Latest update from Pastor John Cao's mother

Thursday, April 7, 2022

(ChinaAid, Midland, TX—April 7, 2022) ChinaAid received another encouraging letter from Pastor John Cao’s mother. In her letter, she recounts how John spent his first detainment in 1980, one which eventually led him to study in seminary. ChinaAid hopes that John Cao’s story continues to inspire you.


Read his mother’s full update below: 

In the summer of 1980, I received a letter from John, my son, who sent it from Guilin. The letter said, “Mom, I am detained at a sub-district police station in Guilin. Why am I detained? I will let you know when I return… I have an urgent need for money. Please try to send me 40 yuan.” I immediately borrowed 50 yuan from other teachers and went to the post office and mailed it to John within an hour.


John received the money and came back to Changsha and saw me a few days later.


John told me why he was detained:


I didn’t encounter foreigners in Changsha but ran into some foreign tourists in Guilin. It seemed that a foreign couple had difficulties. Because I was an English major and would like to practice oral English with foreigners, I asked them in English how I could help.

They said they needed help, so we talked dynamically. I was their tour guide, showing them around and telling them stories about the scenic views. The couple told me that all the beauties were created by God, “Jehovah.” We relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. Two police officers suddenly came to me, saying, “Please come with us…”

Then I said goodbye to the two Americans and went with the authorities.

“Don’t interact with foreigners, particularly Americans. Don’t you know?!”

Thus, I was detained in a small room in the police station for 5 days. I was fined 20 yuan and paid 20 yuan for food also.


It is God’s plan that John served as the Americans’ tour guide and practiced his English. John has learned more about the God “Jehovah” since then. The Fear of the Lord Is the Beginning of Wisdom.

The American couple was the Smiths. They own a farm in the U.S. and teach at a university as devout Christians. They mailed an English Bible to John Cao after flying back to the U.S. In addition, they wrote to John in English, inviting him to attend a college in the U.S. Three university professors signed, approving for John to study in America.

A passport is required to study abroad. At that time, an application for a passport would be approved by the neighborhood committee and police station before doing the paperwork at the Bureau of Public Security. The “open up and enliven the economy” policy was not issued yet in China.

The “open up and enliven the economy” policy proposed by Vice-Chairman Deng Xiaopeng came out in 1983, John’s application was reviewed by each level of government, and he eventually arrived in America in late 1984. John attended a seminary for 6 years in the U.S. and earned a Ph.D. He holds tightly to his faith, loves God, and always does what pleases God.

So far, John Cao has been imprisoned for five years for spreading God’s love. When he was in Menglian, he wrote to me, saying:


“I enjoy heavenly grace, peace, and joy every day, my daily schedule is always full, I don’t realize that a day is gone until I pray before going to bed, 800 days, every day is like this, I don’t know I am incarcerated in my dreams. There are so many books to read. My only remorse is that each day is not long enough, but I have never spent a second whining…” 

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