Young Dafa Practitioners Then and Now (Continued)
(Clearwisdom.net) My son sat quietly reading the article, "Young Practitioners Then and Now" on Clearwisdom.net. It talked about young practitioners that he used to hang out with. After a long moment of silence and contemplation, my son asked, "Mom, do you know where Xiao Ya is these days? And what about Xiao Xi? Is she safe and well?" As he mentioned one name after another, I started to remember the happy faces of those spirited young practitioners.
[Note: In China, "Xiao" is a common Chinese nickname for younger people, followed by their family name. For example, a young man named Wu Minli is known as Xiao Wu among his friends and colleagues.]
Ms. Xiao Ya
On a cold night in the spring of 2001, a fellow practitioner told me, "Xiao Ya's mother was tortured to death!" This horrible news exploded like a bomb in my ears. I leaned against the wall, trying to keep upright on my trembling legs. I asked in tears, "What about Xiao Ya? Where is she?" Xiao Ya's parents, as well as her aunt and her aunt's husband on her mother's side, are also Dafa practitioners. Her father and her aunt were each sentenced to three years in the forced labor camp, and her aunt's husband was sentenced to prison. I could not begin to imagine how this 12-year-old kind little girl would face this living nightmare.
Xiao Ya is a quiet little girl. She was the representative of a young practitioners' study group at the Fa study summer camp.
Xiao Ya had been to Beijing several times with her mother to appeal for Falun Dafa. At a school assembly, Xiao Ya was announced as a Falun Gong practitioner and pressured by the school to renounce Falun Gong. However, Xiao Ya did not give in under the pressure from her school. She remained steadfast and calm as usual, just like a still lake without any ripples.
It is now Chinese New Year of 2004. It has been three years since Xiao Ya's mother passed away. I still remember the tears, like a string of pearls, on Xiao Ya's long eyelashes. I still remember the beautiful framed photo of her mother in Xiao Ya's bedroom. I still think of it often and that Xiao Ya must face the cruel reality that her mother was abducted and subjected to brutal tortures, because she tried to clarify the truth about Falun Dafa. I still cannot help imagining how Xiao Ya's mother must have remained calm and determined until her death in the detention center.
Ms. Xiao Xi
"Mom, is Xiao Xi safe and well?" my son asked. "Xiao Xi is now 16 years old. She is a big girl now. She is offering salvation to sentient beings. She has been helping her mother and other fellow practitioners with a lot of truth-clarification work. Xiao Xi is really good at using computer software to help with truth-clarification work. She helps her mom to download articles from Clearwisdom.net, send and receive emails, and print out all kinds of truth-clarification materials. Her mother said, 'Xiao Xi has very strong righteous thoughts when she does truth-clarification work. Sometimes I cannot help worrying that the network spies might find us downloading articles from Clearwisdom.net, but Xiao Xi always helps me reinforce my righteous thoughts and says, 'Have no fear. Teacher is watching over us. What's there to be afraid of?' Xiao Xi is an essential volunteer at our truth-clarification materials production site. She is really making herself useful."
Ms. Xiao Yun
When the persecution against Falun Gong started in 1999, Xiao Yun has just passed the entrance examination at a prestigious university. Because Xiao Yun was determined in practicing Falun Gong, this beautiful and graceful young girl was abducted in the summer of 2000 and sent to the local "610 Office's" forced brainwashing center in a Jinan precinct where her school was located [the "610 Office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems]. The forced brainwashing center is filled with the stench of flesh burning because the staff there shock Falun Gong practitioners with electric cattle prods all day long. The whole place was enveloped with the noises of shouting and cursing from the drunken brainwashing staff. The hellish tortures in the forced brainwashing center assaulted the mind of this 18-year-old girl. In the past, Xiao Yun usually spent her summer studying the Fa with young fellow practitioners in joy and peace. While in the forced brainwashing center, Xiao Yun tried to cover her ears because her heart anguished when she heard the frightening wailings from the torture victims. She tried to close her eyes because she could not bear to watch the adult Falun Gong practitioners being cruelly tortured before her eyes. However, Jiang Zemin's depraved henchmen pulled her hands from her ears violently, and pried her eyes open. They threatened her, "If you do not renounce Falun Gong in writing, you will have a taste of these tortures."
When Xiao Yun's mother collected her from the forced brainwashing center later, it was as though Xiao Yun had become mute. She said nothing with her lips, but her large eyes told of shock and fear.
A year afterwards, as I was riding a bicycle home at night, I saw a young girl standing in front of a store while inserting a truth-clarification flyer into the crack of the door. Her frame was very familiar to me, so I stopped and checked to see who that girl was. It was Xiao Yun. She smiled and looked toward my direction. I told her, "Be careful." She nodded and patted her book bag, "I am almost done distributing the flyers."
Later I found out that Xiao Yun had been expelled from her college because she refused to renounce Falun Dafa.
Xaio Yun has started her journey of offering salvation to the sentient beings. She is no longer the girl whose eyes show shock and fear. There is now courage, perseverance and faith in her eyes.
Ms. Xiao Jia
It was extremely hot in the summer of 1998. During the break between Fa study sessions, Xiao Jia kept bringing fresh basins of cool water and rinsed the little girls' hair to prevent heat exhaustion. She was 19 years old back then and in the youth group Fa study.
