Sunday, February 19, 2012

A memorable letter home

In June 1990, a fierce nationalist reaction in China against Christian missionaries and churches claimed more than 32,000 lives. The worst massacres occurred in the northern province of Shanxi. The pregnant Lizzie Atwater wrote a memorable letter home before she and six others were martyred.
Dear ones, I long for a sight of your dear faces, but I fear we shall not meet on Earth. I am preparing for the end very quietly and calmly.
The Lord is wonderfully near, and He will not fail me. I was very restless and excited while there seemed a chance of life, but God has taken away that feeling, and now I just pray for grace to meet the terrible end bravely. The pain will soon be over, and oh the sweetness of the welcome above!
My little baby will go with me. I think God will give it to me in heaven and my dear mother will be so glad to see us. I cannot imagine the Saviour's welcome. Oh, that will compensate for all these days of suspense. Dear ones, live near to God and cling less closely to Earth.
There is no other way by which we can receive that peace from God which passeth understanding. I must keep calm and still these hours. I do not regret coming to China.
On August 15, 1900, soldiers took Lizzie and ten others away from the relative safety of a nearby town and hacked them to death with their swords, tossing the bodies into a pit.

Excerpted from Foxe: Voices of the Martyrs, which was written by John Foxe and The Voices of the Martyrs and published in 2007. You can order a copy of this book from our online resource catalogue.

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