Saving the Family Members of Persecuted Practitioners
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Master! Greetings, Fellow Practitioners!
I am a Dafa practitioner from a big city in Northeast China. For years practitioners have been sentenced to forced labor and kept in prison because they do the three things to validate the Fa and save sentient beings. The number of practitioners in prison and serving forced labor sentences from this area is always over 30. Seven to nine years was the longest sentence. Quite a few were sentenced to one, two, three or five years. When we visited the families of persecuted practitioners, we found that family members didn't understand practitioners and vented a lot of anger toward them, even on Dafa and Master. They thought their hardships were caused by practitioners cultivating Dafa. When we tried to tell them the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution, they wouldn't listen, rejected out help, got angry, contradicted us, and didn't want us there. They regarded practitioners as enemies.
This made us feel sad and regretful. Every day we tried hard to save sentient beings, but our family members didn't know the truth. Wasn't it a big omission in our cultivation? It was high time that we tackled this issue. Following are our experiences we'd like to share with fellow practitioners and report to Master.
Creating the right conditions to facilitate communication with practitioners' families
On holidays and Chinese New Years we visited and brought gifts to families of persecuted practitioners so that we had opportunities to communicate with them. We learned what they were thinking and were able to tell them the truth about the persecution. Especially during Chinese New Year, we brought them rice, flour and oil, and gave money to the families in very poor economic situations. After doing this several times, our relationships evolved from our being ignored and them saying nothing, to their venting their resentment toward us and finally speaking to us sincerely. Thus opportunities emerged for us to touch their hearts.
We told them it was the CCP, not their practitioner family member, that caused their miseries. They admitted that the practitioners were all very good people. We told them that it was not that practitioners didn't care about their families but that they were concerned about others and what they were doing was saving people. They didn't do bad deeds. The CCP, we told them, is not only very corrupt itself but also arrests good people instead of bad people. Weren't these families venting their anger on the wrong people?
However, they said, "If you sit at home, will they come to arrest you? It is you yourself that seek trouble!" We told them that during the Beijing Olympic Games, over ten thousand practitioners were arrested. The CCP also came to arrest those who stayed at home.
They said, "If the CCP won't let you practice, then you should stop practicing. Why do you people go against the CCP? Are you able to win over them? You people go everywhere every day to put up 'Heaven eliminates the CCP' posters. Whoever is in the government will arrest you."
We felt badly for them. They had become scared to death after going through the numerous CCP's political movements. Their distorted mentality drove their compulsive thinking. Facing these situations, we didn't rush or become impatient. It was not a problem that we could correct in an instant, although we felt it was urgent to save them. We were determined to rectify their warped notions.
Validate Dafa with actions
The family members of persecuted practitioners in the countryside were even angrier. Especially at harvest time, which is their busy season, they directed their bitterness toward family practitioners.
I learned that the elderly wife of a male practitioner who had been sentenced to seven years in prison had difficulty during the harvest season. She was not able to harvest the corn grown in her family field of 20-plus acres by herself. She didn't have enough money to hire laborers. Even if she had and gave them 50 or 70 yuan a day, she couldn't find anyone once the season began. When she had lost hope and was in despair, about 20 practitioners went to help her. We finished harvesting all the corn in a day. Transporting the corn to her home became a big problem though. She was not able to find people or vehicles even if she could afford it. So practitioners in the same village stopped their own work and drove their four-wheeled wagons to transport the corn to her home. Practitioners brought their own lunches and water and ate their cold lunches in the field. They didn't even miss the time for sending forth righteous thoughts. It was already cold in October in the Northeast. But fellow practitioners took the hardship as joy.
By the third year, the wife of this practitioner was eventually moved by what we had done and cooked us a hot meal and insisted we come to her home to eat. It was hard to decline, so we went and left bread, sausages, etc., food we had brought for our lunches and which were rarities in the countryside, to her home. We helped her four years in a row. We took the initiative to help her during the harvests. Every year her family was the first in her village to finish harvesting. The local practitioners helped those practitioners in difficulty first before starting to do their own jobs. Sometimes it snowed before they finished the work in their own fields. That practitioner's wife was very touched and held our hands, not knowing what to say, her face full of radiant smiles. She no longer opposes Dafa or complains about her husband.
What we did touched the whole village. All the residents were very moved. If they hadn't seen it themselves, who would have believed it? In this materially corrupt world, there was still a group of pure and kind people helping others without thought of any reward. Even the village officials said, "Falun Dafa is really good." During the time we worked in that practitioner's field, we visited families in the village during breaks, telling them the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution and urging them to withdraw from the CCP. The first family said that they had already withdrawn and the second family said that they had also quit. Why was that? Local practitioners told us that the villagers were so touched by our actions these past several years that local practitioners took the opportunity to clarify the truth to villagers family by family, and everyone in the whole village withdrew from the CCP. It's such a big village, but everyone withdrew. They had good impressions of practitioners in their hearts.
Another Chinese New Year came. We brought rice, flour, and oil with us to visit the family of the persecuted practitioner as usual. She grasped our hands and repeatedly asked us with tears in her eye who bought these things. She said we must tell her their names so that she could pay them back in the future. Practitioners said, "Please do not ask anymore. They don't let us tell you their names and we will not say either. Just remember that they are Falun Dafa practitioners. It is our Master who allows us to do this." She cried and thanked us repeatedly. We could see that she now understood that the group of people her husband belonged to were so good that now she now believes that Dafa is the most righteous.
