LITTLE LI OF CHINA
THE RED BUTTON
China is one of the countries where God often gives His followers the privilege to experience suffering and persecution, but of course also extraordinary miracles as an expression of His power. While Christianity in the West has spent a lot of time proving that you can have one of these without having to experience any other, it is actually the combination of the cross and the resurrection, the suffering and the glory of God that will have the longest impact in that country.
Paul and Joy Hattaway from Asia Harvest shared this experience:
When a wave of persecution swept across China in the 1950’s, Pastor Li was also arrested in southern Guangdong province.
He was accused of “counterrevolutionary activities” and was sentenced to forced labor in an iron ore mine located in the far northeastern region of China. Li’s wife and 5 children, including the youngest who is still a baby, have no more family support. Finally they decided to join Pastor Li by traveling the 2000 miles to Heilongjiang to enable them to visit him more often, and so that they could be closer in case of a miracle, Pastor Li was released.
The family sold everything they owned and bought tickets for the week-long train ride. When they arrived, they used old wooden planks and a sheet of tarpaulin to build a rickety hut on the road near the labor camp.
Pastor Li underwent the forced labor for 14 hours every day, with unhealthy food, in air temperatures approaching the freezing point. He also died 3 months later.
When their family heard the sad news, they felt devastated and desperate. Li’s wife could no longer see a future for them and wanted to end her life. Her children were neglected.
Finally, she told the children that she was going to find work. The eldest said, “No, Mom, you can’t go to work. Young siblings need mothers. He always cried looking for mother all day long. I just work. ”
The 12-year-old girl went to the head of the labor camp and said to him, “My father has been sent to this ungodly place because he loves Jesus Christ. That was the only offense he committed. Father is a good person, who loves others and helps them. Now father is gone, and we here have no food, money or shelter. We can’t even go back south. I want to know if there is work I could do in this camp.”
The head of the camp still remembered Father Li, and knew that the little girl was Li’s daughter. In his heart, a feeling of pity arose, and he said, “I have a job for you, but it’s boring, and the pay is low.” The little girl took the job without hesitation.
The camp head took her to a location where 3,000 forced laborers were mining iron ore. He said to her, “You see that red button? Your job is to stand by the button all day long, and if someone tells you to press it, you should do it right away. It is the alarm button to sound the warning sign in the underground mine. When the warning sounds sound, the workers must get out immediately.”
“You can’t press that button carelessly, only when someone tells you to. ”
And the little eldest of the Li family stood by the button all day after day, week after week. When she received her first wage, immense joy immediately overwhelmed her and her entire family even though it was only a few dollars.
One afternoon, suddenly she heard a sound “Push the button!”
She looked and turned around, trying to figure out whose voice it was, but no one was visible. Not long after, there was another voice, “Hurry! Press the button, now!” There was still no one in sight, and she began to think that she had lost her mind. She only had to press the warning button when something went wrong, and right now, everything seemed fine.
A few seconds later, another voice was heard, this time with an urgent tone, “Little Li, push the button now!” This time she immediately realized that it was the voice of her God speaking to her. She didn’t understand the reason why she had to press the button, but she knew that she had to obey Him.
An alarm was sounded, and 3,000 people rushed to the surface as quickly as possible, confused and curious about what had happened. The head of the camp also ran out of his office, wanting to know why the little girl had pressed the red button. Only moments after the last workers left the mining site, a great earthquake shook the place. The entire mining area collapsed and no one has been able to rebuild it to date. A gripping silence immediately engulfed the place as the shaking of the earthquake ended, everyone staring at the small, frail figure that had pressed the red button.
Finally, the camp chief’s voice immediately broke the silence, “Comrade Li, how … how do you know when to press that red button?”
Little Li answered out loud, “It was the Lord Jesus Christ who told me to press the red button. He ordered me three times before I did it. Jesus Christ is the only way for us to know the living and true God. He loves you all and He has just shown His love by saving you all. You must turn from your sins and give your life to Him! ”
About 3000 workers and camp leaders immediately knelt down and prayed that Jesus would forgive them and to live in their hearts.