By Baiyun, China
In March 2012, my mom shared Almighty God’s gospel of the last days with me. I started reading God’s words every day and I often gathered and fellowshiped on God’s words with others. I remember a passage of Almighty God’s words I read in my devotionals one day. Almighty God says, “As members of the human race and devout Christians, it is the responsibility and obligation of us all to offer up our minds and bodies for the fulfillment of God’s commission, for our entire being came from God, and it exists thanks to the sovereignty of God. If our minds and bodies are not for God’s commission and not for the righteous cause of mankind, then our souls will be unworthy of those who were martyred for God’s commission, and much more unworthy of God, who has provided us with everything” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I saw from God’s words that God created mankind and all I have has come from Him. I should repay His love and do the duty of a created being. So, I started sharing the gospel with people I knew.
One day in December 2012, I was illegally detained by the police for preaching the gospel and held for 14 days for “disrupting social order.” My parents and husband came to visit me at the detention center on my seventh day there. When I walked into the visiting room, I saw my mom and dad standing there waiting and my husband holding our 1-year-old son. Tears welled up in my eyes seeing them all there. I greeted my parents quietly, rushed over to my husband and took the baby from him. I felt so sad at that moment. We had all been together as a family, then I was illegally detained by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) out of nowhere just for having faith and sharing the gospel. Now I was seeing my family in a detention center. My husband said, “I told my troop leader what happened after I found about your arrest and they said you should give up your faith. You’re a college graduate, you have an education. Your future will be ruined if you keep believing in God! They also said that if you don’t give it up, I’ll be kicked out of the Party and the military. I’ll even lose my job transition bonus next year! I can disregard all of that, but you have to think of your son and the family. It won’t be like this if you get arrested again. You’ll be sentenced to prison, and then what will happen to our son? He’ll never get into university, become a civil servant, or join the military. How will he find a place for himself in society? Is he going to have to live in shame?” Hearing him say this left me feeling even more upset. My heart ached as I held my son, and I thought, “If I really do end up in prison someday, could my son grow up healthy without his mom by his side at such a young age? Would he be laughed at and discriminated against? If my husband’s kicked out of the Party and the army, his future is shot.” I couldn’t bear to think of it anymore. I choked back my sobs and didn’t say a word. Seeing I wasn’t saying anything, my husband said angrily, “Our leader said that if you don’t promise to give up your faith, I should get a divorce. You have to choose!” When I still didn’t say a word, he took our son back and stormed out. I felt like a knife had been put through my heart and I couldn’t hold my tears back any longer. On my way back to my cell, I felt puzzled. Why would my husband have told his leader about my arrest right away? He knew that wouldn’t help me or him in any way. Why did he share everything so freely? I gave it some thought and felt he must be covering his own bases. When this occurred to me, I really didn’t want to accept it. I was really suffering. I couldn’t help but think that faith in God is right and natural, there’s nothing criminal about it. When believers get together, we just read God’s words, do our duty, share the gospel, and pursue the truth. Besides, doesn’t the national constitution clearly allow freedom of belief? So why would the Communist Party oppress us so much and push my husband to divorce me? I just couldn’t make sense of it.
