This year, BTJ is working among the Tibetans and Zhuang people. We are supporting 210 Chinese evangelists that are working in western China. One of the evangelists that we are working with is Meiling (not her real name).
This is her story (some details of the story have been add/changed/subtracted for Meiling’s safety):
When I was a young girl, my mother taught me about Jesus and I became a believer.
Our family didn’t have a Bible, so I didn’t know that much. My mother took me to secret church meetings, but I found myself more interested in the world than in what the preachers were saying.
I started to visit night clubs with my friends and when I was only 18 years old, I got pregnant. I was scared and ashamed of what I had done and did not know where to turn. I knew that I needed money, so when I was offered a job by man I met on the street and I was more than willing to take it.
I was told that I would be working as a hostess at a restaurant in a really nice hotel. I was so excited about it! I really felt that all my money problems were going to be solved and I would be able to provide a good life for my baby.
But things changed quickly.
The man took me to a city called Zhengzhou and put me in a room with several other ladies. He threatened my life and the life of my baby if I did not do as he said. He had several other men who were always with me and watching me to make sure that I did what I was told to do.
It was simple. If I did what he wanted, I would be paid. If I didn’t, then I was brutally beat. I was beaten several times. I was forced to have sex with several men every day. I was forced to do so many bad things. I didn’t feel like a human any more. I didn’t see any way out except for suicide.
I wanted to kill myself, but I kept thinking about Jesus and my mother and child back home. The church that I thought was so boring before seemed like salvation to me.
I was reminded of a verse that was shared with me by my mother. She would quote it when things got bad – “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me.” I began to repeat that verse to myself over and over again. “I will fear no evil for YOU are with me.”
I felt comfort in knowing that Jesus was with me.
One night, I noticed that all of the men that kept me at the hotel were drunk. I saw my opportunity and escaped the hotel. I took the little money I had and bought a bus ticket home to go and see my mother and son.
Today, I am ministering to women in my village and working among an unreached people group known as the Zhuang people. I teach others about the dangers of human traffickers that prey on the vulnerable women in our community and try to run them out of town.
God has put me on a crusade to preach about His love and keep other women from experiencing what I have. I thought my life was over, but because of what Jesus has done it is only beginning. I thought that I would never be able to escape the shame of what I have done, but Jesus has forgiven me and given me a brand new life.