Excerpts from

Safely Home

By Randy Alcorn

Scriptures and emphasis have been added.

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Freedom in Christ in the midst of persecution

"If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.... If they persecuted Me they will persecute you... for they do not know the One who sent Me." John 15:19-21

"Followers of Yesu [Jesus] are traitors. You make me sick." Scarbrow's eyes looked like the points of two ice picks. He reminded Quan of Tai Hong, the deputy chief of police, also powerfully built and cold-eyed, with a  passion for persecuting Christians....

       "His [Quan's] father had taught Quan to withdraw inside in such confrontations, where men where free. There he could silently resist their accusations, reason against the reeducation.

      "As a fourteen-year-old, Quan had been taken to his father's jail by a communist worker who made him read a plea -- supposedly from his family but written by the communist -- to confess his crimes."  24


"Quan, tell me what they did to you."

        "It is not important. ... The brothers wish not pity but prayer. And Bibles, that the thirsty may be able to drink."

        "You need more than prayer and Bibles."

        "I am not so sure... To say yes to Yesu is to say yes to suffering. Besides, a man must climb mountains to see lowlands...." 284 +

         "I'll get your freedom."

        "Someone else has already done that...."

        "I'm talking about real freedom."

        "Yesu said, 'You shall know the truth, that the truth will set you free.' Shengjing [the Bible] says, 'If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.' That's real freedom. One man stands inside prison and is free. Another man stands outside prison and remains in bondage. Is this not true, Ben Fielding?"  284-285+

 "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33


Truths hidden behind popular illusions

"...the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."  John 3:19-20

They [Quan and Ben, former roommates at Harvard] made the long drive to Shangai in the rain..... Finally [Ben] said, "I have to admit, I'm surprised you aren't as excited about the new China as I am."

        "Perhaps because I long for the gospel of Yesu to be seen as the solution instead of a problem."

        "Are things really that bad?"

        "Our government blames Christians for the economic problems in Russia and Eastern Europe. Christianity stirred the thirst for freedom, and those who fear God do not fear the government as they want us to. It's hard for a history major to live [refers to his studies at Harvard] in a country where history and every current event is edited. " 99*


"Are you seriously saying all those hundred of millions of Buddhists are lost?

        "Yesu said, 'No man comes to the Father except through me.' I did not make up those worlds. I simply believe them."

        "Isn't that arrogant and judgmental?"

        "God is entitled to pass judgment--he is the Judge. You think Him judgmental? I do not think He cowers in fear of your opinion. He will not stand before you in judgment. You will stand before Him."

        "There's a lot of truth in different religions, including Buddhism."

        "You do not know what you are talking about." 161 + (Just tell the truth, let it speak for itself. No need to defend it. Jesus is the Word! )


"What is legal is not always right," Quan said. "What is illegal is not always wrong. We obey governments because Paul and Peter say government is an instrument of God. But when it acts in violation of God's law, that is different. The apostles said, 'We must obey God rather than men!'  Jesus, Peter, and Paul all went to jail. They were all executed as criminals, breakers of the law. When laws are unjust, just men must break them. When caught, they will go to jail." Quan stared at him. "Ben Fielding asked question of me. Now I will ask question of him."


       "Why does my old friend care what the Bible says about disobeying government , when he cares so little what it says about other things?"

       "What do you mean?

       "Marriage. Church. Obedience to Yesu. These things and others."

       Ben pulled away from the wire. "Who appointed you my judge?"

       "God is your judge. I am your friend. Friends warn each other when they walk wrong paths." 238+


"The face of God is easily blocked by the lights of men," the old man said. 288

"...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things..."  2 Timothy 4:2-5


Citizens of the world - or citizens of heaven

"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame— who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body...." Philippians 3:18-21

        "I am Wang Shaoming." His stooped shoulders and crooked knees sent one message, his fiery yes another...

        "Quan told me about you, I think," Ben said. "Are you the evangelist to the mountain villages?"

        "I take gospels and literature, but most of the mountain people cannot read. So I read Shengjing to them, or recite it." He stared at Ben. "You are wondering, how does this breathing corpse travel hundreds of kilometers a year without an automobile or even a bicycle.?"

        "The mountains are rugged, aren't they?"

        "The mountains are not so rugged when the Father's bidding draws you forward, the Son walks beside you, and the Spirit empowers you to put one foot in front of the other."

        "Why do you go?"

        "Because I am alive. When Yesu wants me to take is message no more, he will let me know. When I die, that will be a sign he wished me to do something else." 240 ...

        "Why not send younger men?"

