A Letter to My Husband

Editor’s note: This summer, dozens of Chinese house church Christians were together enjoying an outdoor family camp when police raided the gathering. Many believers were imprisoned; some of them remain in jail today. This moving letter was written by the wife of a detained preacher from the house church. Her husband has not returned home since he was seized in late summer, while she and her three young children remain at their home in northern China, awaiting his return.

This version has been lightly edited for security purposes.


My Dear,

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“I was so joyful that day, but now the peppers are rotten, and you still haven’t returned.

Today is the hundredth day since you were arrested. When you were taken away from me, I never thought this would last a hundred days.

On Wednesday, you left in the morning to take two of the children on a trip. On Friday afternoon, I went grocery shopping. I was in a very good mood, and bought your favorite chili peppers, thinking everyone would return the next afternoon. I was so joyful that day, but now the peppers are rotten, and you still haven’t returned. I even set aside an eggplant for you to eat, but now the eggplant has been awaiting you for three months.


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I miss you so much. From the time we met, to when we got married, to this very point, we have seldom been separated. Before we had children, you took me with you almost everywhere you went, only excepting work meetings.

I would love to see you again. I would love to hear you again. I envy the brothers and sisters who were arrested and imprisoned with you for 18 days. I was particularly envious when I thought that they could see you from a distance. I was especially sad during that time – but I felt worse when I thought that you were in there, missing us, too.

How have you been these hundred days? It is especially cold here today, with temperatures from minus 8 to 1 C [17 to 34 F]. Are you warm enough? Do you have hot water to drink? Are you eating well?

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“I look forward to the day when we meet again. The children and I will together wait for your return. May God be with both you and me.

In the past, you loved to go out and eat a bowl of 10 yuan [about $1.50] rice noodles by the middle school. You did this whenever you thought our homecooked meals were not spicy enough. Whenever you ate out, it was always a bowl of 10 yuan rice noodles! But later, you started to eat them less often. You told me that, when you thought of how you could spend that 10 yuan – to buy a pineapple for the children or a cake for me – when you thought of how much joy those 10 yuan could bring the whole family, you did not want to eat the rice noodles any longer.

For my enemies speak concerning me;
those who watch for my life consult together
and say, ‘God has forsaken him;
pursue and seize him,
for there is none to deliver him.’

O God, be not far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
May my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
with scorn and disgrace may they be covered
who seek my hurt.
But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
of your deeds of salvation all the day,
for their number is past my knowledge.
With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;
I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.“

Ps. 71:10-16

I look forward to the day when we meet again. The children and I will together wait for your return. May God be with both you and me.


Wen Yan is a pseudonym for the wife of a Chinese house church pastor.

 

FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION

Pray for Chinese Christians who are in jail, and for their family members who miss their loved ones.

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Further Reading

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Nanjing: A Welcoming City of Newcomers
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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

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