down. It was not until I couldn’t raise my arms and sweated all over and shivered that they allowed me to put them down. But they didn’t allow me to sit and kept me standing until daybreak. My legs and feet became numb and swollen and painful.
The next morning, the vicious policemen interrogated me again, and I still said nothing. They took off one end of my handcuffs (with a chain). The head of the vicious policemen fiercely struck the bends of my legs with a stick 10 centimeters thick and 70 centimeters long, so that I knelt down on the ground. The stick was then between the bends of my legs. Then, they pulled my arms from under the stick and forcibly handcuffed my hands. Immediately, I felt suffocated and felt it difficult to breathe. The tendons of my shoulders seemed to be going to snap and my lower legs were so tense that they seemed to be going to break. I shivered all over from pain. About three minutes later, I swayed from side to side and couldn’t hold on. I flopped on the floor and fell flat on my back. Then, one of the four vicious policemen directed, another two on both sides of me held the stick with one hand and pulled my shoulders upward with the other, and another one raised my head with his hands and pushed my back with his foot, making me sit up slowly and continue to squat. Just like that, I fell down and was supported up, being tormented repeatedly for about one hour. Not until they were sweating tired and breathless did the head of the vicious policemen say, “All right, all right. I’m exhausted!” Then they removed the torture device. I was feeble all over and collapsed there like a heap of mud, gasping for breath. At that time, the skin of my wrists was rubbed off by the handcuffs, and the skin of my feet was rubbed off by the shackles, and they dripped blood. It was so painful that I dripped sweat all over. The sweat flowed to the wounds and I felt painful as if being cut by a knife. In extreme agony, I kept crying in my heart, “O God! Save me! I can hardly bear it!” At that time, God’s words inspired me, “When man gives up his life completely, nothing is difficult. No one can daunt him. Is there anything more important than ‘life’?” (from “The Interpretation of the Thirty-sixth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words enlightened me all at once, “Satan knows that man loves the flesh most and even more fears death. It simply wants to make me fear death and thus betray God through torturing my flesh. This is satan’s scheme. However, God is just using satan’s scheme to perfect my faith and faithfulness to him and make me bear testimony for him before satan, thus shaming satan.” After understanding God’s will, I had faith and strength again within and also had the resolution that I would stand testimony for God even if I had to die. When I resolved to give up my life to satisfy God, my pain all over was relieved a lot, and I didn’t feel distressed or bad in my heart. Later, the vicious policemen removed the torture device for me and ordered me to stand up. They gnashed their teeth, saying, “If you don’t speak, we’ll let you stand all the time. We’ll see how long you can hold on!” Just like that, they made me stand until dark. In the evening when I went to the washroom, as my feet had become swollen and festered and bled because of wearing shackles, I could only move little by little by rubbing the ground. I walked with great difficulty. Every time I moved a little, my feet felt gnawingly painful. A very clear line of blood was left on the ground. It took me nearly one hour to get over a distance of about thirty meters and walk back. That night, I kept rubbing my swollen legs with my hands. Neither stretching them nor curling them up was comfortable, and I felt extremely bad. But what comforted me was that I didn’t betray God because of God’s keeping.
