Testimonies 18. Open the window of life that is self-enclosed- Yan Lici


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In order not to hurt him, I had to clamp his feet with my feet. Sometimes he resisted so hard that my foot hit the leg of the table, and sometimes he even hit my head on the head, and it hurt me so much that I burst into tears.

What I’m telling is my own true story. If you are also a mother or father in pain, may my story bring you comfort and open a window into your life.  Countless sufferingsI was born in Hong Kong. When he was eight years old, his father was depressed due to business failure and died of illness the following year. When I was in my fourth year of high school, my beloved mother passed away. In my grief, I began to complain that God had been so unfair to me. So from the year my mother died, I stopped participating in any activities of the church.

Since the death of my parents, I have struggled to survive on my own. I believe that “being a human being is on your own”, and I worked and Xi at the same time, completing my secondary school and nursing school courses. After graduating from nursing school, I was able to get a stable job. That was the time when I was most proud of myself because both my career and my studies were under my control. In such good times, I also decided to convert to Christianity but to be honest, I had no real faith.

I got married shortly after I started working and had two children– eldest daughter, Bowen, and youngest son, Zelin. Zelin was born in 1985, and as soon as he was born, I noticed that he had a cleft lip and a cleft palate, and his crying voice was very low, unlike that of ordinary children. It’s not like I’ve never seen such a child when I was a nurse, but I just can’t accept that my child will be one of them!

At that time, I was exhausted from taking care of Zelin every day, and it took me an hour and a half to feed alone. When some people visit, they ask me if I did something unlucky when I was pregnant, such as using scissors in bed. I didn’t know how to answer, so I had to swallow my tears.

When he was three months old, the doctor performed surgery on his lip filling. After the operation, for fear that he would touch the wound, his little hands were tied to the bed. So he cried and struggled with all his might, and the blood flowed out of his wounds and on my heart. I can only wash my face with tears every day, and I don’t know who to tell about the pain in my heart.

A year later, Zelin had another jaw filler, and after his surgery, I thought he looked good, so the family went back to church. Who expected that a wave would not settle, and a wave would rise again? Due to his hyperactivity and some out-of-the-ordinary bizarre behavior, after being examined by experts, he is suspected of having slight autism. At that time, we still took our children to Sunday worship every week, but then we left the church because we couldn’t stand the comments about him. At that time, I wondered if there was a God, and if there was a God in this world, why would He treat me like this?  Children who never speakIn July 1992, my family immigrated to Perth, Western Australia. Zelin then enrolled in a local special school. Due to the change in environment, Zelin’s behavior has become very irritable. He often banged his head against the wall or punched the glass with his fist. He behaved even worse in public places, often screaming for no reason, or kicking indiscriminately, and his behavior was difficult to control. Half a year later, he was finally diagnosed as an autistic child with an “intellectual disability and no ability to speak” (Note 1). This diagnosis made our situation even worse because it led to an eighteen-month “qualified immigration” lawsuit.

Facing prosecution by the immigration authorities, my “astronaut” (Note 2) husband had to return to Australia immediately. We couldn’t work, we couldn’t leave the country, and for 18 months we went back and forth between the immigration office, the lawyer’s office, the school, and the councilor’s office every day for assistance, and the pressure was very heavy. The night before the court, our nervousness was at its peak and we couldn’t sleep. That night, my husband Zhaoqi suggested that he pray with me and ask God to keep him, but I refused. I said to him, “I don’t ask! I’ve been out of church for eight years.” If there was God, He would not pay attention to us. “I insisted on surviving on my own.

In January 1995, we finally won the case, but we used up all our savings and energy.

At the beginning of 1995, my husband returned to Hong Kong to work, and I was once again on my own. In February, Zelin made another comment on his report card: “I can’t learn Xi words at all.” This is the third time I’ve seen such comments. The first two times I didn’t focus on this because I was facing immigration lawsuits, but when this comment came up again and again, I had to face up to the problem. I thought to myself since the teacher has repeatedly said that my son is not capable of learning Xi words, it means that they are not going to teach him.

