Pastor Sun's Legendary Faith Journey: 'University of Suffering'

A picture of a cross with three nails and a crown of thorns on the ground
A picture of a cross with three nails and a crown of thorns on the ground (photo:
By Xiao YanMarch 14th, 2024

Editor’s note: A seminary teacher told the then Pastor Sun, who had not yet believed in the Lord before ministering in Shaanxi Province, that only those who had attended the “University of Suffering” could serve God. The words became a prophecy, and marked the beginning of the man's 15-year journey of suffering until his complete dedication to the Lord.

The life of Mrs. Tan, Pastor Sun's wife, hit a low point in 1997 when she got kidney necrosis. Her husband later cured her, believing that his medical skills, rather than those of God, were the key to Tan's survival. Throughout this period, the wife constantly asked that others pray for Sun's conversion to the Lord. They met a seminary teacher once who prophesized about his his future suffering, and their lives changed soon after that.

Because their original business failed unexpectedly, they left their homeland of Jiangsu Province and relocated to Shandong, Dalian, Henan, and other provinces and cities over several years. The money they earned at each location was either stolen or lost in business. 

Their final stop was in Shaanxi, where they knew no one and had no money, only to settle in a slum. Even in such a situation, Pastor Sun soon started a business and gained wealth. Tan continued to pray for him, reminding him that so much of his suffering stemmed from his unbelief in the Lord! On the other hand, Sun's attitude toward his wife's persistence was that your heart was in your God, and my heart would stay with my business.

Alas, where can one go to hide from God’s presence? The money the family had accumulated in Shaanxi was all stolen again by thieves. On another occasion, several gang members held Mr. Sun at knifepoint before one of his business partners scared them away. Even after all of these, he remained stiff-necked and resisted the Lord. Mrs. Tan decided to return to their hometown, disheartened.

On the couple's first day back in their hometown, the wife quickly found the church and continued praying for her husband. At a gathering, Mrs. Tan even applied for Sun's baptism without telling him. So, in 2003, Pastor Sun was "cheated" into baptism. Following that, the church staff consistently invited him to take part in visitations since his hardships might comfort the weak. During this period, he even revealed his gift of healing for the first time. Sun prayed multiple times for a sister with breast cancer, and she miraculously recovered.

After half a year, the family returned to Shaanxi. Despite being baptized and witnessing God's marvels and wonders, Mr. Sun remained indifferent and preferred to run his business and occasionally play mahjong. Later, his company faced further losses. At that time, Mrs. Tan's heart was burdened heavily. She often had the suffocating feeling of being submerged in water while sleeping at night, and Sun had the same dream for half a year as well.

Pastor Sun remarked: "At first, God’s disciplines were only limited to hardships, but later they escalated to life matters." He developed severe gastritis, resulting in numerous serious bleedings a year and even a medical crisis notice. Later, God directed Mrs. Tan to a skilled traditional Chinese medicine practitioner who cured her husband. After healing, Sun finally changed his look to the Bible from his business, which was exactly Mrs. Tan’s wish. Afterward, Pastor Sun enrolled in a short-term theology class and a training course about healing.

(To be continued...)

(The article was originally published by the Gospel Times and the author is a Christian in Shaanxi.)

- Translated by Poppy Chan

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