In 1999, Xiao Jia and I met each other at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
In 2000, Jiang Zemin's henchmen spread malicious lies about me, trying to create distrust among Falun Gong practitioners. A lot of fellow practitioners fell prey to their lies and misunderstood me. The distrust and misunderstanding made it the most painful period of my life. During that period, I was forced to leave home, going into hiding to avoid abduction by the police and to continue to clarify the truth about Falun Dafa. One night while I was walking on the street, not knowing where to go, I ran into Xiao Jia. She was pleasantly surprised when she met me. She said, "My big sister, I heard a lot of rumors about you, but I believe that you will never betray Falun Dafa. Come with me to my place."
Since then we spent a lot of time together clarifying the truth about Falun Dafa.
In 2003, the police abducted Xiao Jia and subjected her to cruel tortures. Against her will, Xiao Jia gave in to their savage tortures and renounced Falun Dafa in writing.
After Xiao Jia was released, I visited her at her home on a windy night. Fortunately the police car that monitored her whereabouts from outside her home had just left. Upon seeing me, Xiao Jia threw herself into my arms and burst into tears. She said that she made a mistake in renouncing Falun Dafa. While watching her trembling in anguish, I could not help crying with her. I saw that the evil policemen had battered and wounded her heart with their sadistic tortures and intimidation. I said to her, "Xiao Jia, remember what had happened to me three years ago? Three years ago you helped me walk through a difficult path. I remember you told me at the time, 'Even if you trip and fall, you can get up and keep going. My big sister, I believe you can do it!' Today I would like to return this encouragement to you, 'Even if you trip and fall, you can get up and keep going. Xiao Jia, I believe you can do it!'"
We held each other's hands and encouraged each other, each giving unconditional and everlasting support to the other on the road of offering salvation to all sentient beings. There is no gap between practitioners of different age groups, for we share one common goal: Walk our path well to carry out our pledge to offer salvation to the sentient beings.
Mr. Pang Zai [Note: Pang Zai is not a real name. It is a nickname based on his plump figure. Pang Zai means "fat boy" in Chinese.]
Pang Zai's parents are not Falun Gong practitioners. Pang Zai's classmate, Xiao Qiu, practiced Falun Gong and was illegally sentenced to four years in prison. It was Xiao Qiu who recommended Falun Dafa to Pang Zai and brought him to a Fa study summer camp for the youth. I remember that Pang Zai joined the Fa study summer camp in the summer of 1998. On the second day of the summer camp, Pang Zai's parents visited him and brought him a basket of fruits and snacks. His parents were soaked in sweat when they arrived at the summer camp that hot summer day. I received them at the entrance of the building. Pang Zai's mother said, "I am so worried about him. I wonder how he is doing. He has never been away from us since he was born. Could we see him now?" I asked them to wait at the entrance while I went to get Pang Zai. His Fa study group was taking a break and the young people were enthusiastically exchanging their cultivation experiences. When I told Pang Zai that his parents were here to see him, he flushed and was overcome with embarrassment. He refused to see his parents and complained, "I told them not to come see me. They had to come anyway!"
The volunteer assistant said, "Your parents came because they are concerned about you. Think about how sad they would be if you refuse to see them. They are not Dafa practitioners, so naturally they are worried about you. If you put yourself in their shoes, you would understand how they must feel."
So Pang Zai went outside and met his parents. He told his parents about the meals and accommodations of the summer camp, and asked them not to worry about him. Then he bid farewell and wanted to return to his fellow practitioners in the youth group. Pang Zai's mother kept trying to make him take the fruit basket, and asked him repeatedly, "Pang Zai, it has been two days since you had your favorite fruits. You must miss them dearly, no?"
But Pang Zai repeatedly refused to take the fruit basket. His mother felt rejected and very disappointed. I tried to comfort his mother, "There are several hundred children studying the Fa and practicing Falun Gong exercises together. The youngest Dafa practitioner is less than 7 years of age. Pang Zai is in the high school group so he wants to set a good example for the younger children. He saw that children younger than him did not have the habit of eating snacks. That's why he wants to stop the habit of eating snacks. There is no need to worry. These children are great. They are developing their own ideas." Pang Zai's mother said, "When Pang Zai is at home, he cannot live a day without eating snacks. He does not like eating regular meals, but he always keeps eating snacks and fruits. Now he is refusing to eat his favorite fruits and snacks. This is really something."
Pang Zai's father kept saying, "I told her not to come, but she wouldn't listen. Can you now relax? His friend Xiao Qiu had said that Falun Dafa could improve a man. Didn't you notice that within only two days your son has started to behave like a grownup?"
Next, Pang Zai's mother tried to make me take the fruit basket and snacks. She said, "It must be a lot of work looking after these children. Please take these fruits and snacks."
Pang Zai and I declined politely. Hi parents left knowing that Pang Zai was in good hands. That was their first and last visit until the end of the youth Fa study summer camp.
Since July 20, 1999, when the persecution against Falun Dafa began, Pang Zai has been helping us with a lot of truth-clarification work, such as mailing truth-clarification VCDs.
In the summer of 2001, six young Dafa practitioners from our area went to Tiananmen Square to validate Falun Dafa. They raised a banner with the message, "Falun Dafa is good" and shouted out loud, "Falun Dafa is good!" from the bottom of their hearts. Today they continue to offer sentient being salvation alongside the grownup practitioners.
For the past four years, countless Dafa practitioners have been walking their road of Fa-rectification, offering salvation to sentient beings and tempering their character. Young practitioners are also walking their paths to offer sentient beings salvation with their compassion and determination, their will as solid as diamond.