If there is ever story a worthy to share, it’s defiantly this one… Simply aw-inspiring!
Chairman Mao Tse Tung seized power in China after establishing a regime of absolute authority. Him and his “gang of four” took sadistic pleasure in targeting one specific group of people. Their Crimes? Believing in God.
These Christians were targeted because they refused to renounce their faith — they held strong for what they stood for even though it would cost many their lives.
Against their beliefs, China’s communist leaders, demanded that everyone call Chairman Mao, “Savior.” The only “Bible” they wanted people to read was a red book of communist propaganda by Chairman Mao.
Chen was born in Shanghai China and was brought up believing in controlling communist culture. However Chen Min Lin eventually discovered a real savior and a genuine book of truth; the Bible. He gave up on the communist propaganda and gave his life to serving others as a paster-evangelist.
It was very dangerous to teach anything different then what the Chairman Mao demanded, but this didn’t stop Chen!
One day will sharing God’s love at a small rural church, he was arrested and taken to prison. He was told never to speak of his religion again. He was then caught again in 1968 for his so-called “crime” of preaching the gospel. He feared his churches might die out since he was the only pastor, but God had an unbelievable surprise awaiting him.
Chen was then sentenced to 18 years in the absolute worst conditions even imaginable.
He was underfed and nearly starved several times while languishing in prison. Chen’s own son was even killed by the communist captors and his wife died shortly after but his cruel captors didn’t even have the decency to tell him…
He was in a horrible place with hardly enough food to even cary on… He would crawl on his hands and knees for lack of energy when moving around.
Chen wasn’t suffering alone. The prison’s unspeakably horrid conditions were suffered by ALL Christian ministers in a brutal effort to choke out any other belief other then communist propaganda.
For over 18 years of starvation and torture Chen learned what true greatness is all about. He watched as his courageous Christian brothers died one by one on racks in the torture chambers. At one time Chen recounts, “I longed to die, I even prayed to die.” In these times of true sadness, Chen was encouraged by his fellow Christain friends that were willing to die for what they knew was right.
“People don’t usually look for heroes in Chinese Prisons.”
However, true heroes are those that stand for what is right no matter what and even though many died for what was right, many heroes emerged out of the pain of these cruel cages.
As the years slowly passed, paster Chen received a new assignment from his Chinese prison guards – to work in the prison camp’s cesspool. a task like this was thought to be more worse then the death sentence. The infectious water that had to be carried out was absolutely horrid and he prayed often for God’s protection.
His first day in the cesspool was a complete nightmare…
“The stench was almost unbearable,” Chen said, “and I thought I would die before that first day ever ended.”
As he went to his loathsome job the next morning, he noticed something that he had not noticed before. He was completely alone! That normally never happened at crowded prison camps.
A light then illuminated his mind as he realized that he had been given the blessing of solitude.
He started singing softly, it was the first time he had ever been able to sing since being taken to the horrible prison, so he started singing louder and prayed a prayer of thanks.
With tears streaming down his face, he found himself singing a old hymn he had learned a long time ago in Shanghai. He found a very special meaning to the words of this song in particular.
I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me;
And He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share, as we tarry there.
None other has ever known.
“Right there in that festering, rancid cesspool, I seemed to smell the fragrant aroma of the Rose of Sharon.”
There, he said, “In that awful darkness, I seemed to see the dazzling splendor of the bright and morning star”
“There, in that cesspool, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, the Holy Spirit transformed that dark cesspool of death into a beautiful garden of life and light.”
Finally, after eighteen long years, Chen Min Lin was released from the Chinese prison camp.
Immediately after he was released from prison, Pastor Chen sent word to the small villages near Shanghai where he had pastored, that he was coming home!
He couldn’t help but wonder, after the Cultural Revolution in China in the late sixties and early seventies, if there would be ANY Christians at all who remained in those villages and who would be there to meet his train.
After three days of exhausting travel, he arrived and was joyously reunited with several people from the little house churches he once pastored.
It was 5:30 a.m. and they began to drive towards his town, but then to his utter astonishment, Pastor Chen was greeted by more than 5,000 Christians who had gathered to welcome him home.
“How? – uh – What? – uh – Who? – uh ….” Words failed Pastor Chen as tears ran down his face.
“When I went to prison we had only 100 Christians in three small house- churches. Now, there are thousands! How did this happen? Who did this miraculous work? Who taught all these people? Who was their pastor?”
“It was then that Pastor Chen covered his face with his hands, slowly sank to his knees, and repented that he had not fully trusted the keeping power and the teaching power of the Holy Spirit. Unashamedly, he wept openly.”
The assembled thousands joined with him in a period of spontaneous and prolonged weeping and worshipping.
Out of the hardest of circumstances and worst of situations this man’s experience is a testimony of how God is in control no matter how horrible the situation might be.
If Pastor Chen was willing to do all this to stand for his values under such adversity, how can we even complain about the small adversities in our daily life?
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