On Jan 1, 2018, three pastoral teachers from Ji'an Gospel Church, Jiangxi Province visited a family with a rare surname - "Han," - which was renamed after Abraham, and broke the 'family curse.'
The church's first encounter with the "Han" family began in August 2001.
More than 50 members of "Queshi Choir" of Shantou Church came to Ji'an under the leadership of Pastor Zhan Hailie to exchange with the local choir, and the "Han" family accounted a large percentage of it.
The "Han" family was originally surnamed "Fang" in Puning, in the southeast of Guangdong Province.
In Qing Dynasty, there was a "Fang" that worked as commander-in-chief in Guangdong and the family's ancestor from six generations ago worked as a lieutenant general under him. This ancestor was then dispatched to Raoping County, in east Guangdong, as a county magistrate. As the highest ranking military officer, he had control over the whole county's army.
He then settled there with 494 acres of fine land where he built mansion houses and an ancestral temple.
Though Fang had many children, none of the male descendants survived past 50. All the females though lived up to 80 or 90 years old. It remained that way for six generations, until Pastor Han's father.
It seemed like the "curse" of "Once a militant, three generations without offspring" came true.
Later, Fang Dianming, father of Pastor Han, came to Christ and broke this "curse" with God's grace. He dedicated himself to God and worked as a full-time preacher in the suburban churches near Shantou.
In 1941, Fang fled to Jiangxi with his family of five men, away from the struggling life of political unrest. Because of this, they decided to change their surname.
For the sake of the family's faith, they couldn't decide between "Ye" and "Han" (The Chinese for "Jesus" is "耶稣" pronounced as "Ye Su." "Abraham" is "亚伯拉罕" pronounced as "Ya Bo La Han." They took each sound of both names.) His sons agreed on "Han" to walk on the path of faith like Abraham.
Together they sang hymns, read the Bible, and prayed every night. They also kept a habit of "praying before going to bed," even during the unstable wartime.
Lin Lianci, the wife of Pastor Han Yulin's teacher, was also from a devoted Christian family. Both her parents and grandparents were Christians and her family never stopped having fellowships to worship God during the Land Reform Movement in 1947.
The "Han" family is such a big blessed household that serves God.
The first generation led the transition of the whole family's fate after changing the surname.
The second generation continued the path of serving. Han Chong, the oldest son, was anointed pastor after finishing theological seminary. Han Shixing, son of the second son Han Yusheng, is a pastor in Fangzhou Church in Shenzhen. Han Yuru, the third son, was on the church committee of former Queshi Church and in charge of the church ministry. Han Yulin, the fourth son, was trained in Shantou Theology Class between 1990 and 1991. He was anointed pastor at Shantou Church in 1993.
The third generation also shares in the ministry of serving God. Almost all 34 people are Christians; some are choir members or preachers. Some participate in prayer meetings.
There are 32 people in the fourth generation. Some devote themselves to preaching and some are still in seminary. Han Yongyi was anointed pastor in December 2017.
The fifth generation is also living in God's love.
-Translated by Grace Hubl