“I cannot remember what I ate for my last meal but I can recall hymns I learnt 50 years ago when I first became a Christian. I clearly remember the day that I found God. Now I will always remember the day that I got my first Bible.”
In the early 1960s, Mrs Liu broke her leg while working in a field. The injury left her gravely ill and bedridden for more than eight months. Seeking healing, Mrs Liu sought the advice of a fortune teller, who told her she had angered a ghost. In time, she recovered sufficiently to shuffle using two stools for support.
One day, Mrs Liu hobbled with her stools to a nearby village to visit a friend, Ershen, who had another visitor that day – a Christian relative. This was during the height of the Cultural Revolution when Christianity was strictly forbidden.
Ershen’s relative prayed for Mrs Liu, something that moved her deeply. Mrs Liu began asking many questions: Who is this God? Can he be my Father too? By the end of the day Mrs Liu knew she wanted to become a Christian.
Mrs Liu hobbled home. She told her husband, who said he would support her. She found that there were a few other believers in her village, led by an 80-year-old woman, who had a handwritten copy of the Bible. Mrs Liu joined their regular, secret meetings, when the leader would read from the Bible and teach them Christian songs.
“We had to meet late at night and sing very quietly. One night, the Communist Party secretary kicked the door open, suspicious about what we were singing. He told us to sing one of the songs out loud. So our leader sang one of Mao’s propaganda songs. He went away quietly,” recalls Mrs Liu.
Now aged 96, Mrs Liu is still very poor. She lives with her youngest son and his family and she shares her room with the family’s goats.
This particular morning Mrs Liu had walked many miles to a small, rural church, where she had heard there is going to be a Bible distribution. When the team from Bible Society arrived, Mrs Liu’s smiling face stood out from the front row of the packed church.
Her smile broadened even more when a brand new Bible was put into her hands for the first time. After 50 years as a Christian, Mrs Liu or ‘Sister One Tooth’ as she is affectionately known had a Bible!
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