‘Don’t worry,’ imprisoned pastor writes in letter to wife

Yang Hua

(Photo: China Aid)

China Aid
Translated by Carolyn Song.

(Guiyang, Guizhou—Nov. 16, 2016) A house church pastor incarcerated in China’s central Guizhou province on a falsified “divulging state secrets” charge wrote a letter to his wife on Nov. 8, updating her on his condition.

Authorities originally took Li Guozhi, who is better known as his alias, Yang Hua, into custody during a raid on his church on Dec. 9 after he interfered with authorities’ attempts to confiscate one of the hard drives. A day later, he was sentenced to two consecutive, five-day administrative detention sentences: one for “the crime of obstructing justice” and the other for “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.” On Dec. 20, the day of his scheduled release, his wife, Wang Hongwu, witnessed him being herded into an unlicensed vehicle blindfolded. Upon inquiry, she learned that Yang’s charge had been changed to “illegally possessing state secrets” and was being transferred to another center to serve a criminal detention sentence.

After a month of no word about her husband, who had disappeared into official custody, Wang received a notice on Jan. 22 announcing her husband’s formal arrest for “divulging state secrets.”

Initially, officials refused to allow Chen Jiangang and Zhao Yonglin, Yang’s lawyers, to meet with  requests to meet with their client, and Wang was also kept from seeing her husband. Eventually, however, Chen and Zhao received permission to confer with their client, and Wang was able to correspond with her husband via letter.

China Aid reports on abuses, such as those experienced by Yang and his family, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom in China.

The first page of Yang Hua’s letter to his wife.
(Photo: China Aid)

Yang Hua’s Letter

My dear wife: Greetings!

I have received all of your letters: the first on Oct. 5 and
the second on Nov. 8, which were written on Oct. 4 and 14.

My scabies were
healed. Around Sept. 20, I was taken to a doctor who applied sulfur
ointment all over my body. Finally, it healed. I have the same experience as
Job. The fatty liver disease was diagnosed in prison. The suffering is
bearable. The Lord has grace. The canker sore has not returned since May of
this year. Thank God. There is not anything wrong with my eyes or waist either.
You need not worry about my health. Now, I sleep well.

The reason why I did not
reply to your letter in a timely manner is that I wanted to answer them together after the second letter arrived.

Pray and wait for God. My heart is calm and quiet,
and it has no anxiety.

I can use sulfur soap inside the detention center,
because God is kind in this way. I have enough clothes, as well as winter
clothes, and I don’t feel cold at all. I have 3,500 Yuan [$512.00 USD], which can last for a
half year. It’s no use worrying about these things. You need not come to
deposit money for me any time soon. It is not convenient for you to take a bus,
and you won’t be able to see me. Some brothers and sisters came to deposit
money for me. You just take care of our sons and our home. Mu’en’s birthday is
on Nov. 17 and should be celebrated. Buy his favorite cheesecake and share with
Xiangen. Wish him well on my behalf.

When using electricity this winter, pay
attention to safety and remember to shut it off before you leave. My mom would
always forget.

After reading your letter, I know some of your concerns. Praise
the Lord by singing the song “The Sun Above
the Clouds.” The Lord has prepared this [song] for you and me. I sang it many times
and am so joyful. I am sharing it with you. Never see the dark clouds covering
the sky and always see the sun above the clouds. When you take a plane, you
will see the sunshine all over the world, after it breaks through the clouds.

The second page of house church pastor Yang
Hua’s letter to his wife.
(Photo: China Aid)

Never be dejected and despondent, always look up at our Lord, and always keep
the spiritual life above the chaos of the real environment. Rest in God’s arms.
“Some rely on chariots, some on horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord,”
[Psalm 20:7]. Be upright and take care. Be prepared for the rest of the road. I
will go with you. If the Lord doesn’t allow it, not a single hair [from your
head] will drop to the floor.

You need not take [sermon] notes when you copy the hymns;
the Bible, which I memorized by heart, always
comes to me. I have plenty of time inside for meditation and prayer. This is
the best preparation. Recently, I’ve often been reciting Nehemiah, Ezra, and
Esther. Esther could have gone back to Jerusalem in order to build the city wall, [traveling] from the alien country to which [the Israelites] were carried off. Esther didn’t become extinct
but turned into a [safety net], turning those days into a time of celebration.

is so great and wonderful; who can be like Him? Our wonderful God, our Lord
forever. Who can guess His wisdom and mystery? Our faith is built on His words (He
never changes and never does wrong; this is the unchangeable maxim). Sometimes,
somebody will decide something by guessing and then [testing their theory], but we don’t.
We listen more to God and less to human beings, especially to [nonsensical] noise.

Greet everybody on my behalf and thank them for worrying about
me. Encourage and give hope to each other in the days that God has prepared for
                                                                         Your husband, who is always missing you: Li Guozhi

Nov. 8, 2016
Motto:  We should have
this feeling every day. Proverbs says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a
crushed spirit dries up the bones” [Proverbs 17:22]. Spend every day that God
gives us with a joyful heart. May it be common wisdom to encourage ourselves.

(The next time you deposit money, please ask the cadre how
much money is left in my account, but do not come soon. It has become cold, and
I have enough money for daily use. I am guessing there is a lot in my account.
If you have something to tell me, please write to me. You do not need to write
until you receive my reply, I will write back when it is convenient for me).

ChinaAid Media Team
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Email: [email protected]
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