But I’m not reconciled. Zelin was nearly ten years old, and he still couldn’t speak, he couldn’t even hold a pen, and I couldn’t let his time go to waste. So I decided to ask a psychologist to introduce an expert who teaches autistic children to design a learning Xi curriculum for Zelin. The expert came three times and still couldn’t provide a substantive lesson, and his reason was that he was too busy.  Endless fightingTherefore, I had to teach Zelin personally. Since March 1, 1995, I have been collecting all kinds of pictures and pasting them on cardboard to make picture cards, word cards, etc. I spend almost a dozen hours a day preparing textbooks and reading reference books, but the most exhausting thing is that I have to fight Zelin one-on-one. Because of his poor concentration, it was very difficult at first to ask him to sit down for ten to fifteen minutes. In order to arouse his interest in learning Xi, I often switch the teaching tools such as colours, combinations and puzzles to attract his attention.

When he was obedient, I also constantly encouraged him and praised him for being a good boy. But sometimes he would lose his temper and keep patting his son, refusing to do what I asked. In this case, I grabbed his hand and forced him to do it. But this often made him even more rebellious, and he would kick the table foot violently. In order not to hurt him, I had to clamp his feet with my feet. Sometimes he resisted so hard that my foot hit the leg of the table, and sometimes he even hit my head on the head, and it hurt me to tears. Still, I had to catch him, and I would not give up until I had him finish his predetermined lessons.

I don’t know how many times during that time, after fighting with Zelin, I went back to my room hugged the pillow, and cried. At that time, my husband was worried that I would be disappointed and tearful after exhausting my energy and time, so he repeatedly advised me to take some degree courses for my future. However, whenever he mentioned it, I angrily said to him, “I am his mother, and I have no choice!”

After more than a month of training, Zelin was able to sit down for half an hour to forty-five minutes, and his progress was faster than I expected. After three months of Xi, he began to write his name, Louis. It took another month for him to learn to write his last name, Wong. By October, he was able to write simple sentences. On October 20, he wrote, “Daddy I love you!” I faxed it to my husband as soon as I saw it. When he saw the fax, he was so excited that tears welled up in his eyes, and he suddenly realized that although his son could not speak, he also had feelings. He immediately called me and told me that at the moment he was more excited than a promotion and a raise.  Ten numbers for a yearWhile teaching Zelin to read, I also began to teach him to count and write. It took him almost a year to learn 1~10, and then the speed gradually accelerated, and it only took him a month to learn 11~20. By August 1996, he was learning to Xi simple addition problems with 1 or 2. On September 14th, I occasionally gave him some additional problems that needed to be carried out, such as 9+2, 4+8, etc., and he was able to write out the answers one by one. Since then, I have been giving him some additional problems that need to be carried in, and he can usually write the correct answers. On October 1st and 2nd, I suddenly had a few deep addition problems with two or three numbers, and reasoning problems that required the concept of multiplication, such as writing the next number after 5, 10, 15, and 20, and he was able to write the answers accurately. The only encouragement I gave him was to tap the back of his hand, which became a Xi habit every time he could concentrate on the Xi problem. Seeing him make such progress, I feel indescribably happy in my heart.

Soon after, a friend of mine, Rex, came to visit us from Canada. Rex was a zealous Christian. During my stay at home, he kept urging me to read the Bible, and I became impatient with this and turned down his offer on the pretext that I was busy. As we talked, I also constantly complained about God’s unfairness to me, and He patiently listened to my complaints. A few days later he went to a small town 400 kilometers away to visit his brother, but he still did not forget to call me every other day and continued to encourage me to read the Bible and draw closer to God. But I didn’t listen at all.

Am I going crazy?On October 24th, it occurred to me that I had never taught Zelin multiplication, so why did he have the concept of multiplication? The next week was the most exciting day of my life. Because I had to find more advanced math problems for him to do every day, I was amazed that he could accurately write the answers in two or three seconds from the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, fractions, decimals, squares, and algebra problems in the 11th grade.

