Post-90s Christian Optimistic about Poverty

By CCD contributor: Xiao Bin, October 18, 2017 03:10 AM

A smiling girl. (699pic.com)

Fang fang graduated from college this past June and works in Wuxi, a city in southern Jiangsu Province. I called her recently and I learned that she had problems at work, but I still felt her optimism.

Born in a remote and backward rural area, Fang fang was adopted by her aunt when she was a little child. If their firstborns were girls, many families in north China used to give them to their distant relatives until they had a son. Knowing that she was adopted, Fang fang still regards her aunt as her mother and only visits her biological family on New Year's day and other festivals. Her aunt, a devout Christian, treats Fang fang as her own daughter.

She was like a mother with wisdom, balancing her relations with her husband, mother-in-law, own children, and Fang fang. She handled the relations so well that nobody complained.

Fang fang went to church with her aunt from her childhood and sat on the pews seriously until church services were over.  She accepted Jesus entirely because of her aunt. Hearing her description of her aunt, I seemed to see the image of Jesus --- a resilient and hard-working rural woman.

Sensible, Fang was eager to do all kinds of domestic chores; the aunt was gratified by it and her younger cousins were fond of her. She saved pocket money and bought snacks for them, but she never ate any, telling them that she didn't like snacks. Despite poverty, the family lived happily.

However, a storm may arise from a clear sky. One evening her uncle was knocked unconscious by a motorcycle and the driver escaped. Fortunately, a fellow villager saw it and sent him to the hospital in the town. The treatment ate up the savings of both Fang's aunt's family and her biological family, but her uncle became vegetative. The doctor suggested her aunt stop the treatment since she couldn't afford it and he might not wake up. As a godly Christian, she told the doctor that she would not give up.

In the following days, she looked after him in the day and called anyone whose names were recorded in a phone book to borrow money. Fang fang was cared for temporarily by her biological parents. Thanks to her good reputation, a lot of her relatives, friends, and neighbors lent money totaling around 600,000 or 700,000 yuan to her aunt. The amount was astronomically high for a rural family in north China.

But everything comes to him who waits.The uncle woke up, but would suffer lifelong paralysis. Her aunt had to take care of him every day while doing farm work. What was worse, Fang fang was diagnosed with a strange disease. She needed long-term injections and medication, which almost tortured her to death. Her aunt read the Bible to her and prayed with her that God might heal her. Gradually no injection was necessary and she just needed to take medicine. The medicine tasted bad, but she took it on time and seemed calm to save her aunt from worrying.

Even in the toughest days, her aunt never complained to God and kept attending weekly services and daily evening prayer. Although each time she cried, she had the hope that Jesus would absolutely save her from the momentary troubles, her husband, and heal Fang's disease. Always, she persisted.

It had such a remarkable influence on Fang that she smiles with any dilemma today and believes that everything will be well since difficulties are only temporary.

When she graduated high school, her uncle was able to walk and she didn't need to take medicine every day. When she was in college, she was extremely frugal. She ate the cheapest meal. I never saw her wear new clothes during her college years, but she studied hard and won a scholarship every year. Although she tried to study hard, she failed to get into an state-run university probably because of her part in sharing housework and disease.

The cost of a private university was too expensive for her, so she chose to study in a junior college. Since she had good academic performance, I suggested she pursue a bachelor's. However, she said that she should not further advance her education but work after graduation to help her aunt pay debts. I offered to give financial aid for the bachelor's degree under the condition that the money could be paid back at any time, but she refused.

Fang fang is a girl like this ---strong, optimistic, never complaining, and striving to live out the likeness of Christ. You can see life's difficulties from her face, but she always has a bright smile.  

- Translated by Karen Luo

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