On the morning of the third day, the vicious policemen used the same means to torture me. Every time I fell down, the head of the vicious policemen grinned hideously, saying, “A brilliant fall. One more!” I was supported up and fell again. He said, “This pose is nice. It looks good. One more!” Just like that, they tormented me repeatedly for about an hour. Finally they got tired and stopped with sweat all over their face. I fell flat on my back to the ground, feeling very dizzy and shivering unceasingly. I couldn’t open my eyes due to the salty sweat. A feeling of nausea settled in my stomach, and I just wanted to vomit. I felt I was breathing my last. At that moment, God’s words came to my mind, “‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ … Because the great red dragon is the persecutor of God and the enemy of God, people in this place all suffer humiliations and persecutions for believing in God. So, this word is accomplished in you group of people.” (from “Is God’s Work So Simple as People Imagine?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words made me understand that in believing in God and following God in China, the country where the devil rules, we are bound to undergo many humiliations and persecutions. This is also the time when we bear testimony for God and manifest God’s glory. God wants to make a group of overcomers through satan’s persecution, thus defeating satan. Today I can offer my portion for God’s glory and this is my honor! Led by God’s words, I spontaneously had a strong power in my heart and declared to satan, “Hateful old devil, I’ve made up my mind. No matter how you torture me, I’ll never yield to you, and I’ll pledge my life to stand on God’s side.” Seeing that I still said nothing, the head of the vicious policemen was so angry that he removed the torture device and roared, “Stand there! I’ll see how long you can be stubborn. We’ll have a long war against you. I don’t believe we can’t deal with you!” I had to get up with great difficulty. My legs being swollen and painful, I really couldn’t stand and could only lean against the wall. In the afternoon, the head of the vicious policemen said to me, “Others have confessed after being ‘swung’ once. You can hold so long. Your legs have become like this, yet you still won’t tell. I really wonder where your strength comes from….” He also stared at me, roaring, “So many people have confessed before me. How dare you fight me? It looks like you wanna be imprisoned. We’ll sentence you to eight or ten years, and let those prisoners beat and scold you every day and torture you to death!” At his words, I thought, “I have God with me. Even if you sentence me to eight or ten years, I’m not afraid.” Seeing that I didn’t say anything, he became so angry that he slapped his thigh and stomped his feet and cursed, “It cost me several days to deal with you alone. If everyone is like you, how can I do my work?” Hearing his words, I laughed to myself. I saw that satan is too incapable and is really a loser in God’s hand! At that time, I spontaneously thought of God’s words, “God’s life force can vanquish all power and even more surpass all power. His life is perpetual, and his power is transcendent. No created being and no hostile force can overpower his life force.” (from “Only the Last Christ Can Bestow to Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Every word of God is the truth. Today I have personally experienced and tasted it. For three days, I haven’t eaten, drunk, or slept and have suffered such cruel tortures, but I can still hold on. This is completely the strength God gives me. It is God who has been caring for and keeping me. Without God as my rear guard, I would have long collapsed. God’s life force is really so transcendent and great. God is so almighty! Having seen God’s deed, I had more faith to bear testimony for God before satan.
On the morning of the fourth day, the vicious policemen forced me to stretch my arms level and half squat, and put a stick on the backs of my hands. After a short time, I couldn’t hold on. My hands drooped and the stick fell on the ground. Then they picked up the stick and fiercely beat my knuckles and knee joints. Every hit made me feel a heart-piercing pain. After the beating, they continued to force me to half squat. After several successive days of torture, my legs already became swollen and painful. I squatted just for a while, and then my legs couldn’t bear it and I slumped down on the ground. They pulled me up, but when they let go of me, I fell again. They did it again and again. I fell so many times that my butt felt painful to the touch and I was bathed in sweat from the pain. Just like that, they tortured me for about an hour. Then, they forced me to sit on the ground, and brought a bowl of highly concentrated salt water and forced me to drink it. I refused. A vicious policeman pinched my cheeks hard, and another vicious policeman held my head with his arm and squeezed my mouth open with his other hand and poured it into my mouth forcibly. The salt water stung my throat so much that I felt bitter and astringent. Immediately my stomach seemed to be burning like fire, and I felt so bad that I just wanted to shed tears. Seeing my miserable look, they said ferociously, “After you drink the salt water, you won’t