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
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?
2006 Regina Garcia Littlejohn
All Rights Reserved