Is this the day I die?
“He had asked himself the question every day since he was Shen’s age. Every day his answer had been no. But his father had taught him, ‘One day the answer will be yes, and on that day you must be ready.’
“It was on a Sunday his great-grandfather, Li Manchu had been beheaded. And it was also on a Sunday his father, Li Tong, lying in a beaten lump, had died in prison. Here in the cold predawn outside Pushan, it was another Sunday…”
Safely Home by Randy Alcorn is a novel based on real events, some real individuals or composites of real individuals, and much research. In it, former Harvard roommates Li Quan, a Christian citizen of the People’s Republic of China, and Ben Fielding, an American business executive intent on developing ad campaigns in China, meet after 20 years. Ben expects to pick up where they left off. But the paths they’ve walked have shaped their lives and loyalties in radically different ways. The men are shocked at what they discover about each other…
Near the end of the book, Ben visits Li Quan in a Chinese prison for his refusal to give up his faith in Jesus Christ. Ben asks, “When I go home, Quan, what do you want me to tell people?”
“Tell them if they wish to help, send us Bibles. And pray for us. Pray that those witnessing our suffering will see that Zhu Jesu must be real in order to sustain us. Pray that the rotten prison food will actually taste good to us. He has performed this miracle for me many times. Pray that the rags we prisoners wear in winter will keep us warm. Pray that the beatings and torture will not weaken us, but strengthen us in our faith. And that the enemy will not overcome us and our families with despair and discouragement. Pray that the prisons all across China will become centers of revival, and that Christians in registered churches will be bold, and that house churches will be invisible to everyone else. Pray that our sons and daughters will not be ashamed of their fathers and mothers in prison.”
He added,”When you go back, remember that your American God is as big as your Chinese God… God is the same there as he is here, and you must trust him as much there as you have learned to here.”