Chinese Judge Astounded by Christians’ Love

During a year of intense persecution for the house churches in China in 1983, an elderly Christian widow named Chen Meiying, along with her son and daughter-in-law, lived in central Henan Province. The old woman often prayed in Jesus’ Name for sick people, and many recovered. One day a very sick man was brought to their home. He was already knocking at death’s door, but the family couldn’t turn down the opportunity to minister God’s Word to the man and pray for his recovery. The man couldn’t sit upright, so he was carried into the house and laid upon a bed. Just a few minutes later, right in the middle of their prayers, the man died!

In China if someone dies while under your care, you are held responsible. When the dead man’s non-Christian family heard what had happened they lodged a complaint with the police. The mother, daughter, and son-in-law were all arrested and charged with murder! According to the law, someone would need to be put to death to atone for the death of the man.

The day finally came for the three Christians to appear in court in Pingdingshan City. News of the trial had spread far and wide, and hundreds of people packed out the courtroom. Some came eager to see the Christians punished, others came out of curiosity, while many believers came to pray for their brethren. Since their arrest the three had been held in separate cells and had no opportunity to communicate with each other.

Chen Meiying appeared first before the judge. Instead of pleading for clemency, she amazed everyone by confidently proclaiming, “Judge, I am the one you should hold guilty for the man’s death. He came to my house and he died while I was praying for him. I am fully responsible and deserve to die. Please let my son and his wife go free – they have done nothing wrong. I am old and have lived a full life; they are young and have much to offer our nation. Please let them go free!”

The judge and the entire courtroom were shocked. Usually those who faced the death penalty cried and screamed their innocence. That day, the old Christian widow had calmly and boldly asked for the punishment to fall on her! In her heart she wanted the two younger believers to be spared, as they had more years left in this world to preach the Gospel. She had no fear of death, knowing it was merely a graduation into the presence of her loving Lord who had purchased her with His own Blood.

The judge called for Chen’s son to be brought into the courtroom. Instead of defending himself, he boldly declared, “Judge, I am the one to blame for this man’s death. I am the man of the house and should be considered fully responsible for what happened. My mother is just an old lady who couldn’t harm anyone, and my wife wasn’t involved. Please let them live. I am the one you must punish!”

Likewise when the daughter-in-law appeared she too took responsibility for the man’s death and pleaded with the judge to let the other two go free. An argument started in the courtroom between the three accused Christians, as they tried to convince each other to let them take the punishment. The judge didn’t know what to do. All three had asked to die without even having a trial! Nobody had ever heard of such a thing before. News of what happened spread all across Henan Province. It was a tremendous testimony of Christian love and courage. As a result of all three of them accepting the blame, the judge decided to sentence none of them to death. He said, “I don’t believe any of you is the true murderer.” He sentenced the trio to eight, seven and six years in prison respectively.

Undeterred, each of them saw their time in prison as an opportunity to minister for the Lord, and they led dozens of prisoners to faith in Christ.

Today they are reunited as a family, and continue to pour their lives out for the Lord, preaching the Gospel, encouraging the believers, and praying for the sick.

Источник: Testimonies – Asia Harvest

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