Deliverance from Deception and Despair

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“I used to feel like the most shameful person - being poor and looked down upon by others. Now that I've studied the Bible, I'm not afraid of others' judgment. I just want to follow Jesus. Jesus is my only Savior. Without Him, I would be bound by sin.” Zhao Pingxian, Chongqing, China.

CHONGQING, China  -  In the quiet countryside of rural China, where rolling hills paint a serene landscape beneath the vast sky, lives Zhao Pingxian, a resilient farmer aged 75. Her life has been marked by hardship which has been etched into the weathered lines of her face and the weary gaze in her eyes. Yet, amidst the toil and struggle, a newfound light began to flicker - a light ignited by the transformative power of faith.

Zhao once wandered in the shadows of "San-shu Ji-du*," a deceptive cult offering empty promises of redemption. Disillusioned, she sought comfort in the false predictions of fortune tellers, desperately seeking meaning in life's turmoil to no avail.

In her darkest hours, pain confined her to her bed, and she was unable to tend to her crops. When despair weighed heavy on her soul, compassionate sisters-in-Christ brought comfort, sharing the gospel that tenderly mended Zhao's wounded spirit. With hesitant steps, she found refuge in the church, embraced by a community offering love and the promise of a merciful Redeemer.

Gradually, Zhao found herself irresistibly drawn to the teachings of her local church, experiencing a newfound sense of belonging among a community of believers who welcomed her wholeheartedly. But just as Zhao began to find her footing on the path of faith, another tragedy struck. Her youngest son disappeared without a trace while working in Myanmar, leaving Zhao's heart burdened with worry and fear. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into agonizing months, as Zhao and her family searched desperately for any sign of their lost loved one. Yet, amidst the depths of despair, Zhao revealed that this Bible verse sustained her during the challenging quest to find her youngest son: “Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock” (Deuteronomy 28:4, ESV).

But the true turning point came when Zhao received from her local church pastor her very own Bible - a precious gift that would forever change the course of her life.

Just when it seemed like all hope was lost, a miracle occurred. After months of uncertainty and heartache, Zhao's son was found safe and sound, his return a testament to the power of faith and prayer.

But the true turning point came when Zhao received from her local church pastor her very own Bible - a precious gift that would forever change the course of her life. With trembling hands, she turned its pages, finding comfort and strength in God’s Word. Every morning, before the sun rises over the horizon at 3 or 4am, Zhao would read the Bible, discovering renewed hope and purpose with each passing day. “The burden of my past struggles started to lighten, replaced by a newfound sense of joy and contentment found in God’s Word.”

Now, as she tends to her crops in the soft light of dawn, Zhao knows that she is not alone. With each step she takes, she carries the light of her faith with her, a guiding light of hope in the midst of life's storms. And though the road ahead may still seem uncertain, she walks it with unwavering trust, knowing that she is guided by a higher power who will never leave nor forsake her.

Footnote*

"San-shu Ji-du," translating to "Three Redemption by Christ," also referred to as "Mentuhui," emerged in China in 1989, led by Ji Sanbao, who proclaimed himself to be Jesus. Influenced by the Jesus Family, Ji ordained 12 disciples, forming the Association of Apostles. However, the group deviates from Christian doctrine, operating as a cult organisation. It prohibits believers from attending regular churches and causes divisions in some local Christian communities. It promotes "special abilities" and false miracles while forbidding the use of medication. Believers are required to recruit new members monthly and undergo training in the group's beliefs. Reading the Bible is forbidden, and believers are restricted to photocopies compiled by the group. With similarities to other cults, "Three Redemption by Christ" relies on deception to manipulate followers.

Story: May Ang
Photo: UBSCP
© 2024 UBS China Partnership