Many years ago, Brother Hou and his wife Ding took their children to the provincial capital Zhengzhou from their hometown of Shangqiu, Henan Province, so that they could earn a living and support their children's education.
The couple met believers in the church. Everyone prayed for the family and helped them find jobs. In the end, Brother Hou's wife, Sister Ding, also worked as a sanitation worker in the street office, and the provincial People's Hospital hired him as a back office maintenance worker with his carpentry skills.
Later, a sister found that Brother Hou had a deep voice and was a rare "bass", so she invited him to join the chorus team. In this way, he became the only bass in the choir of Taikang Road Church for many years.
Sister Ding also joined the church service team for cleaning, welcoming brothers and sisters, and helping elderly believers. The couple relied on themselves to provide their son with college graduation and their daughter with nursing college.
Brother Hou also bought a house in Zhengzhou with the help and prayers of believers. After graduation, her daughter Xiaomin was hired as a nurse in the best hospital in the province, as the hospital leader saw that Brother Hou was dedicated to his job. His son has always dreamed of going abroad, but Brother Hou said that it was good enough that they could finish their college education.
His son was then hired by a multinational company in the United States with an annual salary of more than 100 thousand dollars. Now he has settled in the United States, married a Chinese believer, and had his own son.
But later, Sister Ding did not want to go to church, privately complaining that the sisters in the service team laughed at her, spoke ill of her, and scolded her. She also complained that her nearly 30-year-old daughter has not been married, as her husband did not worry about it. She also talked about all the grievances she suffered in her original family when she was a child, and she hated her parents and relatives.
Sister Ding's mental illness was getting worse, and she never went out. During the day, she slept at home as Brother Hou went to work and did not even cook for her husband. In the evening, she swore and even went crazy, hitting people when Brother Hou wanted to rest. She stayed up all night, making her neighbors sleepless. The neighbors called the police, and Brother Hou had to make amends and apologize.
One day, when Brother Hou was working, the police called and said that his wife had poured a basin of dirty water on pedestrians from upstairs. The victim called the police, and Brother Hou had to rush home. He was about to go crazy!
A believer suggested Brother Hou take Sister Ding to see a psychiatrist. During the three years of the pandemic, they went to Xinxiang Mental Hospital several times for hospitalization and treatment. But drugs can only last for a while. Whenever Brother Hou takes his wife home, it won't be long before her illness recurs. She was still complaining, hating, cursing, and even attacking husbands and passersby.
When the pandemic ended last year, Brother Hou went through a lot of difficulties to take his wife home from the hospital again, as the cars could not take the highway due to the city lockdown. Before long, his wife fell ill again.
Some advised Hou to send her to a special pension institution where her daily life could be cared for. But Brother Hou was reluctant to give up. Now the hospital has retired him and rehired him to work. But Brother Hou won’t give up his wife, as taking care of her is his lifelong commitment and responsibility.
Not every witness is complete and perfect. “Father, for so it was pleasing in your eyes.” Nothing will happen to us unless the Lord allows it.
(This article is originally published by the Gospel Times and the author is a Christian in Henan.)
- Translated by Oliver Zuo