It was the greatest miracle that ever happened to Brother Duan. He would not have experienced it had his bus not broken down! Traveling through China one December day, the bus he was on died.
On a whim, Duan trudged off through the fields, leaving the other passengers and the bus. He was 77 years old and a house church leader. He was on his way to mediate a dispute between church leaders.
Fellowship With Believers
He found a village and knocked on a door. A man opened the door, and Duan was warmly welcomed. They washed his feet – the custom of welcoming a stranger to their home. He noticed that the family members were excited. It turned out that they were traveling to a neighboring town to hear a dynamic Bible teacher from a large city. “What’s his name?” asked Duan. “Brother Wang,” they replied.
A Christian Meeting
As they made their way to the meeting, they told Duan stories about Brother Wang. Duan’s face showed great pain when he found out Brother Wang was in his 40s. He told of how he and his wife had been evangelists. A man named Wu accused them of political and criminal offenses. It was only a matter of time before they were imprisoned or killed, but what would happen to their baby boy?
Asked To Do The Impossible
One night, Duan’s wife heard a strong voice saying, “Give your son to your enemy.” Knowing nothing about this, Duan read Genesis 22:2 the following morning: “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.”
The couple then decided to give their boy to Wu and his wife, who was childless, while Wu arranged for the couple’s arrest. When Duan was released from prison, he learned that his wife had died in a terrible famine, and his son had disappeared with the Wu family under the rubble of a devastating earthquake.
When Duan and his new friends arrived to hear Brother Wang, a crowd of 200 people were already packed in the house. As Brother Wang began preaching, Duan was shocked. It sounded as if he was hearing himself! He staggered up to the window to see the preacher, causing a commotion. The preacher stopped, and there was a moment of shocked silence as the two stared at each other. The crowd was hushed as they realized the amazing physical likeness between the two men.
“I’m sorry for interrupting your excellent message,” Duan began. “I had a son who would be your age right now. If he had lived, he would have looked and sounded just like you.”
Brother Wang began to tremble violently. He fell onto the floor sobbing, “Are you Daddy Duan?”
The preacher told how he had indeed been brought up by Wu who had become a strong Christian.
“I’m not your father,” Wu used to say to him. “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 encouragement to put God first, just like your real dad would have done.”
Wang’s adopted parents had moved away from the earthquake zone before the tragedy, but both had died of cancer. Wang became an evangelist and tried to find his real father, yet Duan had changed his name so many times to avoid arrest that he had proved untraceable.
As they both reunited, an elder of the church stood up and declared, “Brothers and Sisters, it’s December. We have seen our sermon tonight: Isa Al-Masih came into the world to save sinners – that is the essence of Christmas. Just as Duan handed his only son into the care of his enemy, so God handed over His own Son to us sinners. Let us rejoice in their reconciliation and ours, too.“