The wife of a Christian man imprisoned for his faith in China has revealed she is trusting God for her husband's release and praying he will have the strength to withstand the persecution perpetuated by the Communist government.
Fan Lili, the wife of Gou Hongguo, a Christian and retired military official, recently penned a letter to husband, who is being held in Tianjin after being arrested and charged with "subverting state power".
In the letter, she revealed that she was made aware of her husband's charge through Weibo, a popular Chinese social media website similar to Twitter. Gou was among dozens of Christian rights activists and lawyers detained last June and accused of conspiring to overthrow the Chinese Communist party.
"July 10, 2015 is a day I will never forget," she wrote. "On that day, Ge Ping [Guo's online pseudonym] wanted those who searched our house to leave behind a bank card for those of us at home who are old, weak and sick. Yet, they didn't leave any bank card behind. From his looks, I could tell he was very sad, and I gave him a 100 Yuan bill [U.S. $15], the only money I had in my pocket. When he was taken into the police vehicle, he, with much difficulty, took out the 100 Yuan bill with his handcuffed hand and returned it to me. In this way, we shoved the 100 Yuan bill to each other several times and at last, he still managed to give the money to me. I tried not to let him see the tears in my eyes. What we pushed around to each other is not money, but love."
Gou was taken away by high-ranking officials, and reappeared a short time later in a wheelchair. After her husband's arrest, Fan and her son traveled numerous times to Beijing and Tianjin to look for Gou, but none of the officials admitted to having taken him into custody.
"I prayed to God and begged Him to watch over Ge Ping and keep him safe and healthy," she wrote. "I haven't given him enough love; please give me more opportunities."
Fan expressed her disbelief and shock upon discovering her husband was charged with "subverting state power," and suggested he was likely arrested because of his Christian faith. She describe her husband as a "meticulous and kind-hearted man" who has cared for his disabled brother for decades and always remembers her parents' birthdays.
"Subverting state power-a charge that makes me terror-stricken. In the past, I felt such a charge was distant, Even now, I still feel it's very remote from us. He doesn't have guns, cannons or money. With what could he subvert such powerful state?"
However, she revealed that learning his charge gives her some relief, as she knows he's alive.
"Although he was smashed over the head with the dunce cap of a 'subversion of the state power' charge, my heart is still very comforted," she wrote. "Oh! It is very good to know that he is alive."
She concluded: "Ge Ping-my dear husband. I firmly believe that you are innocent. No matter how arduous the road ahead of us is, I will be waiting for you. In the darkness, I will give you a little illumination, with [my] heart as a lamp. I will give you more love, though you are already my best love."
In light of the atrocities perpetrated against believers in China, China Aid president Bob Fu has urged U.S. leaders to use the 2016 Group of 20 (G20) summit, held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in early September, to urge the Communist government to release those imprisoned and end persecution against Christians across the country.
"With next month's G20 summit being held in China, we urge the United States to ask the Chinese government to immediately release those who were sentenced and those who are about to be tried in the next few days, including attorney Li Heping," Fu wrote. "The Chinese regime should also immediately stop mistreating their family members, including their wives and children."