Sister Finds Strength in Hardship
By CCD contributor: Wen Yi , November 14, 2017 08:11 AM
In 1971, Sister Zhao who came from rural Xinyang, a prefecture-level city in southeastern Henan province, was introduced to Brother Zhang and they got married. Brother Zhang was a discharged soldier and a worker. His family was very poor. More importantly, he was diagnosed with asthma while in the army. A young man in his 20s had difficulties walking and working. The family was in great distress even before the wedding.
The day after the wedding, Zhao started cooking and doing chores. She was determined to support this decaying family with her kind hardworking spirit. Brother Zhang struggled to go to work and by the time he got home his wife would have food, medicine, and fresh clothes ready for him. Sometimes, when she learned her husband was too busy, with the supervisor's approval, she would even go to the workshop to help out.
They had their first daughter the next year and another girl and a boy in the following years. As their family grew, their responsibility increased as well. Later, given her husband's condition, she was the one who helped the children with employment and getting married
In 1992, Brother Zhang had a sudden stroke. The cerebral thrombosis robbed him of his ability to speak as well as controlling his emotions. He drooled all the time and became lame. He was no longer capable of work or taking care of himself.
It was then the believers from his factory preached the Gospel to this unfortunate family. The couple was told that it was unclear whether he would recover, but man can only find eternal hope in the grace of God.
The couple accepted Jesus as their savior determinedly. Though their hardships appeared the same, Zhao's heart was filled with hope and she had joy in her life. Preaching in their church, She is always seen assisting her husband to church and carrying bibs and fresh clothes because her husband drools and vomits which requires constant changing.
When the state-owned company where the husband worked decided to move for strategic reasons, they moved to a uniform apartment building in the living quarters of the factory. Since the housing distribution was based on how much they paid (eg, those who paid more got the convenient lower stories and vice versa), Zhao's family ended up on the sixth and highest floor. This arrangement made it worse for Zhang to move around.
The relocation of the factory also caused problems for their Christian workers, since their 20 m2 meeting place wouldn't hold many people. Given the situation, Zhao invited the new believers to her place for meetings.
However, Zhang's condition worsened as the time went on. He became incontinent and it was more difficult for him to move around. Seeing this, the brothers and sisters found another family for meetings because it was no longer convenient for either group.
Sister Zhao is a Christian who exercises the love of God. She did laundry several times a day to keep the bedding and clothes clean for her husband. In order not to miss the Sunday services, she would sometimes carry her husband down 6 flights and up again afterward.
Brother Zhang is bedridden now, can't move, and requires feeding. The situation is so extreme that he has choked on the food and spit it out on Zhao's face. Such accidents happened many times. People with love can live this life for a few months, maybe some years. However, Sister Zhao has been living like this since 1995. It is hard to imagine how much effort, endurance, and hard work she has done over the past 20 years.
During a visit just a few days ago, no complaint or sadness was seen in her. Asked what made her sacrifice so much for a man who brings no benefit for her. She replied after a moment of thinking, saying: "It's the love of God and His grace. I am satisfied because God gave up His life for me and granted me eternal life. Even though I didn't know Him, He has chosen and shaped me. Maybe it is by serving this man all my life that I can live out the merit of love for His sake.
Such unusual virtue in this seemingly common woman is greatly to be admired!
-Translated by Grace Hubl
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