When I got back to my cell, I shared my confusion with a sister from the Church. She quietly recited a couple passages of Almighty God’s words for me. “Such a king of devils it is! How can its existence be tolerated? It will not rest until it has made a mess of God’s work and left it all in a complete shambles, as if it wants to oppose God to the bitter end, until either the fish dies or the net breaks, deliberately setting itself against God and pressing in ever closer. Its hideous face having long since been completely unmasked, it is now bruised and battered and in a sorry condition, yet still it will not relent in its hatred of God, as if only by devouring God in one mouthful will it be able to relieve the hatred pent up in its heart” (“Work and Entry (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “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 the 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? Why not allow God to freely roam upon the earth that He created? Why hound God until He has nowhere to rest His head?” (“Work and Entry (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Then she shared this fellowship: “In the last days, God has become flesh and come to earth to speak and work. He expresses truths which cleanse and save mankind, and those with heart and spirit hear God’s voice and turn toward Almighty God. But the Communist Party is an atheistic party. It fervently hates God and the truth, and it’s afraid everyone will learn the truth from Almighty God’s words, then they’ll follow and bear witness to Christ, and forsake and reject it. Then no one would support it anymore and its wild ambition to keep the Chinese people caged and controlled forever would be destroyed. That’s why it throws itself into fabricating all sorts of rumors and lies to slander and condemn Almighty God and it puts the force of the whole nation into hunting Christ and persecuting Christians. It wants to completely wipe out God’s work on earth to protect its own atheistic dictatorship. The CCP claims to allow freedom of belief to cover up its evil persecution of religious beliefs as a tactic to fool the people of the world. There’s no real freedom of belief and there are no human rights in China. Having faith in China means facing persecution from the Communist Party’s satanic regime. That’s a fact.” After her fellowship, I could see the Communist Party’s evil nature of hating God and the truth more clearly and really felt how incredibly evil it is. I’d been deeply poisoned by its atheistic education since I was little. I’d always seen the Party as the “great savior” of the people, and I really adored it. I believed and did what it said without any reservations. Now I could see how foolish that was! I also thought about something my husband said when I shared the gospel with him. “The Central Committee has ordered that The Church of Almighty God be wiped out and the level of combat readiness in our troop has been elevated to three. Anyone who believes in Almighty God is seen as an enemy. And our weekly political lessons in our Party classes are now about The Church of Almighty God. Even though I know your faith is a good thing, the Communist Party is in power, and the weak cannot defeat the strong. What can you do but obey it?” Thinking about all these things he’d said made me so angry! The Communist Party is going against Heaven. It wants to put all of its force against God, not only treating believers like national criminals, condemning and oppressing them, but intimidating and inciting the masses to stand on its side. Even my husband was intimidated and misled. He didn’t know right from wrong and oppressed my faith. The Communist Party doesn’t want anyone to follow God and take the right path, but to believe in and follow it. That’s evil, despicable, and shameless! I hated and cursed those Communist demons from my heart! They were threatening me with my son’s and my husband’s futures to get me to betray God. I knew I couldn’t give in to their tricks. No matter how my husband pressured me, even if it meant going to prison, I’d keep following God!
At night I lay in bed thinking about all the happy times I’d had with my son. He was still little and had a long road ahead of him. I wondered if my faith would impact his future. I started to weaken at this thought, so I silently prayed to God, asking Him to watch over my heart. I thought of a passage of God’s words after my prayer. “Of everything that occurs in the universe, there is nothing in which I do not have the final say. Is there anything that is not in My hands? Whatever I say is done, and who among human beings can change My mind?” (“Chapter 1” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I thought, “That’s right. God rules over all, and my son’s fate is in His hands, too. He has the final say, not any human being. What good will worrying do?” So I said a prayer, entrusting my child to God. I felt a lot better after that, and I wasn’t as worried. That’s how I got through my 14 days locked up thanks to the faith and strength God gave me. When I was released, my dad drove me home and my husband sat in the back. My husband said to me, eyes red from crying, “The leader’s been doing ideological work on me this whole time. I have to report on you. They said that if you keep believing in God, I’ll be dismissed unless I divorce you. This is driving me crazy! I’m begging you—give this up. You’ll go to prison if you’re caught, and our family will be torn apart!” I saw he was crying as he spoke and I felt a surge of heartache. I quickly prayed to God in my heart, asking Him to keep me strong. Then a passage of God’s words came to mind. “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I realized it was one of Satan’s tricks. Satan wanted to use my husband’s threat of divorce to push me into betraying God. I couldn’t fall into its trap! So I said this to my husband: “I don’t want to tear this family apart. You’ve noticed that I’ve changed since becoming a believer. We don’t fight anymore and our family’s getting along better and better. You’ve heard Almighty God’s words and brothers’ and sisters’ testimonies. You know having faith is good. But now the CCP wants to condemn and arrest me, get you fired, kick you out of the army, and get you to divorce me. Who’s really trying to break this family apart? Instead of hating the CCP, you’re joining it in persecuting my faith. Haven’t you gotten right and wrong all mixed up? You know what kind of party the Communist Party is. It hates God and the truth, and it’s a sworn enemy of God. It’s arrested and persecuted so many Christians, it’s done so much evil. Can it really escape God’s punishment? God said long ago, ‘Wherever the incarnation appears is a place from which the enemy is exterminated. China will be the first to be annihilated; it will be laid to waste by the hand of God. God will give absolutely no quarter there’ (“Chapter 10” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Disasters are growing all the time. When the great disasters come, the Communist Party will be the first to be destroyed by God, and when that happens, all who followed it and opposed God will perish. They won’t know a day of peace. Don’t ask me to give up my faith again. I will never stop believing in God!” When he saw I wasn’t going to give in, he slapped me across the face in a rage. I could see that it was the Communist Party that had incited him to treat me like that. It was really painful for me, and I hated the Party deep in my heart. I thought, “The more you oppress me, the stronger my faith grows!”
