"Judge for yourselves whether it is right to obey you rather than God. I was saved by the Lord from death, and before God, I have made a covenant which I must stick to. In season and out of season I should preach the Word, and woe to me if I don’t preach," said Huang Detang (1886-1981) after he walked a hundred miles to share the gospel.
At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), all churches were closed, and there were no full-time pastors, but Mr. Huang from Xiangshan County, Ningbo, Zhejiang, still served God. Despite being warned not to go out, he went out in the dark and came home late at night. The family persuaded him not to leave home, as they would be implicated, but he answered with the opening sentence of this article.
For this reason, he was arrested and detained many times, but he didn't care. Once at a gathering, he was caught again and asked to pick up mud from the river to make a reservoir, without food ever being given to him. He also was locked up in the commune for interrogations twice and required to make a confession. He closed his eyes to fast and pray for more than ten days. The supervisor told his family to bring him back, as he was afraid that he would have to pay for the coffin if Huang died.
Every time he was beaten and kicked by the Red Guard rebels, or being punished to do volunteer work, he sang hymns with a broad smile. When he returned home, he said, "Don't be afraid of those who kill the body but can't kill the soul. But be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."
When he was dying, in a faint voice, he repeatedly told his family and the believers present, "Don't be proud of victory, or lose heart in defeat. Be cautious in prosperity and be brave in adversity. Take difficulties as food, and tears as water. Serve God with all your heart and soul." After that, he passed away peacefully.
(This article was provided by Rev. Huang Weiguang in Xiangshan County, Ningbo and 93-year-old Elder Yuan in Fenghua District, Ningbo.)
- Translated by Abigail Wu