bleed so easily when we beat you.” That gang of devils not only mocked and tortured me but also insulted me. In the evening, a vicious policeman came to me and squatted before me. He stretched his hand out and touched my face. While touching, he said indecent words. I became so angry that I spit in his face. He flew into a shameful rage and slapped me fiercely. Spots of light burst before my eyes, and my head buzzed. He said ferociously, “Our various cruel tortures are still to come. Even if we torture you to death, no one will know it. If you don’t speak, you’ll feel a lot more!” In the night, lying on the floor, I couldn’t move. I asked to use the restroom, yet they told me to pick myself up. I exerted all my strength to stand up slowly. After taking one step, I fell on the ground. Having no choice, a policewoman dragged me to the restroom. There, I lost consciousness again. After I woke up, I was already in the room. I saw that my legs were so swollen that they were shining, the handcuffs and shackles were deeply stuck into my flesh, and the wounds oozed pus and blood. I felt unbearably painful. I remembered that the vicious policeman had said that they would still torture me by various ways, so I became somewhat weak in spite of myself. I prayed to God, “O God! I don’t know how this gang of devils will torture me. I can barely take it. May you lead me and give me faith and bestow to me strength, so that I can stand testimony for you.” After the prayer, I thought of the sufferings God has undergone for saving mankind in being incarnated twice. The Lord Jesus was mocked, flogged, and insulted by the soldiers and people, being put a thorny crown around his head, and was finally crucified alive. Today God is incarnated again and takes a greater risk to work. The CCP government’s hunting and persecution and the religious world’s frenzied resistance and rejection and condemnation, God bears them all silently, without any complaint. I also thought of God’s words, “Aren’t the sufferings you encounter today the sufferings God undergoes? You are suffering with God, and God is accompanying man in the suffering; isn’t it so? Today you all have a part with Christ in his tribulation and kingdom and patience, and only thus will you gain glory in the end! It’s meaningful to undergo such sufferings, isn’t it? You can’t make it without the will. You should know what the meaning of the suffering today is and why you should undergo the sufferings. Find some truths from this and understand some of God’s will, and you will have the will to suffer. …” (from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers) Yes! God has long undergone the suffering I undergo today. God, being innocent, suffers for saving corrupt mankind, while today I undergo the sufferings for my being saved. Compared with the sufferings God undergoes, this little suffering I undergo is simply not worthy to be mentioned. Only then did I taste how great are the suffering and humiliation God undergoes for saving us and feel that God’s love for mankind is so great and selfless! I became attached to God and had a thirst for God in my heart. This suffering made me see more of God’s mightiness and authority, and taste that God’s word is the power of man’s life and can lead me to overcome all kinds of difficulties and dangers. This suffering refined my faith and steeled my will power, and made up for and perfected my lacking. I have understood God’s will and known that today I can undergo this suffering and it is God’s great grace, and with God’s company, I’m not lonely. At that time, I couldn’t help singing the hymn of life experience, “God is my rear guard; what shall I fear? I will war against satan to the end. God uplifts us, so we should give up everything and have a part in Christ’s sufferings. I will ready my love and offer it all to God to descend with God in glory.” (from “The Kingdom” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs)
On the fifth day, the vicious policemen continued to make me half squat. My feet and legs were so swollen that I couldn’t stand at all. Several vicious policemen surrounded me and pushed me back and forth. Someone even seized the chance to take advantage of me. But I could only be played with by them like a puppet. I was dazed by the torture. Just when I couldn’t endure it, suddenly footsteps sounded outside, so they hurriedly ran to close the door and stopped playing with me. I knew God was showing mercy to me, relieving my suffering. In the evening, a vicious policeman sat before me. He took off his leather shoe and stretched his stinky foot before my face. And he said indecent words, “What are you sitting there thinking about? Are you thinking about men? What about the smell of my stinky foot? It’s good, isn’t it? I think it suits you.” Hearing his obscene words, I broke out into a rage. I glared at him. Seeing his shameful and evil look and thinking that they tortured and humiliated me at will time and again, without any humanity and even worse than beasts, and were exactly a gang of unreasonable devils, I bitterly hated this devil! Through my personal experience in those days, I saw that the people’s police I adored before are actually so shameful and evil. It even more stirred up my will to rebel against satan and stand testimony to satisfy God!