Back at home, my husband wouldn’t let up. “If you have to, just practice your faith at home. I won’t report you to the leader, okay?” I thought, “I’ve enjoyed so much of God’s grace and blessings, and sustenance of the truth. Without sharing the gospel or doing my duty, is that even faith? Besides, just staying at home without gathering or fellowshiping on God’s words, I’d grow in life so slowly.” I knew I couldn’t listen to my husband. Then he started trying to sweet talk me: “I haven’t taken good care of you. I’ve wronged you. I won’t go to work for a while. I’ll stay home with you and our son. I’ll go anywhere you want with you and buy you whatever you want. I just want you to be happy!” I wavered a bit when I heard him speaking to me so sweetly, but I quickly realized that it was another one of Satan’s tricks. I said a silent prayer that I’d keep my faith and do my duty no matter what. But after that, my husband started following me wherever I went. I was afraid others would be endangered if he reported me, so I didn’t dare meet brothers and sisters. I really longed for my life before I was arrested. I thought about how back then, I could gather and have fellowship with brothers and sisters and do my duty. But now, I couldn’t join gatherings and was restricted at every turn. I couldn’t practice my faith or live normally. And my husband, cowed by the government, was determined to get me to give up my faith, or he’d divorce me. I was tormented by the thought of the choice that I was facing. The truth is, I’d been hoping my husband would join me in my faith and we wouldn’t have to split up. During that time, every day felt like a year. In tears, I came before God in prayer: “Oh God, I feel so hurt and weak with this choice to make. I don’t know what to do. Please guide me!” After that, I read this in God’s words: “Believers and unbelievers are not compatible; rather, they are opposed to one another” (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Anyone who does not believe in God incarnate is demonic and, moreover, will be destroyed. … Anyone who does not recognize God is an enemy; that is, anyone who does not recognize God incarnate—whether or not they are inside or outside this stream—is an antichrist! Who is Satan, who are demons, and who are God’s enemies if not resisters who do not believe in God?” (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading this, I thought back over how my husband had acted since my arrest. He’d pushed me over and over to give up my faith, he’d used affection to lure me in, he’d pressured me with divorce, and he’d even hit me. Wasn’t it all to get me to betray God? Wasn’t he what God describes, one of the “resisters who do not believe in God”? The first thing he did after he found out about my arrest was tell his troop leader. Didn’t he do that to protect himself, with no regard for me? His future held a much more important place in his heart than I did. All the nice things he said to me all the time were an act! He chose the CCP, and I chose God. We were on two totally different paths. We couldn’t find any real happiness together. Thinking through this helped me realize that I was sure to have to face a choice between my faith and my family. But when I thought back over the years with my husband, I felt so upset, so sad. I came before God in prayer once again and asked for His protection. I read this in God’s words after that: “You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment. You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and you should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful. If you lead such a vulgar life, and do not pursue any objectives, do you not waste your life? What can you gain from such a life? You should forsake all enjoyments of the flesh for the sake of one truth, and should not throw away all truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. People like this have no integrity or dignity; there is no meaning to their existence!” (“The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me a path of practice and restored my faith. I came before God to pray. “Oh God! Even if it means divorce, I’ll still follow You! Please keep me strong and give me the faith to stand witness for You.”
