Every year on Tomb Sweeping Day, I would go to my wife’s grave to repent of an unforgivable mistake I had once made! 14 years have gone by in a blink of an eye, but the past is still fresh in my mind. Whenever I think of the warm and harmonious days of our family in the past, I feel very painful, as if a knife were being twisted in my heart. I m living in deep remorse and guilt every day.
My name is Fan Junfang. I am a 68-year-old man with primary school education, living in Maqiao Village, Tonggu Township, Changning County, Yibin City, Sichuan Province. Originally, I had a happy family, with a gentle and honest wife, and a hard-working son with filial piety. As early as 20 years ago, my wife and I built one of the few two-story buildings in the village with the money we earned through our own hard work, which aroused the envy of our fellow villagers.
Falling into the abyss of an evil cult unfortunately
I clearly remember that it was during the Spring Festival of 2005 when I visited Wang Yinshu’s family in my village that I met a middle-aged woman named Rao Renbi from Shahe Town, Gaoxian County. During our chat, when I complained about the pigs our family raised getting sick again, she picked up the topic and said: “Since you're having such a bad time, why don’ you believe in Sanshu Jidu (Christ of the Third Redemption, also known as the Society of Disciples)? This sect is very effective if you believe in it. It can cure your disease if you are ill, and it will bless you with peace and safety if you’re OK; it can ensure everything will be fine with your family, not to mention your pigs!"
I was a little impressed by what she said, so I agreed to give it a try. The next day, Wang Yinshu came to my home together with Rao Renbi, saying that he came especially to teach me about the benefits of believing in Sanshu Jidu. Wang told me frankly that he had long believed in Sanshu Jidu, which had cured his chronic low back pain, a disease plaguing him for many years. “It used to be difficult for me to carry anything up to 15 kg,” he said. “But now it’s quite easy for me to carry things weighing 50 kg.”
Rao Renbi chimed in from time to time, echoing Wang’s words. They told me many stories about how Sanshu Jidu (Christ of the Third Redemption) had miraculously escaped various disasters. The more I listened, the more excited I was. Thinking of my son who had suffered from diabetes for many years, I decided to join Sanshu Jidu to bless my family with peace and safety.
From then on, Wang and Rao invited me to participate in such activities as “preaching the gospel”, “praying” collectively, and sharing the "testimonies” in the houses of Sanshu Jidu followers in the surrounding villages; and they also taught me the doctrines and rules of Sanshu Jidu. As I knew more about Sanshu Jidu, I became addicted to it.
In April 2005, I sprained my foot while doing farm work, my ankle swollen. Then, I kept praying at home and studying One Hundred Spiritual Songs and other books until late at night every day, earnestly hoping that "Lord" would bless me with a quick recovery. A month later, the swelling gradually subsided, and I mistook it for a miracle from "prayers". From then on, I believed in Sanshu Jidu even more.
Every morning and evening, I would pray piously under a "cross flag" hanging in the inner room, for fear that I would be punished by God for any of my negligence. In order to get the protection of "God", I often invited the church brothers and sisters to pray in my home; besides, I constantly donated my hard-earned money to the Sanshu Jidu Church as "charity money". My wife and son tried many times to persuade me to stop believing in superstitious cults like Sanshu Jidu, but I never followed their advice.
I devoted all my time and energy to Sanshu Jidu and cared about nothing else all day long, while my wife did all the housework and farm work alone. Since I had donated all our savings to "God", the living condition of our family was going from bad to worse, and even maintaining a normal life had become a problem for us.
Seeing that I landed in a predicament due to my obsession with Sanshu Jidu, my relatives and friends also came to persuade me to give it up. However, instead of listening to them, I told them angrily: "Our good days are coming, because the end of the world is coming. Those of us who believe in God can go to heaven, while those of you who don't will go to hell..." Being so angry at my words, my relatives and friends no longer associated with me as much as before.
Blows coming one after another
However, while I was working hard for “God”, bad luck approached me quietly. On the morning of April 9, 2006, Rao Renbi and Wang Yinshu asked me to participate as usual in activities of “preaching the gospel” in the home of a fellow believer in the nearby village, and I readily agreed. Just as I was about to go out of the house, my wife, who was returning home from the field, noticed me. She tried hard to stop me from going out, saying earnestly to me: "Do you think we still look like a family living a decent life? You cared about neither work in the field nor things at home. You’ve done nothing useful all day long. If you go on like this, our family will be ruined and there is nothing to live for. I don't want to live anymore! "
Seeing my wife trying to stop me from attending the church gathering, I said angrily, "I did all this for the sake of our family. Sanshu Jidu is the real God that protects us. Don't just consider the immediate gains and losses. If I make contributions now, God will give us the ‘bread of life’ and ‘water of life’ in the future. Even If we don't plant crops then, we will still have more food than we can eat and more money than we can spend; and we can get more blessings in the future..." I went back into the inner room while speaking, ready to pack my bags and leave home.
However, when I packed my bags and walked out of the inner room, I was stunned by the tragedy that happened before my eyes: my wife was lying on the cold floor of the main room, foaming at the mouth, with pesticide bottles scattered next to her, and the pungent smell of pesticide permeating in the air...
Unfortunately, I didn't send my wife to the hospital immediately for rescue at the critical moment. Instead, I called Wang Yinshu for help, hoping that he and other fellow believers would pray with me and wait for the “miracle” to happen.
Wang Yinshu and Rao Renbi, both of whom arrived later, insisted on not sending my wife to the hospital for rescue. They said with great seriousness, "God will save her. The ‘miracle’ will come as long as we pray sincerely." So, Wang Yinshu, Rao Renbi, several other fellow believers, and I sat around my wife with hands folded and kept saying: "Lord Sanshu Jidu, please bless us with safety and manifest your power…"
Later, some neighbors and relatives who heard of the news strongly demanded me to send my wife to the hospital, but it was too late, as my wife had already stopped breathing. Even then, I still had a vain hope that a "miracle" would happen. But no matter how I prayed, I was unable to save the life of my wife, who died at only 48 years of age.
When my son, who was working far away from home, got the sad news, he rushed back and cried like mad... Not until that moment did I seem to wake up from a dream and feel my heart bleeding.
The death of my wife had dealt a heavy blow to my son, causing his diabetes to deteriorate, so he had to give up working far away from home. Due to the financial difficulties of my family, my son had been unable to receive good medical treatment. Unfortunately, my beloved son passed away in 2012.
Now, I had become an old, frail, and lonely man suffering from tuberculosis, with no one to depend on. How I hate myself! Never had I expected that my belief in Sanshu Jidu would have brought catastrophe instead of blessings to my family.
A recent photo of Fan Junfang