On March 5, 2017, Nanjiang, a 33-year-old missionary in Henan Province, passed away because of cancer and pressure, surprising many people.
Nanjiang was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2017. His father lied and told him that he had leukemia, fearing that his son and his wife might fall into despair after knowing the truth.
Nanjiang began to feel something wrong with his body 6 months before his death; but, thinking that was caused by pressure and due to the lack of money, he did not take it into heart and missed the time for treatment.
Nanjiang was born into a poor Christian family of 5 in rural Henan as the second son. He believed in Jesus because of his parents when he was young. Later, being inspired to serve the Lord Jesus, he went to study theology for seven years in total since 2007.
After graduation, he married a missionary sister from his countryside due to many pressures. However, they often had arguments with each other because of money. For his wife, she complained against him because he was not making enough money in the countryside. As a result, he went out to work. He could only serve the rural church in a short period of time when he returned home.
Feeling no love and warmth at home, Nanjiang wanted to divorce his wife; but, he could not do it. His father did not support his decision. The church did not permit him to do it, claiming that their marriage was established in the church in front of God, which should not be broken. Some believers even spread the rumors that he had affairs when he was working outside.
Nanjiang said to his father before his death that the three years of his marital life were the worst time in his life. He felt only despair and pressure at home and in the church when he was at home.
The author, Gao Bang, an old classmate of Nanjiang and also a preacher, said to CCD that he could hardly believe it. When talked with other classmates, they finally found out that Nanjiang had been struggling and suffering in his marriage, and the most pressure was that Nanjiang "see no hope" both in his marriage and in the church. Given Nanjiang's 7-year-long seminary study, they really felt a loss for the church.
The young preacher's passing away shocked the Chinese preachers, stirring a discussion about the context of preachers both in city and in the countryside.
Gao Bang is a preacher in Henan Province and an old classmate of Nanjiang.
Translated by Alvin Zhou