“There’s No Way You’ll Escape Now!”
“You’ve taught against our government. For years you’ve done this! You’re turning our whole country upside down with your teachings.”
Brother Yun stood quietly, his hands tied behind his back.
“You don’t even think it’s wrong to disobey the government by escaping,” the judge snarled. He glared down at Yun’s wounded feet. “This time you tried to escape by jumping out a window! But it didn’t work.”
Then the judge continued. “Tell me the truth. If you have a chance to escape again, will you take that chance?”
Yun was silent for a moment. He looked at the judge. “I’ll answer truthfully, your honor,” he said. “God has called me to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. He wants me to preach it all over my country. I must obey Him. If I have another chance to escape, I’ll take it.”
Throughout the courtroom rose a murmur of surprise.
“How dare you answer me that way!” the judge roared. “I’ll make sure you can never escape! Guards!”
The guards stood to attention.
“Take this man and break his legs! Break them so he’ll never be able to use them again!”
The guards dragged Yun to another room. There they beat his legs until the bones were crushed. His legs turned black with bruises. As they hit him, they laughed. Let him try to escape now!
Then the guards took Brother Yun to a maximum security prison. No one had ever escaped from this prison. Let him try to escape now!
The year was 1997. Now Christians around the world could learn what was happening in China. A message went out all over the world. Brother Yun and other Christian leaders had been imprisoned again. Many Christians around the world began to pray for their release.
Week after week the cruel beatings and mocking continued.
“Hey, Crazy Cripple Man,” called a guard. “Are you going to spend the rest of your life in prison?”
“No!” said Brother Yun. “As soon as the Lord says it’s time for me to go, I’ll go.”
Even in his pain, Yun gave the gospel to other men in the prison. But secretly he sometimes cried out to God. “Lord, how could You do this to me? Why are You letting me rot here in prison?” In his pain he struggled greatly, but he remembered Psalm 27:1.
The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?
Yun didn’t have a Bible in prison. For many days he lay in agony. But the Lord brought him many words of hope from Scriptures he had memorized.
Another pastor, Pastor Zu, was being held in the same prison. He had the job of carrying Brother Yun to the outside toilet. During this time the two pastors could encourage one another. But Pastor Zu kept saying something that made no sense to Brother Yun. “I believe the Lord wants you to escape from here,” he whispered.
“Brother,” Yun whispered back. “My legs don’t work. I can’t even stand up. Maybe you’re the one who’s supposed to escape.”
Yun lay in that prison day after day for six weeks. Then one morning the Lord clearly brought a Scripture to his mind. It was Hebrews 10:35.
Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
Then Yun remembered words from Jeremiah 15:11.
Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose.
And then Jeremiah 15:21.
I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked; I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.
Immediately after that, Yun had a clear vision. In his vision he saw his wife Deling. She was lovingly treating his wounds. Then she looked right at him. “Why don’t you open the iron door?” she asked. Then she walked away, and the vision ended.
Right after that, Yun heard the voice of the Lord. This is the hour of your salvation.
Immediately Brother Yun called for the guard. “I need help to go to the toilet,” he said. His legs were still black with bruises. Trying to stand on them still caused great agony. He could only crawl a little, by holding on to the wall.
“Hey, Zu,” the guard called the other pastor. “Go carry Cripple to the toilet.”
Brother Zu came in. But before Brother Yun could say a word, he whispered urgently. “You must escape. The Lord has told me you must escape!”
That was three times in the same morning! The Lord had showed Yun through the Scripture, through his vision, and now through the words of his pastor friend.
Yun knew what he needed to do.
Between him and freedom stood several huge iron gates and many guards with guns.
“I will obey You, Lord,” Yun whispered. “I’ll try to escape. But the guards are going to shoot me. When they do, I pray that You will receive my soul.”