Regina Garcia Littlejohn


This is a story about the struggle of love and faith to overcome the forces of fear and death, set in present-day China.

Most people know that China has a "One Child Policy." But do they know what happens to a woman when she becomes pregnant in violation of that policy?

Ling Lian, an exquisite Chinese beauty, is a fine artist. Her husband, Shing Deshi, is a computer whiz in an American law firm doing business in Geiju, China. Their upscale lives spin out of control when Ling Lian's government-installed IUD fails, and she becomes pregnant without a Birth Permit "illegally pregnant."

Ling wants to have the baby. Shing wants her to have an abortion, since her illegal pregnancy will derail his career. Before they can decide what to do, they get swept up in a midnight Family Planning Raid that strikes their neighborhood. Ling flees to the surrounding mountains. There, she finds shelter with a kind, old woman, who turns out to be the hub of a network of underground Christians.

Meanwhile, Shing is detained in the local Family Planning Center, where the officials demand that he tell them where his wife is. They don't believe that he doesn't know, so they bulldoze his house and transfer him to the Detention Center, where he is befriended by a jailed Catholic priest and a former Tiananmen Square protester.

Two of the underground Christians that we met in the mountains with Ling a mother and daughter -- are detained for illegally distributing Bibles to children. These women are dragged to the Detention Center, where they are tortured to death during a "struggle session," which Shing and his friends witness. Shing's protest starts a riot. The Interrogator sentences Shing and his friends to death, and they are plank-shacked to the floor of the death cell. Shing is tormented, while his friends are at peace. The night before they are to be executed, Shing finds a faith that gives him peace in the midst of horrific circumstances.

One ray of hope is Shing's friend, Mercedes, an American lawyer in China, who is willing to risk everything to help him. When she reports him as a missing person, her boss fires her for interfering with internal Chinese affairs. He has her deported to the United States, where she finds herself, and love, in advocating for Shing's release.

Will Ling Lian be able to protect her baby from a forced abortion? Will Shing Deshi escape execution? Will they reunite as a family? Will they find faith to sustain them through these trials?

Copyright 2006 Regina Garcia Littlejohn
All Rights Reserved