        "Romans tells us persecution and hardship cannot separate us from Jesu's love. But Revelation warns us wealth and comfort can cause us to lose our love for Him. I cannot get the younger men to go with me. They want to travel on buses and trains. They think even thirty kilometers is a long walk. They are soft. Most have spent no more than a few weeks in jail. They know nothing of  suffering."

        "Do you have to walk?"

        "Buses and trains do not go there. No roads.... Young church leaders want power and fame and wealth. They want to meet with rich foreigners, be invited overseas, send their children to your colleges."  241+


"Do you remember when we discussed my goals, and you asked, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?"

        "I remember."

        "Be honest with me, Quan. Do you think I'm lost? I mean, if I died today, would I go to hell?

       Quan looked at Ben, searching his eyes. After a ten-second pause he said, "I have considered your question. I am not sure I know the answer. I once believed you were a Christian. And I still believe those in the Father's hand are held there by His grace. Yet I also have met many who think they are Christian, but I fear they are not. I saw this much in America. It seemed that being a Christian meant doing certain good things and abstaining from certain bad ones I think many have been assured they are Christian who are not. This is one of Mogui's [Satan's] strategies."

        "Do you think I'm a Christian?"

        "You were raised in Christian home. You went to Christian meetings. You even invited your roommate [Quan] to the campus ministry, and I will always be grateful. But could you do those things without being a Christian. Yes. I am not your soul's judge. But Yesu said his followers would be known by their fruit."

        Ben nodded, bracing himself.

        "I ask you, Ben -- have you been bearing the fruit of Yesu? I do not think anyone could could better answer that question about Li Quan than Ming or Shen or Zhou Jin. So, I ask you -- what would Pam and Melissa and Kim say if asked, 'Is Ben Fielding a true Christian? What would your secretary and employees and business associates  say?'

        Ben saw a string of faces, especially Pam's, Kim's, Melissa's, and Doug's. They would say no  272-273


[Ben] watched Quan being pushed toward the cell blocks. Quan turned around again. He grinned ear to ear. Before he was back at the cell block doorway, Li Quan was singing that song about the fatherland. Three prisoners working the ground joined in the same song. They sang louder and louder, smiles larger and larger. Three guards looked at each other, uncertain what to do. One of the guards, the tall one, opened his mouth and sang, "Heaven is my fatherland. Heaven is my home"

        "Ben... stood there watching and listening and yearning. Hearing these prisoners singing, he felt for a moment he was in the presence of Joy itself, as if it was almost within his reach. Almost."  273


    “...seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. " Matthew 6:33


Sharing His suffering

    "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you."  1 Peter 4:12-14

Quan whispered into the darkness words hidden in his heart. "I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I myself will see him with my own eyes.... How my heart yearns within me!"

        The guard peered into Quean's cell through he little barred window, which was two handbreaths across. Long used to the darkness, Quan could see the contempt in his eyes.

        "Stop smiling!" he yelled. ... He rattled the door, but moved to the next cell.

        Suddenly, Li Quan stood and pressed his face against the bars. "Guard!" Quan called... 'Su Gan, sir, please I have a request for you.'"

        "Unless you can pay me, I care nothing for your request."

        "Can I do some labor for you?"

        Quan saw in the jailer's eyes surprise mixed with contempt.

        "This prison is so filthy," Quean said. "There is waste everywhere. The rats and roaches feed on it. You are not a prisoner, but you must feel like you are. Su Gan has to breathe this foul air, to walk carefully because of what oozes out of the cells. Li Quan can help you. Let me go into the cells one by one and clean up this filthy place. Give me water and a brush and soap, and I will show you what I can do! My father, Li Ton, was a street sweeper, a great cleaner of the ground. The finest in China. And I am my father's son!" 273-274


[Ben speaking to Li Yue, Quan's nephew]  "I've been told that seminaries are proof of China's religious freedom."

        "What has happened at Nanjing Seminary does not seem like freedom. The bishop has called for 'theological adaptation to socialism.' Classes on Romans and Revelation and apologetics were all replaced by new courses on the teachings of Deng, Three-self education, and military training. Things like this happened at my seminary too. This is why, five weeks ago, I dropped out. I have been going to underground seminary."


        "No need to say. It was started by an eighty-two-year-old house church pastor. He has been threatened with imprisonment if he keeps the seminary open. But prison is not much threat to a man who already spent thirty-four years there. I help arrange other meetings...."

        "What kind of meetings do you mean?"

        He stared. Then he and Ben said at the same time, "No need to say."  276


Ben stood in the chilly winter air..... Someone was being led out of the building now, a frail, older man with a pronounced limp and yellow skin.....

