Well, I thought he was crazy.....until I just read my last book. "God's Double Agent, Bob Fu." Which is a chronicle of one man's religious persecution from the Communist Country of China, his escape, and his life-long mission to help other Christians in China.
My whole life I have heard about communism, about China....but really, the date is 2014. People could not possibly still be being tortured and murdered. After all, all I have ever known was America (some days freer than others) communism seemed so far away, dream-like. Never as bad as it was made out to be. Not for Wally. Wally tells his own story of escaping from Russia just after World War II. Burying his puppies alive, and children falling off the escaping truck. Perhaps.....to Wally, the Chinese way of life hit a little too close to home. Purging all things China felt right to him. After this book, it felt right to me.
Before you read this short story, I would like to ask you, where do your Christmas lights come from?
I…became aware of thirty-three-year-old Liu Xianzhi (her English name is Sarah Liu), who was one of four women declared innocent in the retrial verdict. However, she and the other women were sent to “reeducation through labor” camp, a fate worse than prison. They stripped her, used three electric shock batons on her simultaneously, torturing her on all parts of her body. When she cried out, they put the flesh-searing shock baton in her mouth. It burned her so mouth so bad that she couldn’t eat for several days. They also used this baton on her genitals, which caused so much pin that she eventually was sent to the hospital unconscious. The doctors and nurses asked her tortures, “How could you treat a girl like this?”
After Sarah was released from labor camp, we rescued her through an Underground Railroad system stretching from China through Southeast Asia. We arranged for local Christians to cover her with leaves in the back of a truck, where she stayed for hours, completely still. Then they drove that truck, with her in the back under the wet, heavy leaves, across the border to Burma. There, local people created fake identification for her, which identified her as a member of a minority tribal group. To make her appearance match that story, they fixed her hair, put makeup on her face, and sent her into an underground railroad of believers who were willing to risk their lives to save hers. Then after successfully navigating that maze, she swam across a river to make it into Thailand.
Still, she wasn’t free. Once she was in a remote area of Thailand, she was in more danger than ever. She needed to get to Bangkok, but the windy roads were dotted with police checkpoints. Without a passport, she’d certainly be sent back to China and put right back into jail. I sent a friend of mine from Hong Kong to help her. After exhausting every other option, they realized the only option was to go to the nearest airport and fly. Even though she didn’t have a passport or valid identification, they did just that. Miraculously, none of the airport officials asked her to show any identification.
After Sarah had managed an escape worthy of a James Bond movie, she had yet to face the mountains of bureaucracy the United Nations would throw at her. They presented so much red tape that we wondered if she’d ever be allowed to leave. The US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, John Hanford, who was appointed by President Bush, personally took our phone calls, called the UN, and demanded they speed up the process to grant her refugee protection. Sarah got her approval within a month because of his direct and decisive intervention, and she finally arrived in America in 2005.
When she was safely in America, Sarah Liu and two other refugees form the South China Church all resettled in Midland (Texas). The Midland community helped provide support for their living expenses under ChinaAid. We invited them over to our home during the Christmas season. We watched as Sarah walked ever so slowly up our Christmas tree and stared at the lights twinkling on and off, absolutely mesmerized.
“Those are just decorations,” I explained. “They’re on a string.”
I pulled out a package and handed them to her, so she could see what they looked like before being draped over the tree.
She took the string of lights out of the package faster than I could blink, her hands untangling them like she was knitting a blanket. Within seconds, she had completely unwrapped and disassembled the lights. Then she looked up at me with the various parts I her hands.
“I assembled these in my labor camp for sixteen hours a day,” She explained. We made Christmas lights and put them in packages that look just like this one.”
She then reassembled them just as quickly. The whole process took only seconds.