Another male practitioner was sentenced to seven years. His home was far away from the city and practitioners had no contact with him. He had been in a remote prison away from the city for five years. We didn't know, and his family members didn't go to see him either. One practitioner went to clarify the truth to his relatives and learned that his family was very poor and the house they lived was in such poor condition that it could fall apart at any time. His wife lived with his son and said that they didn't dare to stay there if it rained. She was worried about what to do about the 10 acres of crops to be reaped in the fall. Practitioners heard this, and more than 70 of them voluntarily went there and finished harvesting the crops in one day. Practitioners brought their lunches and ate in the field. We didn't bring enough water so we went to fetch two barrels of water from a well. It was very cold. The wife saw us and repeatedly said to us, "If only I had known you earlier!" We told her the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution and asked her to withdraw from the CCP. She said she had never joined any of the CCP organizations. We told her to remember that Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good. She said that she believed "Falun Dafa is good" this time from the bottom of her heart and "Falun Dafa is truly good."
We went to see her during the Chinese New Year. She told practitioners that when she asked for a loan from the village committee to repair her house, the village cadres told her that they didn't consider Falun Gong families no matter how poor they were. She learned that even murderers' families and the families of criminals were given loans and had houses refurbished. Her family was the poorest in the village and nobody cared about her. She tried to borrow money from other people but nobody was willing to lend her anything because they worried that she would not able to pay it back. Practitioners told her that they would try their best to help her, though they were not in good economic situations. We clarified the truth to her and gave her 500 yuan.
After we came back, we shared with other practitioners who then donated money for her. We donated over 7,000 yuan. This made made her whole extended family change their view of Dafa and they complained less about her persecuted husband.
On the day when we went to her home to help harvest her corn, a man in his 40s stood nearby watching us work for a long time. He didn't say anything. One practitioner spoke with him and learned that he had previously practiced Dafa, but later he was imprisoned and enlightened on an evil path. During the conversation we found that he had many misunderstandings. After we finished, some of us went to his field to share with him while helping him work. He listened and listened and suddenly he understood. He said, "Before I only listened to what the CCP said and I hadn't had any contact with practitioners. I was deceived. After listening to you, now I understand." He was very excited and asked us for Dafa books. He said that he would take up cultivation again. His family members also learned the truth and withdrew from the CCP.
Another male practitioner was persecuted to death, leaving a 42-year-old wife, a 15-year-old daughter, and four parents behind. His wife was unemployed. Practitioners helped to arrange the funeral and prepare clothing for the deceased with their own money. Before the Chinese New Year, one practitioner who had his own business bought some new clothes for the family and child and also gave them some money. Before every semester started, he sent money for the child's tuition fee and told them, "Please take care. Your child is our Dafa practitioner's child. We will support her until she completes school."
The practitioner's wife was very introverted. But now she is recovering from the pain of her husband's death and her misunderstandings of Dafa. She has gained confidence and said, "I will continue to petition and lodge a lawsuit on behalf of my husband until the wrong is made right." Through her introduction, her sister and mother started to read Zhuan Falun.
We also take care of the children of detained practitioners and provide support them with what they need. Here I have only given some examples. There are too many incidents to recount all of them. At the moment, all families of the persecuted practitioners in our area know the facts and regard our practitioners as their family members. We get along very well and they open their hearts to us. If trouble arises, they know they can come to us for help. They said, "You are better than our relatives."When we went to help harvest the crops in the fall, some of the families cooked meat and sent it to us in the field. These families often went to visit practitioners in prison and had no complaint about them. They showed their concern and care. When practitioners in prison saw the changes in their family members, they were very moved and their righteous thoughts became even stronger and they were more determined in cultivation. They did a good job inside the prisons. They memorized the Fa, sent forth righteous thoughts, and persuaded inmates to withdraw from the CCP. Practitioners released from prisons are all very diligent in cultivation.
From our experiences we know that, during the process, Dafa practitioners have elevated; practitioners' families and worldly people have understood the truth and have thus been saved; and practitioners who abandoned the Fa have come back to cultivation. No matter how much tribulation practitioners in prison came across, they were very gratified. We have also realized that only our venerable and respected Master and the most virtuous Dafa have the power to elevate disciples and change this precious group of sentient beings. Like Master said in "Cautionary Advice" in Essentials for Further Advancement:
"If every one of you can understand the Fa from the depths of your mind, that will truly be the manifestation of the Fa whose power knows no boundary--the reappearance of the mighty Buddha Fa in the human world!"
At this point, other practitioners may ask, "Do you all have a lot of money? How much money do you need to do so many things?" No, that is not the case. We do things with our hearts so we can do them well. Many of our practitioners have no formal jobs. They do odd jobs or casual jobs. They use all their earnings to do Dafa projects. Some practitioners live on instant noodles and seldom eat formal meals. They use saved money to validate Dafa. One practitioner, a retired teacher, doesn't buy any fruit or meat and hardly buys new clothes. She has spent almost all of her pension on validating Dafa. Yet another retired couple live on preserved vegetables and seldom buy fresh food. But whenever there is a Dafa project, they will put money in generously. Another practitioner did a casual job and earned 37 yuan. He used 30 yuan for Dafa projects while only leaving seven yuan for expenses. One practitioner mended his socks so he could wear them again. He said that nobody saw the socks inside the shoes. When we need money for Dafa projects, they generously give. Some practitioners whose whole family practice Dafa live in old shabby houses but spent huge sums of money acquired from selling their land and properties to validate Dafa. And those practitioners who have businesses sacrifice even more. Through Fa study, practitioners know what is most important and what we should do at present. So the effect is excellent. Just like Master said in "Further Understanding" in Essentials for Further Advancement:
If you are able to succeed in improving yourself this way, what you do then, with a pure heart, will be the best and most sacred.
We hope that practitioners will take care of and save family members of persecuted practitioners. They are the people that we should save first.
September 29, 2008