One day I managed to give my husband the slip, so I visited some brothers and sisters. When I got home, I saw my husband standing there with some family members. His eyes were red and he looked really upset. Some of our relatives looked sad and dejected, while others looked really mad. I realized that Satan was laying siege to me again, this time using my family. I quickly said a silent prayer to God. I thought of this from His words: “Those whom God refers to as ‘overcomers’ are those who are still able to stand witness and maintain their confidence and devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and while being laid siege to by Satan, that is, when they find themselves amidst the forces of darkness. If you are still able to keep a pure heart before God and maintain your genuine love for God no matter what, then you are standing witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an ‘overcomer’” (“You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me faith and strength, and I resolved in my heart that no matter what my family did, I’d never betray God. I would stand witness for Him!
With a fierce look on her face, my aunt asked me, “You went to a gathering, didn’t you? Do you even want this family?” Then my uncle yelled at me, “God? There is no God! China is an atheistic country and the Communist Party is in charge. If you want to believe, believe in the Party!” Then he brought up some Communist Party’s lies on his phone and said, “Look! This is the Almighty God you believe in. This is a major national target. Believers take their entire family down with them! If not for yourself, at least think of your child!” Then another aunt piped up, “You two haven’t been married long and things haven’t been easy for you. You can’t let your family fall apart over something like this! If you didn’t believe in God, would your family be in this mess now?” Everybody started chiming in in agreement with her. I was so angry to hear all of them saying that stuff. I then said to them justly and sternly, “Who wants to tear this family apart? Is there something wrong with taking the right path? The Communist Party condemns and arrests believers and wants to put me in jail. It has also threatened all of you and pushed my husband to divorce me. The Communist Party has done all of this! You don’t hate the CCP, but instead stand on its side against me to force me to betray God. Is that what’s best for me and the family?” After I said this, another uncle said, “It’s true, the Party can’t be trusted, but it’s in power now. If you believe in God, it won’t show you any mercy. You’ll do time. We’re just regular people. How can we stand up against the Party? Just take my advice. Give up your faith. What’s most important is keeping your family together!” I then said to them, “Disasters are getting bigger and bigger now. When the great disasters come, everyone who opposes God will be punished. Only people of faith who’ve repented to God will gain His protection. Only true believers will have a good future and fate. What kind of future can there be without faith? You’re all my loved ones. I really hope you can be saved by God and not succumb to the disasters, which is why I’ve shared the gospel with you over and over. But you don’t dare believe even though you know it’s the true way, afraid of being arrested. Now you’re standing in my way, trying to force me to betray God. Aren’t you afraid that when the disasters come, you’ll be punished along with the Communist Party?” After I said that, the first uncle’s face went red with anger and he threatened me furiously: “I’ll have your hide if you keep your faith! I’ll report you to the police, you’ll do time!” As he said this he got his phone out and started dialing. My aunt rushed over and yanked it away from him. Seeing my uncle about to do that was bitterly disappointing for me. How is that any kind of family? That’s the work of a demon! I said to them, “You are my elders and I respect you, but as for choosing my path of faith, I will never let anyone tell me what to do! There is absolutely no way I will give up my faith, betray God, and follow the CCP like you want me to!” Then my husband smacked me so hard it sent me flying to the floor. My glasses flew off and landed across the room. He pointed at me and yelled, “Do you want God, or this family? I’ll divorce you right away if you keep believing!” I saw my husband was willing to divorce me to protect his own future. I was really hurt and filled with hatred for the Communist Party. I silently prayed to God, “I’ll satisfy God even if it means losing what I love!” A couple months later, the day of our divorce came. My husband called me and said, “The troop leader is going to the Civil Affairs Bureau with us tomorrow to handle divorce proceedings.” Hearing him say this made me think of how our perfectly good family had been torn apart by the CCP. The CCP is so evil, so despicable! The next day, our divorce was finalized under the watchful eye of the troop leader. My husband and I went our separate ways. I kept following God and sharing the gospel, doing my duty. This is my choice, and one I’ll never regret! Thank God!