Advent devotion – December 1, 2009

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:7–19

“Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.” (1 Peter 4:16)

Between 1966 and 1976 China witnessed a Cultural Revolution. Many people suffered, especially Christians. My father, an ordained minister, had been called to establish a church after his graduation from seminary. To make the good news known, he went into the street to play “monkey boxing” (a kind of Kung Fu) to attract an audience. He collected thousands of kilos of grain, and with the profits he built a small church. My father was accused of being a “running dog of American imperialism” since he was trained in a seminary run by the PC(USA), and he was put into prison. His church was then used to manufacture toilet paper.

As the children of a criminal, we had no chance for higher education. Red Guards searched our house several times. They confiscated or burned all of our Bibles and reference books.

When my father was released, I thought I would see a pale, thin, and disappointed old man. He was thinner, for he had offered half of his meals to his younger ward mates. But to my great surprise he was as cheerful and energetic as before, and even joked with me. He said, “It’s a rare chance for a pastor to be jailed with hooligans; it’s a good opportunity to proclaim the gospel to them!”

Heavenly Father, we thank you for accepting us as your children, for giving us the courage to take the same yoke, and for the revival of the church in China. Amen.

The Rev. Enlin Li, president, Nanjing YWCA, China,
2008 International Peacemaker

Order Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace.

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