“Welcome to China, my name is Ping Jin, it is good to meet you. Please sit here. May I get you some tea?”
“Thank you Pastor Jin, but I’d rather talk. I am Monty, and this is my Wife Charlotte. I understand you’re continuing my Grandfather’s work?”
“Yes, he rescued many from a very real danger. He setup a means of transporting people safely, under the radar. They tried to stop him, but we continued his work.”
“Pastor Jin, I don’t want to know anything that would compromise that work. I was wanting to ask only two questions. First, where does our opponents interest lie in this, besides trying to stop it? Second, how could my Aunt Audley use it to benefit her?”
“Your Grandfather’s measures involved strong arm tactics, he blackmailed the different criminal elements to look the other way. We have no leverage over them now, but they continue to assist. Care to guess why?”
Monty thought a minute. “Because at first it cost them money not to do it. Now it makes them money to participate, but how?”
“That I do not completely know, but I suspect. The people are moved safely, without being exploited. They travel a route that is deeply secret, with no apparent financial benefit. Yet, they continue to do so, because, as they say, it is an interest earning venture.”
“In other words, they are getting paid to do so. They call the route, The Swiss Route, which is an odd term for China. I taught at a college in Switzerland when I was younger. There’s only one connection between this venture and the Swiss I could see.”
Monty’s eyes lit up. “A Swiss bank account. Someone is paying them to continue, and well, if it’s paying all the criminal organizations in China. So Audrey’s partners want to know who’s paying.”
Pastor Jin smiled. “An this Audley, I suspect, wants both the money, and whatever power the person with the account holds. She reasons that person either has power, or cannot risk his activities being exposed. It seems to me that plan is either flawed, or there’s elements about it I do not know.”
“Pastor Jin, I have a different question than Monty. My question is, what does she think she can get from you? You’re not involved in any of that part. Why come to you?”
“Pastor Jin smiled. I suspect Audley is not a person of faith. She views me as the head of a Christian movement. She thinks if she either captures me, the Churches will help her in leveraging all this, but that will not happen.”
“Or she thinks if she kills me, the Christian mission would collapse, but that will not happen. A Church is ordained by God, not man. If God saw fit to use this as my chariot to Heaven, He has another picked to Shepherd His people here.”
“The same if I were imprisoned, unlike individuals, governments, and organizations, you cannot blackmail God. He isn’t concerned with the interests of greed, and power. Christ’s concern is the salvation of mankind.”
“He wants to rescue us all from something much worse than death. Our hope isn’t founded on the affairs of today, but the sacrifice at Calvary. His goal, our goal, is to point to a higher freedom than welfare and safety.”
“The kind of freedom that can make a man free, even in a prison cell. The Apostle Paul wrote most of The New Testament from a cell. So you see, I’m not afraid to die.”
After that powerful statement, we promised Pastor Jin we would do our best to see that his Christian mission would continue. That was all he really cared about. A man, not concerned with his own welfare, but the welfare of others.
Monty and I drove back quietly to the Embassy. Each of us determined to help this man keep his people safe. Pastor Jin turned out to be a very powerful man indeed, but not in the ways we expected.
A pencil sketch, based on a photo taken by one of our best, and closest friends, Pastor Denny Livingston.
Darling, in Hebrew, one meaning is, to take delight in. Today my darling, Ashley and I celebrate nine years of marriage. What fascinates me, is the wonderful layers nine years have added.
The fascination is still there, but as wonderful as it is, the familiar layer, often less regarded, is even more so. It’s not that her actions are predictable, but that you know what each other are thinking, feeling, and facing. You’re joined together in matrimony, but you grow into each other’s minds over time.
That is why the amazement of their strength becomes more incredible. You’re not seeing an invulnerable acquaintance, you know their scars, and you watch in amazement as they run towards the battle.
I’ve watched this woman face surgery after surgery, disappointment, and heartache, with a massive faith, elegance and grace, and a kind and loving heart. Solomon was truly right when he said when you find a wife, you’ve found something good! I can’t wait to see what she does in the next nine years!