        "Quan?" He tried to disguise his horror. ....

        "Yes." Quan beamed, his face and voice surprisingly animated. ... I have wonderful news! You must tell my family and house church. God has answered prayer. He has given me a ministry!"


        "I go from cell to cell, bringing Yesu's message."

        "But I thought you were in an isolated cell."

        "God opened the door. I go to the other men. Most have never had anyone else come into their cell except to beat them. I help and serve them as I clean their cells. I bring them the love of Yesu. Twelve men I have visited. When I left their cells, six I did not leave alone."

        "What do you mean?"

        "When I left, Yesu was with them. Three were already believers, one of them a pastor.... Three more bowed their knees to Yesu, who promises never to leave or forsake them. When I walk by their cells on the way to clean others, I sing to them, 'Heaven is my fatherland.' When I finish cleaning all the cells I will start over. Then I can teach Shengjing to each of them. I will teach as I wash."

        "The guards let you do this?"

        "The smell that used to cling to the guards is now almost gone. Their shoes are not ruined. The prisoners are exited to no longer be alone. Excited to realize that even if they die here, they will have eternal life. Excited that God has not forgotten them, that this world is not their home, that they will find release."

        "Sounds more life a revival meeting than a prison."

        "Those in prison are not so distracted as those outside. They think about death more. They ask, 'Is this the day?" The do not put so much hope in their plans and successes in this world I tell them about Yesu and his heaven, and they listen eagerly, much more intently than most free men I speak to in the locksmith's shop. " 277


"It is part of my reeducation," Quan said, as Ben stared at the marks on his face. "But it seems not to be working. I am not their best student."

        "Could you complain a little, so I can feel better about myself?"

        "It is not so bad. I have two little roommates....


        "They are cockroaches." He smiled.

        "Are you all right, Quan?"

        "I am not losing my mind. In jail a man learns to appreciate little things. Kongzi said, 'Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.' When you are deprived of much, you learn to see beauty in little. ...

      "How do you keep your sanity?"

       "I play Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert. One night I played the entire score of the Messiah."

      "You have access to a piano?"

"I did not say that. My father taught me the mind is free when even when the body is chained. That is how I sit in Bible class every day, with Zhu Yesu as my teacher and Shengjing as my textbook."

      "You have a Bible?"

        "I have one in my heart. 282


"Are you... lonely?"

        "For Ming and Shen our house church? Yes. And for my friend, Ben Fielding? Yes, though I thank God for the miracle of your visits. But Yesu is with me. And I have met many brothers from other areas. I have washed the floors and feet of fifteen prisoners now. ... I am behind in my work now because of... what they have done to me recently. But I had met a doctor arrested for 'disturbing the social order' because he kept telling his patients about the love of Yesu. And also three pastors."


        "All of them are house church leaders in this province. One of the pastors has baptized over two thousand new believers. ...

        "There have been mutilations and crucifixions. Other shameful things... in one city the flesh of Christians has been eaten.

        "No way! I can't believe that."

        "One of the pastors insists it is true. Believe what you want, Ben Fielding. But this much I know -- Mogui hates the weak, the innocent, and all God's children. By striking out at them, he takes revenge on Yesu. Do you imagine it is a human power behind the one-child policy, enforced abortion, sterilization decrees, and the imprisonment an torture of believers? Quan winced and put his hand to side of his head.

        "What have they done to you?

        "Wang Mindao is the father of the house church moment. He said, 'Days of great testing lie ahead. The same water that floats a boat may also overturn. it.'" 283

"He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"Su Gan, knuckles bloody, struck Quan's face again. "Write a confession!"

        "Why do you need me to write one when you can write your own and say I wrote it?"

        He hit him again. "Confess!"

        "What shall I confess?"

        "Treachery. Betrayal. All your crimes against the state."

        "But I have done nothing wrong.... I mean, not those crimes you accuse me of. I have done many wrongs of my own. Those I have confessed to my God.... What can I write?"

        Su Gan struck him again and handed him the pencil and a pad of paper. "Illegal meetings. Illegal propaganda. Proselytizing children."

        "Quan grasped the pencil, his head throbbing and vision partly blurred. The words started coming out on the paper. He wrote faster and faster. Sue Gan... began to smile.  295


The warden trembled, his face red. .... "You call this a confession? How dare your write such things?"

        Quan did not answer.

