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Martyrdom: Urgent Words for Apocalyptic Times , No. 5

Edited by Robert V. Rakestraw (3-14-2016)

“So it was not unprepared that John and Betty [Stam] met the sudden, unexpected attack of the Red forces that captured the city of Tsingteh [China] on December 6, [1934]. … It was early morning. Betty was bathing little Helen—[not quite three months old]—when the first messenger came, telling them of danger. …

“Then [missionaries] John and Betty knelt with their faithful servants in prayer. …John was bound and carried off to the communist headquarters, and before long [the soldiers] returned for Betty and the baby. …

“Painfully bound with ropes, their hands behind them, stripped of their outer garments and John barefooted (he had given Betty his socks to wear) they passed down the street where he was known to many, while the Reds shouted their ridicule and called the people to come and see the execution.

“Like their Master, they were led up a little hill outside the town. There, in a clump of pine trees, the communists harangued the unwilling onlookers, too terror-stricken to utter protest. But no, one man broke the ranks! The doctor of the place and a Christian expressed the feelings of many when he fell on his knees and pleaded for the life of his friends. … until he was dragged away as prisoner, to suffer death when it appeared that he too was a follower of Christ.

“John had turned to the leader of the band, asking mercy for this man, when he was sharply ordered to kneel—and the look of joy on his face afterward told of the unseen Presence with them as his spirit was released. Betty was seen to quiver, but only for a moment. Bound as she was, she fell on her knees beside him. A quick command, the flash of a sword which mercifully she did not see—and they were reunited. Absent from the body … present with the Lord.

“A fellow worker in China wrote [to Betty’s father] with vision:

We all go Home in some way! Your dear daughter and her husband have gone in a chariot of fire. …Now, full of vigor, their lives, their personalities, their work, their witnessing are known in every town and city of our land. A life which had the longest span of years might not have been able to do one-hundredth of the work for Christ which they have done in a day. …

“We see [God’s mighty working through tragedy] in the Triumph Song, ‘Worthy art thou, for thou wast slain.’ We see it all down the ages, in the experience of those who ‘follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.’ We see it today in the suffering and victory of John and Betty Stam, which have set free divine forces the extent of whose working none can measure.”

From Mrs. Howard Taylor, The Triumph of John and Betty Stam (Moody, 1935, pp. 129, 136-137, 151, 157). The above selection may be found, along with other articles and essays, on Dr. Rakestraw’s website, gracequestministries.org. You may write to him at bob@gracequestministries.org

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