Moving Testimony of Disabled Man Homeless for 6 Years
By CCD contributor: Tang Jiaxiong , October 29, 2017 02:10 AM
Editor's note: Tang Jiaxiong suffers from a speech impediment due to a fever when he was a child. Abandoned by his parents at 13, Tang spent 6 years as a vagrant and taught himself to read. In 2004, a man preached the gospel to him and took him in. Three years later, he began to support himself. He reconciled with his biological parents and forgave the hurt.
Below are excerpts from the testimonies written by Tang and his wife:
In April 2004 I wandered from cities in Guangdong Province to Shenzhen. Roaming the street for more than four months I was so starved that I begged for food one day. Passing me, a Christian man saw me thin and sickly and was filled with compassion. He asked about me and I shared my situation. Hearing my story, he cried. after that he gave me three meals a day for more than a month. He didn't tell his wife about it, fearing she might prevent his action.
One evening he told his wife about my story. Little did we expect that she wept after hearing it. They took me in and I stayed at their home for three years. I regarded them as my adoptive parents.
In the first year, I didn't have real faith in God but pretended to be a Christian. When my adoptive father asked me to read the Bible, I took it and put it on an act; I put the Bible aside and had fun when he was out. Then I pretended to read the Bible after he came back.
One afternoon in the second year, we sang a hymn in a gathering. The hymn moved me to tears as if I was given bread after having not eaten for three days. Then I started to read the Bible and pray seriously every day. Seeing me, my adoptive father was extraordinarily pleased. Three months later, he sent me to study at a home school that teaches reading and the Bible. I studied the Bible for one year. During that year, I finally completed reading the whole Bible in detail and knew that all Scripture is God-breathed.
In 2007, my adoptive parents had to return to their hometown to look after their grandson, but I insisted on staying in Shenzhen.
A challenge came soon. Regarding food and accommodation, I had to choose to depend on God. There were several times when I could not afford food and rent, I prayed that God might move a brother or sister to donate some hundred to me like he ordered ravens to bring bread and meat to Elijah.
In the beginning, I was grateful for his providence, but I thought that I couldn't continue to live like this. Later knowing that running a roadside stand could make money, I set up a stand on a crossover bridge and started to sell shoes and socks. I stopped taking donations from believers because I was a man.
However, chengguan or city management officers often ordered me to leave, but I was slow in my movements due to disability so they confiscated the socks that were the source of my livelihood. In my anger, I fought with them. Before hitting them with my hands, I was knocked to the ground. Immediately I felt light-headed and almost fainted. I recovered after having a headache for a few days.
At that time I complained to God, asking why He didn't care for me and allowed urban management officers to bully me. I wondered whether He abandoned me and stopped loving me... During the days, I kept reading the Bible every day. On that day I read Isaiah 49:15-16: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me." The two verses comforted me immediately, so I was confirmed to believe God's love. In the walking days with God, I always felt comfort and peace.
In 2011, I met my first love on the Internet. Working in Dongguan, a key industrial city in central Guangdong, she told me that she just broke up with her ex-boyfriend because he was unfaithful to her even though she had an abortion for him. She added that this happened because she, once a Christian, left God. She shared her past with me and I comforted her with Scripture.
One month later, she asked me to take her to church since she had not been there for a long time. Two months later, I realized that I gradually fell in love with her. I declared my love to her, and she said yes two days later. I bought clothes for her. Despite how much it cost, I was delighted to do it. She said to me that she needed a lot of money to cure her hyperthyroidism. I worked hard to earn money for the treatment. Each time she asked me for money, I gave it to her. Our relationship developed like this. I even imagined her charming look in a wedding dress.
However, one day she suddenly told me that she was going to get married and the bridegroom would be someone else. The news hit me like a thunderbolt. Grieved and sad every day, I was so weak that I gave up Bible reading and prayer as if falling into an abyss.
Two months passed in pain, insomnia, and struggle. At last, I had to ask God for the strength to forget the pain the love brought to me and to let me walk out of the abyss. God heard my prayer. I was finally back to real life. A relationship without God's guidance never succeeds. At the very start of the relationship, I didn't ask for his guidance. Who would want to marry me, a disabled man not able to speak with hands in abnormal conditions?
After the break-up, I feared love for quite a long time. Then I spent my time and mind meditating on God's word and asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life and marriage. God let me encounter my wife, Cong Ying. His grace was more than I asked.
1 Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written:"What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived"- the things God has prepared for those who love him.
My wife had the courage to be with me despite the opposition from her mother and people around her.
Tang's wife witnessed their love story:
I had never thought to marry a man with disabilities. Under a special circumstance, my husband appeared. Although he looked really ugly, I was deeply attracted by his appearance the first day I met him. It was the day when he visited my mother and me at my house. Tired, he fell into a sleep that afternoon after a day's train travel. I happened to think that he looked like a prince when he was sleeping, attracting me, because he had natural facial expressions, totally different from his look at ordinary times.
In the following days, I discovered that he knelt down like a humble lamb when he prayed. I felt that God must love him very much and sometimes his natural expression was a draw for me when he was awake. At times he prayed earnestly and could answer questions about the Bible and spiritual life. I gradually liked him and was pleased to wash his feet and cook for him. On the day he left I confessed my love to him and we started a courtship.
However, my mother and other believers were reluctant to receive the fact and even swore violently at me. My parents-in-law were against our relationship, regarding me as a liar like his ex-girlfriend. His father told him privately that he would be disowned if he was with me. He was really prudent about feelings because of being cheated on by his ex-girlfriend. He liked me first and prayed for our future. God gave him special peace and joy then he went to visit me.
One thing that can't be explained even now happened when we were in love. He had stinky feet. Before starting our relationship, I didn't smell his foot odor but rather an exotic fragrance from his head. It was amazing.
My husband has multiple disabilities: he looks like a mentally handicapped person and can hardly speak with clumsy limbs; his right hand almost can't work. When he walks on the street, he gets weird looks from every passer-by.
Afterword: Currently, Tang and some co-workers engage in a ministry that cares for homeless in Shenzhen. They give a box meal and a bottle of water to each to make them feel loved. Their ministry has attracted new migrants to join their team.
- Translated by Karen Luo
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