Sister Yuen of Shanghai

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26

Sister Yuen came from one of the wealthiest families in Shanghai. In 1967 she was arrested and sent to prison. At the time she was a widow with two young children, a son aged eleven and a daughter aged nine.

After Sister Yuen has been a year in prison her mother – who had been taking care of the children – died. The authorities decided to have “compassion” on her so she could go home and take care of her children. They told her that all she had to do was produce a written confession of her “crimes” and they would free her. They said, “This past year your conduct has been excellent, so now we plan to reward you.”

The officials arranged for her small children to be brought to the prison gates for a visit. Yuen was ordered to pack her bags as if she was going home. As soon as she caught a glimpse of her precious children, her heart was torn and tears of love welled up in her eyes.

Then the guards asked her, “What do you want, your Jesus or your children? If you want Jesus you will remain in this prison. If you want your children, you can go home. Surely your God would want you to be kind to your own flesh and blood?”

Sister Yuen’s son and daughter called out, “Mommy, we miss you! Please come home!”

A prison guard gave Sister Yuen a pencil and a piece of paper and asked her to write down her confession. She wrote in large characters, “Jesus can never be replaced. Even my own children cannot replace Jesus.”

She chose to stay in prison.

The warden shouted, “Listen, you kids! Your mother has rejected you! She doesn’t love you!”

She remained in prison for twenty-three more years.

When she was finally released, her son was 34 years old and worked in a government job in Tibet. Sister Yuen had not seen him even once in all those years. He had been taken by the state and raised in atheistic schools, so he had no belief in God and had been told his own mother had forsaken him. Many Christians had visited him and shared the gospel with him, but he always responded by saying, “Your Jesus took my mother away from me, why should I believe in him?”

Upon her release Sister Yuen went to Tibet to find her son. He rejected her, screaming that he had no mother, and pushed her from his home. She has never seen him again.

Sometimes it is not easy being a disciple.

Source: Testimonies – Asia Harvest