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John Cao’s Poem

Pastor John Cao was arrested in March 2017. Cao is a Chinese pastor known for his work helping poor people in Myanmar (Burma). Pastor Cao is married to an American citizen, and they have two sons, Benjamin and Amos. He lives with his family in North Carolina when he is not on mission trips or in prison. You can read more about Pastor Cao here.

Bob Fu, president of China Aid Association, recently talked with host Todd Nettleton on VOM Radio. During the interview, Fu shared a poem Pastor Cao wrote in prison. The poem is below.

You and Me

You can take away my freedom (Communist Party),
But you can’t take my prayers.
My prayers have wings and leap over the iron, mesh, high wall.
Many brothers and sisters have heard them,
And they fly freely every day
And reach the heaven on the blue sky.

You can impose heavy punishment on me,
But you cannot hold my soul and spirit.
It is like a cheerful, yellow bird gently prays to the iron gate.
My Savior must have heard my voice.

You can deprive me of the sun,
I eat leftovers with coldness every day,
But you can’t extinguish the brightness
That the Lord has placed in my heart.

Greetings from all over the world make me warm, passion fluttering.
Do you think that I am lonely?
Have you seen any Christian walking alone in your 70 years of persecution?
You think that persecution can stop the church.

How really ignorant you are turning on the history of the millennium
Which page is not suffering with joy for Christians?
Which page is not sprinkled with blood on the narrow path of the thorns?

You think that the walls around me are blocking my vision
And make me answer, turn the direction.
I never look around the environment,
But just look up at the heaven with my eyes.

You are the blind riding on the horse,
So you think that everyone crosses the river by feeling the stones?
I have a rod of my Shepherd in my heart,
And my Lord, certainly, helps me to move forward.

You see me as an enemy who is absolutely irreconcilable
And put me into the meat grinder.
But I regard you as my blood brother.
This is not because I am afraid of you,
But because Jesus loves you, and so I love you.

Your ancestors have been jailed by the Nationalist Party;
How can I not endure your hard labor?
I really love you as long as you can repent, Or I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,
Those of my own race.

— Pastor John Cao, from prison


China: Willing to Serve

China

Gladys Aylward, a British teenager, liked to go to wild parties. She dreamed of becoming an actress. But her plans and habits changed when she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior.

As Gladys grew in her Christian walk, she was saddened by the fact that millions of people in the world had never heard of Jesus. She believed that God was calling her to share the good news of the gospel with people in China.

Read the rest of this entry »


China: Count the Cost

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited and condensed for length)

Read Luke 14:25-34

Pastor Enfu knows he could go to jail anytime. He is the leader of a church in China that is not registered with the government. Unregistered churches are illegal.

Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio interviewed Pastor Enfu and asked him about life for Christians in China. Read below about their conversation.

Todd: Who can we pray for in China right now?

Pastor Enfu: We have a dear Christian that the government is giving a hard time. He is a university professor, and his son is homeschooled. The government told him, “You need to register your son in school.” He doesn’t want to register his son in school because he wants to disciple his son in the ways of God. In public school in China, they are taught communism. He wants his son to know God’s Word.

Todd: How do you prepare your own heart and your family for the day — if it comes — when you get arrested?

Pastor Enfu: You count the cost when you follow Christ. Jesus didn’t come to have a bed of roses. He didn’t say, “Just follow Me and I will give you the riches of the world.” No!

We teach our children to count the cost. It is important to have family devotions every day. If you teach children when they’re young that there is a cost to follow Christ, they will be okay. Don’t hide it from them and say, “Everything will be good.” Tell them from the beginning that following Christ will cost your friendship with the world.


China: “Be a Good Example”

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited and condensed for length)

Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops. — Luke 12:2-3

Pastor Enfu leads a church in China that is not a government-approved church. Recently, he told VOM Radio host Todd Nettleton about how the Chinese government spies on Christians. Read part of their conversation below.

Todd: I know that your government sometimes tells pastors that they have to put up cameras in their churches if they want to keep meeting. You know that the government can watch you anywhere you go. How does that affect you?

Pastor Enfu: When we preach, it’s almost like we have an additional audience. We are mindful of that. The government officials need to hear the gospel, too.

When you walk in the streets, there is a high definition video recorder. In the subway stations, you can see the receiver. Everything is recorded, even cell phones.

Todd: So they even hear what you say!

Pastor Enfu: Therefore, as pastors, we have to live our lives according to what we do as Christians. If we smile and everything is good in public, and at home we fight, the government is looking through the camera. They say, “He is a Christian pastor, he is nice in the church, but at home he is angry all the time.” So that is a bad testimony. I tell pastors, “Be a good example in public and private.”

Todd: I think that is an amazing response. I think for us as Americans, we would say, “The government is watching us all the time. That is terrible.” What I hear you saying is, “The government is watching all the time. That is an opportunity to be a witness.”

Pastor Enfu: Yes, definitely.

To Talk About
What would you do differently if you knew that cameras tracked you all the time?


What’s Going On in China?

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited and paraphrased for length and clarity)

Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio recently interviewed several Christians from China. “What is the latest from the church in China?” Todd asked one pastor.

“At the beginning,” the pastor answered, “The persecution really started in [one city] where they took down the crosses off the churches. Now the whole country is under persecution.

Todd: What is it about the church that is so threatening or so bothersome to the government?

Pastor: It is because of the growth of Christianity in China. The number of Christians we have now in China is more than 110 million. This is more than the number of members of the Communist Party in China. So they are kind of afraid that too many Christians will bother or affect politics.

Todd: How has this affected your church?

Pastor: They came with 40-50 police, and they will took away our stuff. All our church stuff, like chairs, computers, the projector, anything like that.

Todd: What did the people in the congregation do when 40 or 50 policemen came in?

Pastor: Some of the kids were kind of afraid and started crying; others took out their phones and started video-taping. Then they took all the phones away, and wallets and ID cards. The second time when they came, they had about 150-200 police.

Todd: As a pastor, how do you prepare the people in your congregation to face that situation and not to be overcome by fear?

Pastor: For our church, when the persecution started and I knew that it was possible that we would be persecuted, we invited some lawyers to come and give us some lessons. They taught us about the laws. What we are doing is legal. It is not illegal. Also, all the pastors in the church give sermons about how a real Christian will be persecuted. So when the church knows about the law and knows about the truth of the Bible, they will not be in great fear when they are taken away by the police.

I have been taken to prisons more than 20 times. I have been in prison for sometimes three months or days, or maybe only a couple of hours. There was a time where I was beaten and a few of my ribs were broken, and I had to lay in bed for about half a year. I can’t say that I don’t have any fear. I do have some fear about going to jail, but if it is the purpose of God that I have to go to jail then I will do what I have to do.

Todd: How can we pray for the Chinese church right now?

Pastor: I want you to pray that China can realize that Christianity is good. I also want you to pray for pastors or workers in the church. Pray that their faith is not to be affected by the persecution, but that they can stand strong and keep on doing what they are doing.