A Christian pastor who has been imprisoned in China for nearly a year based on the purportedly false claim that he divulged state secrets recently penned a letter to his wife — and its contents are profoundly moving.
Despite facing intense health woes, harsh conditions and persecution for his faith, Pastor Li Guozhi told his wife in the Nov. 8 letter to “pray and wait for God” and that, despite his dire circumstances, he is at peace, according to a translation provided by China Aid, a group that fights against Christian persecution.
“My heart is calm and quiet, and it has no anxiety,” he said.
It’s a remarkable proclamation, considering that Guozhi has been in custody since Dec. 9, 2015, after Chinese authorities raided his church in central Guizhou Province, as CBN News reported.
After many months of not being allowed to correspond with his wife, he penned this heartfelt letter, detailing some of his health woes and the suffering he’s experiencing in prison, while still managing to let gratitude triumph over the darkness.
But the most pertinent and touching parts of the letter are Guozhi’s clear concern for his wife and family, as he spends the bulk of his script using his words to put his wife at ease and encouraging her to adhere to her faith amid the storm.
“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,” he wrote. “‘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.”
Guozhi went on to say that he has memorized the Bible and has plenty of time inside prison for prayer and meditation, noting that he’s been reciting books like Nehemiah, Ezra and Esther, and proclaimed that, despite his suffering, God is “so great and wonderful.”
His praise is remarkable in light of his current persecution. In addition to contracting scabies, he was also diagnosed with a fatty liver disease, though he said his “suffering is bearable.”
“The Lord has grace. The canker sore has not returned since May of this year. Thank God,” he said. “There is not anything wrong with my eyes or waist either. You need not worry about my health. Now, I sleep well.”
Guozhi told his wife he has soap “because God is kind,” that he has enough clothing and doesn’t feel cold — and that he has enough money to last for half a year, information he clearly hoped would put his wife at ease.
“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,” he said. “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 Nov. 17 and should be celebrated. Buy his favorite cheesecake and share with Xiangen. Wish him well on my behalf.”
Guozhi encouraged his wife to “praise the Lord” and to sing the song “The Sun Above the Clouds” — a song he believes God “prepared” for the couple, and one that he said has brought him joy while behind bars.
In addition to encouraging his wife to listen to the song, he also selflessly asked her to keep positive, despite the pain the family is experiencing during his detention.
“Never see the dark clouds covering the sky and always see the sun above the clouds,” he said. “When you take a plane, you will see the sunshine all over the world, after it breaks through the clouds.”
Read the letter in its entirety here.
(H/T: China Aid)
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