I was a little overwhelmed when I saw this. My husband was on a business trip in Eastern Australia at the time, and he would call home every other day. At first, he was excited to hear that Zelin was progressing in mathematics, but when I told him that Zelin was able to do square and algebra problems, he couldn’t accept it. He is a computer engineer and has always been Xi with rational analysis of problems, and Zelin’s performance is contrary to his rationality, so he raises a large number of questions and asserts that it must be my godson’s heart, which has reached the point of going crazy. This made me very angry and told him to come back and see for himself. When he returned home, he was also amazed, and he filmed Zelin’s homework faithfully and prepared to show it to his relatives and friends in Hong Kong. He patted and muttered, “It’s.”

a real miracle!”At that time, it happened that the principal of Zelin School invited some autism experts to a meeting for Zelin’s transfer. Among them are psychologists, linguists, pediatricians, teachers of special schools, etc. I showed them the video, and when they saw it, no one could explain it. I was a little complacent, thinking that my kid might be a math genius, even though he couldn’t speak.  Write a 5 firstWhen Rex called me on November 21, 1996, he urged me to read the Bible again, and this time I finally said yes. He suggested that I read the book of Proverbs first. The next day I read in Proverbs 22:17, “Listen to the words of the wise, and give ear to my knowledge.” ”

At around 11 o’clock, an old friend of mine, Peter, called me from Hong Kong. Peter was a doctor and a level-headed, analytical man. He told me that after watching the video my husband brought, the couple couldn’t sleep for a whole week, and they couldn’t figure it out. He didn’t think that Zelin was a genius, because geniuses were just people with special intelligence and talents, and the process of receiving things and learning Xi was shorter than that of ordinary people. However, Zelin made Xi that he had never learned, so Peter thought it might be a miracle. He suggested that I come up with some more advanced math problems such as trigonometry, geometry, or series in algebra for Zelin to do. He said, “If you give him the question “1+2+3++1000=?”, he writes a 5 as soon as he puts pen to paper, and I immediately salute him. You don’t have to ask anything more and take him back to church right away. I’m not a Christian, but I’m sure it’s a miracle. He then asked me, “You seem to have been a Christian?” and I was asked by him, and my face immediately turned red, and I replied, “I haven’t been to church for almost ten years.” ”

“Who taught you?”I told my daughter Bowen and my adopted son Zhicong about Peter’s idea, and they also thought Peter’s words were reasonable enough to try, and helped me with some math problems, including the one that Peter proposed. On November 24th, I gave these questions to Zelin. When he sat down and began to calculate, I was a little more nervous than usual, and I was anxious to know the result, so I stared at his hand tightly. I saw that after reading the question proposed by Peter, as Peter said, he wrote the word “5” in the first pen. In a panic, I immediately called my daughter. Then, I asked Zelin who taught him in the form of filler questions, and he wrote in front of me and my daughter that it was “God” who taught him. I was shocked again, and I was a little creepy on the spot. When she saw her brother’s “God,” she burst into tears, and she hurried out of the room to find the Bible.

I’ve always thought of myself as a confident person, but in the face of all this, I’ve become a little distracted and at a loss. In the past two years, I have taught him a total of simple addition and about 500 words. Everything I have taught is recorded, I have never taught him trigonometry, geometry, or algebra, so why can he answer without thinking? I have never taught him a word about religion, but how can he spell God? Seriously, even the dullest man should be awake by this time, because God has revealed to me by such a miracle. But my heart is hardened, and I can’t bow to God all at once. The first thing I thought of was my husband and Peter, and I wanted to fax them the math problems that Zelin had done and the answers he had written and hear their opinions. So I asked Zelin to rewrite the answer to who taught him math on an A4-sized piece of paper. He agreed to my request and wrote again that God had taught him.

Then I spoke on the phone with my old classmate Gao Meiyun because she often encouraged me to go to church. I used to find it annoying when she talked about the church, but now I was eager for her help. She was very excited after listening to my story, reaffirmed that it was a miracle, and decided to come to my house immediately and share the joy with me.

Then I called Rex again. This time, his usual cheerful tone became heavy. He told me that he and his brother had just been involved in a traffic accident and would have died if it weren’t for the Lord’s protection. I suddenly felt the fragility of human beings, who cannot even control their own lives. I didn’t talk to Rex about my son anymore because I felt that I could no longer rely on myself and others and that I had to go straight to God and the Lord of life.

When I decided to turn back to God, I remembered the rebellion and exaggeration I had been exaggerating all along, and my heart ached. As soon as I put down the phone, I gathered my three children and asked them if they knew of a miracle that had happened in their home, and they all said they did. I asked them to pray with me, and they agreed. So that afternoon, for the first time as a family, we prayed to God together. When I put my arms around Zelin and prayed to God, tears flowed out like a river bursting its banks. In prayer, I confessed my sins to God and resolved to repent, and I asked the Lord Jesus to be the Lord of my life and lead the way ahead of our family. After praying, my heart slowly calmed down.  Directions to all the informationAfter a while, Miyun came, and as soon as she saw me, she came up to hug me. After that, we decided to ask Zelin a fill-in question, “Who loves Zelin the most?” and “Who is the Son of God?”, and Zelin immediately wrote “God loves Zelin the most” instead of “Mom”, and he wrote, “Jesus is the Son of God.”

