Going Home: Today should have been Gao Zhisheng’s first day back home

Sunday, December 25, 2011

China Aid Association

Editor's Note: For Christians, Christmas is not just a holiday; Christmas also has great spiritual meaning – and that is, our gratitude to God, because of our faith, for giving us, through the Virgin Mary, the gift of Jesus Christ, Savior of mankind, so that whoever believes in Him will be forgiven of all sin and shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Gao Zhisheng, a Christian and a human rights lawyer, has been missing for a long time and been subjected to brutal persecution because of his defense of basic human rights. This is the fifth year that he is unable to spend Christmas with his family. As the five-year mark of Gao’s suspended sentence approached and just as good-hearted people and Gao’s family thought that Gao would soon resurface and even be allowed to return home, the Chinese government suddenly announced that, because Gao had repeatedly violated the terms of his probation, he was being sent to prison to serve a three-year sentence.

This terrible news was a cruel blow to Gao Zhisheng's wife and children. This vulnerable family living in exile has had to face another Christmas without husband and father, and they are still left wondering whether Gao Zhisheng is still alive.

Below are a few words penned a few days ago by Gao Zhisheng's wife, Ms. Geng He, on the occasion of Christmas, describing the pain that is engraved on her heart and her endless thoughts of her husband.

This letter also reminds us that the Christian who led Gao to become a Christian, constitutional law expert Fan Yafang, has since December 2010 been under house arrest, after being arrested and tortured. All forms of communication with him has been cut, and his situation is unclear.

But the devil is running rampant across Chinese society only for a short while, and the heavy price that these Christians who hold fast to God’s justice and love have paid is the real meaning of Christmas.

Going Home
Today should have been Gao Zhisheng’s first day back home

By Geng He

I remember one evening in September 2006, two domestic security protection officers suddenly showed up at my house, asking me, “Where have you hidden Gege?” It was only then that I suddenly realized that it was already past the time when my daughter should have returned home from school. Shocked, I started to cry and said to them, “You are the ones who follow my daughter to school. If anything’s happened to her, I’ll end my life.” Having confirmed that I had no idea where my daughter was, they then said to me, “We know where Gege is. Do you want her home?” I replied, “Of course. Where is she?” They said, “She is at Fan Yafeng’s. We’ll go there now.”

My son Tianyu and I got into their car, and saw them restlessly playing with the cover of their cellphones, opening and closing the cover, opening and closing … . When we got to Anzhen Bridge, where we should have turned right, they said fretfully that they needed to make a phone call first, and then abruptly made a U-turn, going back to the small supermarket near my home (where there is a pay phone). They kept saying to me, “You are your daughter’s guardian. Are you comfortable about a girl being at someone else’s home so late? If Fan Yafeng does not send her back right away, you’ll have to report it to the police and say ‘Fan Yafeng has kidnapped my daughter,’ etc., etc.”

After dialing Fan Yafeng’s cell phone number, they handed the phone to me. When I put the phone to my ear, I heard the ringtone playing the saxophone recording “Going Home”, which instantly made me cry. What a familiar and sweet tune! This “Going Home” saxophone rendition was what used to play as I completed the day’s grocery shopping. In step with this “Going Home” song, the whole family would walk back together to our guesthouse to rest. Accompanied by this “Going Home” song, we would go out to eat together…. Oh, the difference with what I am facing now is like the difference between earth and sky!

Where is my husband Gao Zhisheng? When can he start on the road to come home? The situation then is still fresh in my mind. Now, it’s been more than five years … yet the road home for us is still so far.

Geng He
December 22, 2011

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