by Margaret Maass, one of 49 missionaries sent to China by the China Inland Mission (CIM) in 1949
Kai sway! Kai Sway!
Rumors were flying! The communist army was almost here! Deng’s long march was finally ending. We ’49ers and a few senior missionaries entered Chongqing by leasing a cargo plane in Hong Kong in order to fly over the communist lines. We were allotted small dormitories that dotted a series of high hills outside the city. “Tomorrow” the director of the language school warned us, “don’t exit your houses. Keep your heads low, away from the windows. We don’t know how the soldiers will act when they come. I pray they will not make trouble. Maybe when the new government settles down we can even travel to our new mission stations.” He hoped.
I met with my Chinese teacher one-on-one to speak Mandarin. Teacher Lo was just a young man. “I’m afraid, so afraid,” he whispered. “You don’t have to be afraid if you will trust the Lord Jesus. He will help you to be courageous. Believe on him,” I encouraged. That night I prayed for Teacher Lo that he would receive the Lord into his heart.
The next morning we all prayed again, waiting as we heard the sound of shots moving up the hill. Then I heard a shout across the way. Teacher Lo stood up on the deck of the school holding up his teacup in the air and shouting, “Kai sway, kai sway!” (boiled water). The long climb uphill while shooting at the retreating nationalists had made them very thirsty. “Drinkable water! We are being welcomed.” They thanked him and drank deeply. I rejoiced as I watched Teacher Lo, realizing he had trusted the Lord and was no longer afraid.
We remained in “no-man’s land” only one day. Be evening all was quiet again. No one was shot, but bullets had lodged into the walls. There would be other dangerous times ahead, but I was reminded of a song: “Under his wings I am safely abiding.” I knew he would keep me. He had redeemed me, and I am his child.
It took over a year for the thousand missionaries to get out of China into Hong Kong. God then dispersed us to the other countries outside. We thought it was the end of the Lord’s work there, but now we have discovered that the Holy Spirit had not been deported! God’s church has increased exponentially to at least a power of ten! God is not finished with his miracles in China.
Eighteen months passed. It became evident that we ’49ers were no going to be allowed to travel to our stations or even to witness. The police forbade us from speaking to any Chinese except to each other. So when we rode on the ferry across the river we would “gossip the gospel” to each other in Chinese. Finally our leaders applied for exit visas. Today the Chinese church is sending out their own missionaries to the other Asian countries. How wondrous are God’s ways … beyond understanding!

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