After a few days, we found out that Zelin knew a lot about the Bible. My niece, who was living in my house at the time, thought that maybe God had given Zelin a lot of knowledge, and she suggested that he could be tested in every way. Over the next month, we were driven by curiosity to ask him more and more questions, many of which our friends had come up with after referring to the encyclopedia. It turned out that he could answer both natural and social science questions, and he could understand Chinese, Japanese, and French, which he had never learned. My family and I felt that we couldn’t figure out his limits with our limited knowledge.

On March 2, 1997, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Zelin wrote out a large portion of the gospel message. He wrote, “The Lord Jesus is the Son of God, who loved us and died for our sins, and who is God’s Savior for the world.” We are to let Jesus take charge of our lives. “At that time, I was taking Zelin and his Xi back to Hong Kong to visit relatives. I told my relatives and friends about this miracle, but there were still unbelievers among them. Some people also believe that whether it is Buddhism or Christianity, all religions are all persuasions to do good, and in the end they will all end up in the same way. I couldn’t agree with this because all the messages God brought to me through Zelin pointed to the Lord Jesus, so I insisted on explaining to them that the Lord Jesus is our only Savior. On March 3, 1997, I asked Zelin one last question on behalf of the crowd: “What is Buddhism?” to which Zelin replied, “Buddhism is a philosophy.” “I have never taught him the term philosophy, and he was able to express the essence of Buddhism so succinctly.

From then on, I felt that God had revealed His heart to me, and I no longer dared to question Zelin in any way.  The curse turned into a blessingBecause of the misfortunes of my childhood and Zelin’s illness, I left God, and I tried to struggle on my own. I shut myself off in a state of solitude, miserable and with no one to talk to. Physically, I am a healthy person, but mentally, I look like an autistic person. For I have not seen the power of the Lord, nor heard his loving cry. I was like a sheep wandering apart, lost, wounded, trapped among thorns and unable to save myself. However, my Lord did not forsake me, but He took the initiative to find me and bandage my wounds so that I could experience His love again.

In the past, I used to complain about fate, feeling that my life was full of curses, as if anything unfortunate would happen to me. But today, I feel that all curses have turned into blessings. I wouldn’t have the fortitude to teach Zelin without the hardships of my childhood, and without Zelin I might never have returned to the Lord and enjoyed His love.

My whole being has changed dramatically. As Zelin wrote, he was an instrument of God, but he was still an autistic child, and I still had to face him every day, and my difficulties in life were not diminished. But because I know that I have the Lord’s presence and the support of my brothers and sisters every day, I no longer feel alone. No matter what happens, I have peace in my heart, and this peace from the bottom of my heart cannot be taken away from me.

Over the past few years, I have been invited to speak about my experience at evangelistic conferences in Australia, Hong Kong, and Canada, and have led more than 100 people to become believers. My family’s story was also filmed on video by the Hong Kong Evangelical Communication Centre and circulated more widely. I also go to help some families who have the same experience, so that they can have hope again, smile, and find meaning in life. To this end, I have been invited to Hong Kong and Canada many times to hold seminars on home learning Xi for autistic children for parents of children with autism, and also conduct individual counseling. In March 2000, Hong Kong Breakthrough Publishing House published a book I wrote about home studies for autistic children, Xi titled “Breaking Through Barriers”, so that more families could get help.

I used to cry and complain a lot because I had unspeakable worries and pains in my heart. I still cry sometimes today, but it is because I am touched by the love of the Lord. Dear readers, I hope that you will experience the love of the Lord as much as I did. As Pastor Ouyang of Perth Alliance Church wrote in the preface to my book “Extraordinary Testimony”: “Stories do not have to be accompanied by lessons, nor may they be prescribed according to prescriptions, but may this true story open a window into your life, let the fresh air blow in, and may he also create another miracle in your heart!” I think this is my hope and my heartfelt wish to you.