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Suzie Q's Eyes: A Chinese Story

Suzie Q’s  Eyes

From the book, Wind in the Pines, by Curt Iles

This week is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering in Southern Baptist churches.  The story below tells about how this offering is used.  Learn more at imb.org

Somewhere in China    October 2003

I’ll never see her again on this earth – however I’m certain we will meet in Heaven.  I also believe that I’ll recognize her when we meet again and it’ll be because of her unforgettable eyes.

We only met her twice and I never even got her name. she spoke only Chinese and English is my language. In addition, our meeting was brief because she was in great danger due to her connection to we four Americans.

Our only instructions were that she would meet us at the local train station that morning at 7:45.  Because we didn’t know her, she would have to find us. There was no way we would ever find her in this river of Chinese faces passing by us.

We knew we shouldn’t be too difficult to find: four tall and pale Americans with backpacks stand out pretty good in China.   We kept looking around.  Over and over we would see a young Chinese woman laden with bags and whisper, “Do you think that’s her?”

…Finally we saw her coming – her nervousness was a dead giveaway.  Following behind her were two porters each shouldering a long bamboo pole with heavy bags sagging on each end.

Approaching us, her eyes darted back and forth nervously.  This might seem like a game to the four Americans, but to her this meeting was deadly serious.  She handed our leader Randy a cell phone programmed for emergency use.  Then she handed him train tickets for our five-hour ride south.

Finally, she pointed to the bags and then directed us toward the crowded station entrance.

But before leaving, she looked deeply into each of our eyes.  Her earlier look of nervousness was replaced by eyes showing grim determination and commitment.  Those eyes seemed to say, “OK, I’ve done my part.  It’s time for you to do yours.  It’s worth the risk I’m taking to tell others about the difference Jesus Christ has made in my life.”

The bags she had brought contained Ziploc bags with DVD’s of The Jesus Film.  What made it so special was that the film had been recorded in the heart language of her people.  This minority tribe spoke a different dialect from the main Chinese language groups.   For the first time they would see and hear the story of Jesus and it would be in their native tongue.

In the coming days as our team hid these packets in woodpiles, under rocks, in the corn and cane fields, and every other place imaginable, I thought often of this brave girl with the bright eyes.  She had put herself in great danger to deliver these packages to us.

If we Americans were caught with these materials, we would be unceremoniously escorted out of the country.  If this young Chinese woman was caught, the repercussions would be serious – ranging from jail to persecution and difficulties of all types for her, as well as her family.

As Randy, Thad, Ed, and I walked the countryside in the coming days, we talked about this woman.  Our brief  encounter had left a lasting impression on us.  We finally gave her a name, “Suzie Q.” 

We walked the fields and roads of rural China hiding our precious packets.  Our goal was this: We want them found, but hopefully not before we cleared out.  When we had distributed all of the packets over a period of three days, we once again were instructed by phone to meet Suzie Q, this time at a bus station in another large city.   

As our taxi pulled us up to the bus station, there stood Suzie Q beside four more bags containing the gospel. We couldn’t help but notice several policemen standing nearby on the sidewalk.  The sight of four American strangers picking up four heavy bags after stepping from a taxi had to arouse their curiosity, but no one questioned us.

This time we were going north to another minority people group.  These new packets were in a different dialect from our earlier stash.  Following us, Suzie walked us into the terminal and ensured we were all right before turning to leave.

We never saw her again.

On our way back home we stopped in Hong Kong and met with our contact for this project.  We were all curious to find out more about Suzie Q.   We were informed that she is a twenty year old Christian.  Her livelihood is selling hair combs on the streets of her city.  She is very brave and has a deep commitment to follow Jesus, no matter what the cost.  She is always ready to perform any service to further the cause of Christ.

I probably won’t see Suzie Q until eternity.  When we meet again, she’ll find out my name and I’ll finally know hers…until then, she’ll be “Suzie Q,” that brave young Christian with the bright unforgettable eyes…

(The funds for producing the Jesus Film in this language were supplied by the Lottie Moon Mission Offering, a yearly mission’s collection among Southern Baptist churches.  To learn more about sharing the gospel in China, and how you can be involved, visit www.imb.org.

I highly recommend the ministry of Extreme Missionary Adventures and its leader, Randy Pierce. Their website is www.xmaonline.com. )

throughout this week I’ll be sharing stories from Africa, Asia, Central America, and the world.  Stay tuned and tell others.

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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