The Earth Sang
Sam, a friend, has a heart for seeing house churches mature in the region and for lending support to the persecuted Church. He has often spoken well of the Voice of the Martyrs ministry and has promoted prayer and financial support for the same.
He tells the remarkable story of a village of Chinese Christians faced with the relentless opposition of Mao and ultimately rounded up for humiliation, "re-indoctrination" or execution. The believers remained true to their exalted Head and were marched out of town to dig their own mass grave. Not a one wavered from his/her confidence in Christ.
The soldiers of enforcement were visibly shaken by what they were required to do to these gentle people. They ordered the group to go down into the pit, and to lie down on their backs, awaiting the shoveling-over process. Their pastor began to sing a treasured Gospel praise chorus of the fellowship. All the rest joined in, gaining a kind of supernatural confidence.
Their persecutors could not bear the pressure and the pathos of this moment. They hastened the burial process with the clanging of hurried spades. The singing continued as the worshipers disappeared from view. Now the very earth appeared to sing the praises of Jesus. The song became softer, gentler. Finally smothered.
In the years that followed many of those soldiers with spades took up the praises from the earth as their very song and hope.
Jesus said concerning His own martyrdom, "Except a seed fall into the ground and die, it will bear no fruit."
Again I am considering the prospect of present enemies becoming, with time and prayer, fellow members of the family of faith. With God all things are possible.
The present-day upsurge of vital Christianity in China is overwhelming!
(See also the previous post entitled Roman Dispatch from June 11, 2009)