One of our front-line workers recently shared a testimony of his now departed friend and brother in Christ.
Our dear Elder Shoi left us and met His Saviour in December. The day before he departed, he faithfully prayed and encouraged us. He said “Fear not but believe. Work hard in the Lord for the persecuted church in China, the Lord’s coming is near!”
Shoi was born in 1925 and accepted Jesus when he was a young man while working at the Railway Mechanic School in ShanDong. During the Second World War, the Japanese invaded China and occupied ShanDong. The Japanese occupying forces ordered every Chinese citizen to pledge loyalty to the Japanese Emperor and bow down to the gods of Shintoism. Shoi refused because of his Christian beliefs. The railway manager, who had some respect for Christianity, told Shoi, that he could stand in the very last row during each morning’s Shintoism worship meeting, that way, if he didn’t bow down, no one would notice.
In the 1950’s the communists came into power after the Chinese Civil War. The church came under considerable pressure. All foreign missionaries were forced to leave, church buildings were torn down and Bibles were confiscated and burnt. In 1958, Shoi a known Christian was arrested and imprisoned, for 25 years. At that time Shoi and his wife had two small children, a daughter aged three and a one-year-old son. Two years later Shoi’s wife was also imprisoned. In prison, they experienced great suffering.
The government took over the custody of Shoi’s two young children. They were intentionally fostered by a military family, loyal to communism. As the children grew, they also became loyal to communism and the Party. They were told by their foster parents, repeatedly, that their parents were ‘anti-revolutionists’ and ‘imperialist running dogs’ and that all they believed was rubbish and evil.
In time, the daughter graduated from the Communist Party-Political College and the son, from the People’s Liberation Army University of Art. They both served in the military as loyal communist soldiers.
Finally, in the 1980s Shoi and his wife were released from prison. They settled in Beijing. They remained firm in their Christian beliefs, but the children were very ashamed of their parents. Although the children would visit, the visits were brief and not frequent. During these meetings, they gave their parents money and told them they hoped they would change their minds and no longer have these ‘poisoned’ beliefs.
Shoi and his wife were desperately sad for their children and their relationship with them, and they prayed fervently. They tried to tell their children about Jesus and the love of God but to no avail.
Shoi became a senior front-line worker. For the last 30 years, he has worked tirelessly and effectively to strengthen the underground church in China.
Eight years ago, Shoi’s wife died, and then last year Shoi also died. Neither of them saw a change in their children’s hearts or attitudes.
Before Shoi’s death, our front-line workers promised him that they would continue praying for his son and daughter, that the Lord open their hearts and that Jesus would save their souls.
Will you join them?