        "Speak up or I will kill you where you stand}"

        Quan breathed deeply. "You can kill me only if Yesu allows it, but you cannot kill his church. The early Christians said, 'The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.' When each martyr dies, a thousand Christians rise to stand in his place." 313                 


"Before they take me back, I must ask you to get a message to Li Yie or Zhou Jin. They will know how to get it the people across the mountains. It is a message for a pastor named Fu Chi....

        "Write them carefully. The message for Fu Chi is, 'I will see your again soon.'"

        "He's getting out?"

        "He is already out.... Fu Liko died two nights ago. Just before this, I was allowed into his cell to clean it. He knew he was about to die. He said to tell his wife and daughter three things... : Never forget Yesu is King. Never forget your home is in another world. Never forget your father will be waiting to see you again."  335                 


"When I go home, Quan, what do you want me to tell people?"

"... send us Bibles. And pray for us. Pray that --

     "... we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead... in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf...." 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

Tempted to compromise

"...do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2

"When you go back, remember that your American God is as big as your Chinese God."

        "What do you mean?"

        "While you've been here, you have realized you have very little power. ... But this will change when you go home. You will think you can do things on your own. You will be tempted to pray less, to ask less, and to trust less. So, remember that God is the same there as he is here, and you must trust him as much there as you have learned to here." 353-354+


"What the Communist cannot do to the church, heresy can. Most trouble comes not from atheists who say there is no God, but from those who adopt strange ideas because of no training in Shengjing." 300

    “...many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."   Matthew 24:11-14


Citizens of Heaven

“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.“ Acts 20:24

Sunday morning Quan recited Shengjing and wrote it on the wall with his sliver of soap, raising both hands as he wrote, since his wrists where manacled together. He wrote what he knew to be the words of Paul, written before he was beheaded by Nero: "The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed... The Lord will rescue me from evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom." ...

        He heard the key turn in his lock. ...

        "You distributed illegal Bibles. Others helped you. I want names from you. Names of Chinese and names of foreigners. If you give me those names, I will let your out of prison. If you do not, I will hurt you."

        "I cannot betray my brothers."

        "Then deny the Christ you profess to believe in. If you do that, I will go easy on you."

        "I cannot deny my Lord."

        "A Chinese citizen's loyalty is to the state!"

        "My loyalty is to Yesu, Lord of heaven, Lord of China."

        "Tai Hong slapped Quan with an open hand and cried from the sting of his own blow...."  359


"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross...." Heb 12:1-2

Order Safely Home from Eternal Perspective Ministries

HomeIndex | Persecution| Eternity

In his book, Safely Home, Randy Alcorn tells about Li Quan, a Chinese Christian imprisoned for being part of an "illegal" home church, for spreading illegal literature (Bibles), and for teaching his son about God. In his beaten, broken body, Quan limps outside the smelly prison block to meet with a doubting but influential friend who waits outside a fence. "Tell me what they did to you," asks the friend. Under the watchful eye of heartless prison guards, Quan then explains his victory over inescapable oppression:

        "It is not important. ... The brothers wish not pity but prayer. And Bibles, that the thirsty may be able to drink."

        "You need more than prayer and Bibles."

        "I am not so sure... To say yes to Yesu is to say yes to suffering. Besides, a man must climb mountains to see lowlands....

        "I'll get your freedom."

        "Someone else has already done that...."

        "I'm talking about real freedom."

        "Yesu said, 'You shall know the truth, that the truth will set you free.' Shengjing [the Bible] says, 'If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.' That's real freedom. One man stands inside prison and is free. Another man stands outside prison and remains in bondage...."[4, page 284-285]

Earlier, you met Li Quan, the faithful Chinese prisoner in Randy Alcorn's Safely Home.. Now ponder his personal peace and his readiness to demonstrate the "gospel of peace" -- a beacon of hope and love in China's darkest places. Assigned to a solitary cell, he won access to other prisoners by volunteering to wash the smelly filth and refuse from prison cells all around him. As is happening in prisons across China, many hopeless prisoners met Jesus through a beaten, but not broken, servant of God:

"Are you... lonely?"

        "For Ming and Shen and our house church? Yes...  But Yesu is with me. And I have met many brothers from other areas. I have washed the floors and feet of fifteen prisoners now. ... I am behind in my work now because of... what they have done to me recently. But I had met a doctor arrested for 'disturbing the social order' because he kept telling his patients about the love of Yesu...."[4, page 283]

4. Randy Alcorn, Safely Home (This book is fictional, but the characters and events are based on the examples of real lives and sufferings of faithful Christians who have been imprisoned, tortured, starved and killed for their faith. By faith, they gave their lives rather than deny their Lord! See Hebrews 11.