On the sixth day, I began to feel sleepy. A head of the vicious policemen said triumphantly, “The time you feel sleepy finally comes. Wanna sleep? No way! I’ll make you break down! I’ll see how much longer you can hold on!” Those vicious policemen took turns watching me. Whenever I closed my eyes, they would strike my legs with the stick or pull my hair and kick my feet. Sometimes they kicked my festering wounds, and I quivered from the pain. In the end, my head ached as if it would explode. I felt my head was spinning and then fell on the ground and fainted…. Faintly, I heard a doctor say, “You haven’t allowed her to eat or sleep for several days. You’re too hard-hearted! The shackles have stuck into the flesh. She can’t wear them anymore.” After the doctor left, the vicious policemen changed my shackles to ones that weigh 2.5 kilos and force-fed me some medicine. Then I woke up. I knew that I could survive all because of God’s mightiness, and it was God who was keeping me secretly and relieving my torture and alleviating my suffering through the doctor’s mouth. I had more faith in God within and had the resolution to fight against satan to the end. God is my rear guard and my shelter. Without God’s permission, no matter what cruel tortures satan uses, it can’t torture me to death.
On the morning of the seventh day, I really couldn’t hold on and dozed off constantly. Seeing it, a vicious policeman kept trampling my toes hard and pinching the back of my hand and slapping me. In the afternoon, the vicious policemen asked me about things of the church again. I hurriedly prayed to God, “O God! I’m muddled from staying up. May you keep me and give me a clear heart, so that I can stand testimony at any time.” Thank God for his keeping. Although I had been tortured for seven days and six nights, without eating, drinking, or sleeping, I was very clear in my mind and still said nothing. Later, the head of the vicious policemen brought out the name list of the gospel preachers that I wrote to interrogate me and asked me to speak out others. I had tasted enough of the tortures of those vicious policemen, and I could by no means let other brothers and sisters fall into their hands. So, I called to God to give me strength. When he was not paying attention, I suddenly went forward and grabbed the name list and put it in my mouth and ate it. Two vicious policemen shouted abuses at me in exasperation, rushed toward me, and pinched my mouth hard and fiercely slapped my face. Blood flowed from the corners of my mouth, I lost my bearings, and my face became swollen.
Getting no result from the interrogation, they could only give up and took me back to the detention house. Seeing that I was badly wounded, the policemen there didn’t accept me, fearing that they would take the blame if I died there. The vicious policemen had to take me to the hospital for oxygen therapy. After they sent me back to the detention house, I was in a coma for four days and nights. The prisoners woke me up, and later I fainted twice more. In the end, the CCP government sentenced me to one year and nine months of hard labor on the charge of “taking part in a cult.” However, because they tortured me black and blue all over and I was paralyzed and unable to walk, the labor camp refused to take me in. So, the police put my video on the TV. Three months later, my husband got the news and spent 12,000 yuan to bail me out so that my sentence would be executed outside the prison. When my husband came to pick me up, I couldn’t walk because I was seriously injured, so he had to carry me into the car. After going back home, I was diagnosed as having two segments of my lumbar misplaced. I couldn’t take care of myself and became a disabled person. I thought I would be bed-bound for the rest of my life. But later, because of God’s mercy and the medical treatment, I recovered gradually after one year. I really saw God’s almightiness and God’s love to me. I could perform the duty of a created being again. Thank God!
Through experiencing this persecution and tribulation, although I have undergone some sufferings, I have gained the treasure of life. I have not only seen clearly the CCP government’s devilish substance, but have even more seen God’s wonderful deed and the authority and power of God’s word, and felt the infinity and immensity of God’s life force. When I was weak and helpless, it was God’s word that gave me strength and courage, so that I had the faith to break through the dark force of satan; when my flesh couldn’t bear the cruel tortures, it was God who manipulated people, matters, and things to help me out of difficulty; when I was tortured by the devils and fainted, God worked on me wonderfully, delivering me from danger…. In my experience, I saw that God was right by my side and cared for and kept me and accompanied me to go forward all the time. God’s love to me is so great! God is my life and is my help and reliance at any time. I’m willing to dedicate my body and heart to God and pursue to know God and live out a meaningful life!