What’s it like to hear from your pastor husband, who has spent over a year in prison? Pastor Yang Hua was abducted by Chinese police 9 December 2015 and accused of “divulging state secrets”. Yang has not yet gone to trial, but his words to his wife reveal both a glimpse into a man concerned for his wife and a man whose confident hope rests in the Lord.
My dear wife: Greetings!
I have received all of your letters: the first on 5 October and the second on 8 November, which were written on 4 and 14 October.
My scabies were healed. Around 20 September, I was taken to a doctor who applied sulfur ointment all over my body. Finally, it healed. I have the same experience as Job. My fatty liver disease was diagnosed in prison. The suffering is bearable. The Lord has grace. The canker sore has not returned since May of this year. Thank God. There is not anything wrong with my eyes or waist either. You need not worry about my health. Now, I sleep well.
The reason why I did not reply to your letter in a timely manner is that I wanted to answer them together after the second letter arrived.
Pray and wait for God. My heart is calm and quiet, and it has no anxiety.
I can use sulfur soap inside the detention centre, because God is kind in this way. I have enough clothes, as well as winter clothes, and I don’t feel cold at all. I have 3,500 Yuan ($675), which can last for a half year. It’s no use worrying about these things. You need not come to deposit money for me any time soon. It is not convenient for you to take a bus, and you won’t be able to see me. Some brothers and sisters came to deposit money for me. You just take care of our sons and our home. Mu’en’s birthday is on 17 November and should be celebrated. Buy his favorite cheesecake and share with Xiangen. Wish him well on my behalf.
When using electricity this winter, pay attention to safety and remember to shut it off before you leave. My mum would always forget.
After reading your letter, I know some of your concerns. Praise the Lord by singing the song “The Sun above the Clouds.” The Lord has prepared this song for you and me. I sang it many times and am so joyful. I am sharing it with you. Never see the dark clouds covering the sky and always see the sun above the clouds. When you take a plane, you will see the sunshine all over the world, after it breaks through the clouds.
Never be dejected and despondent, always look up at our Lord, and always keep the spiritual life above the chaos of the real environment. Rest in God’s arms. “Some rely on chariots, some on horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord,” Psalm 20:7. Be upright and take care. Be prepared for the rest of the road. I will go with you. If the Lord doesn’t allow it, not a single hair from your head will drop to the floor.
You need not take sermon notes when you copy the hymns; the Bible, which I memorised by heart, always comes to me. I have plenty of time inside for meditation and prayer. This is the best preparation. Recently, I’ve often been reciting Nehemiah, Ezra, and Esther. Esther could have gone back to Jerusalem in order to build the city wall, travelling from the alien country to which the Israelites were carried off. Esther didn’t become extinct but turned into a safety net, turning those days into a time of celebration.
God is so great and wonderful; who can be like Him? Our wonderful God, our Lord forever. Who can guess His wisdom and mystery? Our faith is built on His words (He never changes and never does wrong; this is the unchangeable maxim). Sometimes, somebody will decide something by guessing and then testing their theory, but we don’t. We listen more to God and less to human beings, especially to nonsensical noise.
Greet everybody on my behalf and thank them for worrying about me. Encourage and give hope to each other in the days that God has prepared for us.
Your husband, who is always missing you.
8 November 2016
Motto: We should have this feeling every day. Proverbs says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” Proverbs 17:22. Spend every day that God gives us with a joyful heart. May it be common wisdom to encourage ourselves. Amen!
(The next time you deposit money, please ask the cadre how much money is left in my account, but do not come soon. It has become cold, and I have enough money for daily use. I am guessing there is a lot in my account. If you have something to tell me, please write to me. You do not need to write until you receive my reply, I will write back when it is convenient for me).
Translated and edited by China Aid. Emphasis added by VOM.