Story: an Unforgettable Host Family I Encountered When I Was 20

White clouds in the shape of heart on a blue sky
White clouds in the shape of heart on a blue sky (photo:
By Li ZitongJuly 28th, 2022

When I was 20 years old, I came to the Northeast China with some church workers to spread the gospel. It was in the middle of autumn, so it was quite cold. The hostess of the host family saw that we left our homes at such a young age and served in such a distant place, and it was Middle-autumn Festival, so she invited us to have lunch in her house.

The lunch was really a feast. At that time, we often couldn't get enough food, so we were very grateful for her kindness.

After lunch, the hostess said that we could pray for her daughter. Then we followed her to one room. A girl with short hair and pale skin was lying on a heatable brick bed. If the hostess didn't tell us that she was her daughter, we would think that she was just a boy.

The hostess then introduced the story of her daughter. Her daughter had been lying on the bed since she was born. She never walked or went to school. She could do nothing but watch TV or listen to the radio while lying on the bed, with a pillow under her chest. Then we got to know that her pale skin was because she seldom went out and received the sunshine. We also saw the big bulge on her back and many festers on her body because she seldom moved her body. Due to years of lying, her chest was sunk in. With deformed legs, she didn't even have the ability to turn her body around. She had lived this kind of life for twenty years.

I could never even imagine how painful it would be for her to live this kind of life for years, and how could she cope with the loneliness of every single day. That was twenty years we're talking about.

When we prayed, we were all crying pathetically, both for her and for ourselves.

Then the hostess told us that she fell from a stool when she was pregnant with her daughter, which caused the fetal anomaly and premature birth. The doctor said that it was hard for her daughter to live for three months, with a  lifetime of no more than two years. But her daughter survived. The hostess and her husband traveled to many famous hospitals in Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai, but all doctors could do nothing about her illness. During these years, her daughter had always lived such a painful life.

Later, as someone spread the gospel to her, she often hears the broadcast about the gospel and prays for those who had ever visited her for one hour or even two hours every day. She often said that she could remember every name of the people she had met. After believing in Jesus, she often felt happy and grateful.

We often feel pain when we fail to get something we desire or complain when things don't turn out as we want. But we seldom feel grateful for having a smart brain, the chance to be educated, two healthy legs, and deft hands, and for when we can go anywhere we want to go and do anything we want to do.

- Translated by Nicolas Cao

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