A Photo of Yang and her grandson
Zhou Youyun, 57 years old, is an ordinary farmer in Longjin Town, Anyi County of Jiangxi Province. His wife is Yang Chaxiang. They raised two sons and a daughter. Having been married for decades, the couple loved each other deeply. Zhou was responsible for earning money. He farmed and worked. Yang did housework and took care of their grandson. After Zhou returned home, Yang would help him take off his dirty clothes, cook delicious food and pour a cup of liquor for him. Though they were not very rich, they led a happy life.
A sudden change
However, the plain and happy life changed from the summer of 2013. Zhou clearly remembers that during one afternoon, dark clouds were gathering and a rainstorm was approaching. He quickly ran home from his work in the fields and saw Yang and her sister talking mysteriously. Seeing Zhou return home, Yang’s sister put a piece of paper with something written on it into a bag hurriedly and left.
After that, his wife went out more and more often. She told Zhou that she went to her sister’s home in the beginning. Then, she refused to tell Zhou where she was going. Zhou felt that something was wrong and followed his wife one afternoon. He found his wife, with their grandson in her arms, go to a community in the county. For the whole afternoon, Zhou felt upset. In the evening, his wife came back and lied to him, saying that she went to her sister’s home. Zhou felt that he was cheated. With great anger, he slapped Yang in the face for the first time. Their grandson was frightened and cried. At night, he could not fall asleep and wondered why things had turned out this way.
Erring from the right path and following the so-called God
The next day when Zhou woke up, his wife had already disappeared. He had a bad vibe and went to her sisters’ houses. One sister’s husband said that the three sisters all seemed to believe in a female Christ and did not know where they were. Zhou could not understand: “Who is that female Christ and what did that Christ say to his wife? Why was she so resolute and took all the cash and the bank book with 40,000 yuan away. Even if she doesn’t love me anymore, who will take care of our one-year-old grandson and our youngest son who still receives education?”
After his wife left, the family burden fell on the shoulders of Zhou. In order to take care of his grandson, Zhou could not go to work. The family which was not well-off fell into strained circumstances. Zhou had to rely on the help of his eldest son and daughter. Without the grandmother’s hugs and comfort, the grandson sobbed hysterically. Zhou once hurt his waist, so after calming his grandson, he found it difficult to stand up. The youngest son missed his mother and always skipped scool to find her. For the sake of safety, the school suspended his classes temporarily. Zhou felt angry and sad. Thinking of the changes in the family and missing his wife, Zhou shed his tears. To return everything back to normal, Zhou started a long and difficult journey beyond his imagination.
The cult books found by Zhou
A Hard Journey
The past three years of searching for his wife filled Zhou with complex feelings. He was very grateful to his daughter and son-in-law for supporting him by taking care of his grandson and his youngest son. He rode his “Yong jiu” bicycle to all the towns in Anyi and was mistaken by local villagers for a thief. He was scoffed or almost beaten. Without money, he had to fill a Coke bottle with water and brought some steamed bread. When the water was finished, he would use his bottle to take some water from the ditch. Without food, he went on with an empty stomach or begged for food.
Zhou will never forget the kind help from strangers. On a hot summer day, he went to Xialuo Village in Changjun Town hungry and thirsty. He was too tired and gasped for breath under a tree. At that time, Zhou really wanted a cup of water! A fruit seller saw Zhou with ragged clothes and bleary eyes and he seemed to have sunstroke, so the vendor gave him a watermelon. Knowing that Zhou was looking for his wife who had become the follower of the Church of Almighty God, the seller insisted on giving him 50 yuan and encouraged him, because the seller’s wife had also been deceived by the Church of Almighty God. Zhou felt the warmth of the kind stranger. Although he did not receive education, he asked his daughter to write down the name and address of the seller after returning home. He was determined to thank the seller after finding his wife.
During the Dragon Boat Festival of 2015, Zhou rode over 50 kilometers and went to Zaodu County, Jing’an Town of Yichun City according to clues he had gathered. He brought the photo of his wife and asked local people. As it got dark, Zhou did not want to give up, however the sense of loss and his exhausted body led him to fall into the roadside ditch. Fortunately, the passers-by saved him.
After being taken back home by his son-in-law, ZHOU felt great pain in his back and could not move. His youngest son cried and ran to find Yang’s sister who had already returned home. Kneeling in front of her, the son wanted her to tell his mother and asked her to return home. However, Yang’s sister only delivered Yang’s message: “You don't need to look for me. I have the honor to find and start my new life. Those who don't believe in ‘God’ will eventually die.” Hearing those words, Zhou felt great painl. In desperation, he thought perhaps he could find his wife in a “godly” manner. After dinner, he threw the porcelain bowl against the wall and prepared to cut his wrist. Hearing the noise, his daughter rushed to his room and found he was committing suicide. She took away the splinter in Zhou’s hand and kneeled down in front of him. Zhou had lost his spirit of optimism and strength. They held each other tightly and cried.
Zhou accused the Church of Almighty God of deceiving his wife to abandon home
Never Give up
With the care of his children, Zhou has recovered a lot, but it is impossible for him to travel a long distance. His children also suggest he give up, but he still firmly believes that his wife still loves their family and the family cannot exist without her. As long as there is a gleam of hope, he will spare no efforts to find her. However, he may never realize such a dream.
Zhou is unfortunate. His beloved wife followed the God and left the family. However, he is also fortunate because he has filial-hearted children who do not believe in the so-called “God”. With the help of his children, he has regained his confidence for life.
(Executive editor: Qi Yue)