Brother Duan, a house church leader in China was traveling through Henan Province when his bus broke down. On a whim, he left the bus and began walking toward a village. He was depressed and lonely. His wife had died years earlier, and the thought of his son brought an even darker cloud over his heart.
He came to a village and knocked on a door that had a little wooden cross on it. The people welcomed him in and invited him to go with them to hear a dynamic Bible teacher named Brother Wang.
On the way to the meeting, they explained why they loved this teacher so much. Once when the police came to arrest their pastor, Wang offered to go to prison if their pastor, whose wife was eight months pregnant, would be allowed to go free. Wang spent three years in prison.
"How old is Brother Wang," Duan asked? When he was told he was in his early 40s, Duan's face showed great pain. "I once had a son. He's dead now, but if alive he would have been 42 today. He told them the story of how an unbeliever named Wu kept accusing them of political offenses. It was only a matter of time before they were imprisoned or killed, but what would happen to their baby?
One night, Duan's wife heard a voice saying, "Give your son to your enemy." The next morning, Duan read Genesis 22:2: "Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you." Sharing their impressions, they decided to give their boy to Wu who even then was arranging for Duan's arrest. Duan had winced in pain every day since over that decision.
When he got out of prison, he learned his wife had died and the Wu family had moved away. "God judged me for being so irresponsible with my little son." Duan said sadly.
When Wang began preaching, Duan felt a terrible shock. It was like hearing himself. He began to tremble and went forward to see the preacher. Suddenly the crowd was hushed as they realized the amazing physical likeness between the two men. Brother Wang began to tremble violently. "Are you Daddy Duan?" Everyone wept as father and son were reunited. Wang told that indeed he had been brought up by Wu who was so impressed by Duan's selfless act that he had become a strong Christian.
"I'm not your father,' Wu used to say. "Your real father is a great man of God, full of grace and love. He gave you to me, and I give you all my love and the encouragement to [serve] our God first, just like your real dad would have done."
Wang had searched for his dad but because Duan had changed his name many times to avoid imprisonment, he could not locate him. In God's time, He answered the longing of their hearts.
"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!" (Rom. 11:33).
- Told in Asia Harvest, December 2013