Miss C was born to Christian parents in the Communist China of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung. Because of their faith, both of her parents were beaten until they were paralyzed and sent into exile in Tibet, which is the Siberian equivalent of China. They lived there for 14 years and the children were subject to forced labor. Ms. C wept with relief after the death of Chairman Mao, and began taking Christianity to the remotest parts of China. In the last 20 years, she has started over 700 home churches in the Chinese countryside, which have themselves started another 3000.
She has been in jail 3 times. The first time, she was living off of a bowl of soup and two corn muffins each day. She wanted to show God's love to others, so she decided to give her corn muffins to the men in the next cell. She figured if she, a tiny woman, was hungry, how much hungrier must the larger men be. She put her muffins in her stocking and was able to swing them over each day. Since she couldn't speak to them, she was unsure how to tell them that she was showing God's love, not human love. She thought of Paul and Silas singing away in prison, and she also began to sing hymns at night when the guards were sleeping. She made up her own words to tell the men the message she felt they needed hear.
The second time she was in prison, she went in in June, wearing only light summer clothes. When winter came it was 37 degrees below zero, and if her nose dripped it would freeze before it hit the floor. She prayed that the Holy Spirit would light fire in her to keep her warm, and she began to feel warmth from the wall at her back. She said around midnight each night it would get so hot she would start to sweat. She could also hear prayers being spoken in English. She later learned that during her nights in prison, prayers were being said for her here in the U.S. She believes this is what made those cold nights extra warm.
The last time she was in prison, she was taken by North Korea for feeding and teaching the gospel to children who swim a dangerous river to get into China for food. When she was taken, no one knew where she had gone. She simply disappeared. Unfortunately, she had all of her private orphanage's papers with her at the time, and an inspection was about to take place. If the orphanage didn't have their papers, they would have to close and put the orphans back on the street. Just before being captured, Ms. C put these papers in a locker in the train station. A worker at the station noticed that bugs were making a trail to a certain locker and eventually went and broke into it. There was an Asian pear inside, which was rotting. Ms. Choy does not remember putting a pear in the locker. However, because the papers were in English (there were papers for some American adoptions about to be finalized), the worker believed they must be important. He called the orphanage and found out what they were, and he drove 19 hours straight to get the papers to them in time for the inspection. The orphanage was safe.
Although she received the death sentence in N. Korea, after finding out that she had an American brother-in-law, the Koreans ransomed Ms. C and traded her back to China. She took some Americans to the bridge she had to walk across to be traded, and while they walked out to the middle she led her taxi driver to Christ.
What an amazing woman, and what a strong testimony to those of us who have so much to give, but give so little. L and I were blessed to hear her speak last night. If anyone is interested, she will be speaking tonight at Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville at 7 pm. I would highly recommend going if you can.
Now, here's the light part of the story. L and I went to see her in a private home. We heard about it through a mutual friend of the folks having it, so we didn't know anyone there. We talked to one woman named Twila for some time, and when we asked her what she did, she said, "I sing." We thought that was an odd answer, but we went on without thinking much about it. As we were leaving, I saw a big family crest by the front door. The family name was Paris. We were at the home of Twila Paris's parents, and we asked her what she did. I'm sure she thought we were big schmoes. Oh well, while she is very talented, it's not my kind of music.