I am a single, 53 year old man and at this moment I am lying on a hospital bed. A few days ago, I almost starved to death in my room. Thanks to the head of my village, I was sent to the hospital in time and was saved.
I was born in a rural family and lived in the Group Three, Nanyao Village, Puxi Town, Hanyin County of Ankang City, Shaanxi Province. My father accepted uxorilocal marriage (where the wife remains in or near her mother’s home, creating large clan families). In my memory, my father did not have any position and my mother decided everything in my family. Probably due to long-term depression, my father’s character seemed cowardly. As my father was stingy, he had not maintained a good relationship with other villagers.
In the winter of 1985, my mother died of illness, only leaving a three-room, isolated dwelling in the rice field to my father and me. After my mother passed away, my father, who used to rely on my mother, became more introverted. Cooking and other burdens all came on my shoulders. At that time, I, like most young people, wished to have a better future. Although only the two of us lived together, I still made an annual plan so as to take good care of the family. Also, I had a girlfriend living in the neighboring village. With our life being improved, my father began to be obsessed with the Society of Disciples. He went to evangelize during the day, and prayed with other followers in our house at night. Sometimes a crowd of followers came to our house and made a lot of noise. Over time, my girlfriend could not stand the situation of my family and broke up with me. The fact that my father was obsessed with the Society of Disciples also became common knowledge. Since then, girls from decent families were reluctant to marry me.
When I was at the marriageable age, my peers in the village already had children. However, I still did not have wife. My father did not care about my marriage and continued to be obsessed with the Society of Disciples and to evangelize. In the autumn of 1993, my father told me mysteriously that he had found a beautiful girl for me. However, as a follower of the Society of Disciples, the girl wanted to marry a fellow follower. After hearing my father's words, I thought: “It was difficult to find a wife, anyway. It would be good for me if I could marry a beautiful wife by joining the Society of Disciples”. Therefore, I joined the Society of Disciples happily. In the spring of the second year, I married my wife. Since all three members of my family believed in the Society of Disciples and my house was relatively remote, local Society of Disciples followers decided to take my house as their local center. As he was aged and could no longer evangelize, my father worked as local logistic personnel. My wife and I went to evangelize and made “testimony” every day.
In the winter, washing vegetables made my father's shoes wet, which finally led him to catch a cold. My father prayed for several days, but his situation became even worse and he got acute pneumonia. A week later, he died from a febrile convulsion. That evening, local followers all came. They put my father into a coffin and buried him by night without setting off firecrackers. Next morning, we continued to read scriptures and prayed as usual. My wife took too much time to go around evangelizing, so she never got pregnant after a miscarriage.
In 2000, according to the policy of “access to water supply, electricity and roads”, my family obtained tens of thousands yuan of housing compensation. On the third day after obtaining the compensation, my wife ran away with the money. Then, I took months searching for her in every place where we evangelized, but I failed. After returning to the village, I rented a room and earned my bread through helping others do some farm work.
In recent years, the village knew that I had difficulties in maintaining basic living, so the village helped apply for subsistence allowance for me. Half a month ago, the recurrence of rheumatism led to sciatica. I could not even stand up. I lay on the bed for two days without drinking any water or eating any food. I wondered: Would I starve to death? As I was reduced to despair, the village head visited me and sent me to hospital immediately.
Like others, I once also had dreams. Why should I have such a miserable fate?