Traveling to Beijing to Appeal for Falun Dafa: 58 Days, 1600 Miles on Foot (Part 2)
(Minghui.org) (Continued from Part 1)
Mr. Feng is a senior Falun Dafa practitioner with a legendary story, and everyone respectfully calls him Uncle Feng. He was born in 1941 in Dalian City and moved to our province during China’s “Third Front” movement in 1964. He worked as a driver in a steel plant and began to practice Falun Dafa in March 1996.
Unimaginable Hardships and Tribulations
Where to Stay at Night
Mr. Feng had a problem that was not easy to resolve – where would he stay every night? Whenever the sun went down and it was getting dark, he was always a bit anxious about where he would sleep. Obviously, he had no money, and hotels were not free. He had to search for a spot out of the wind and rain. This was not for just one or two nights but almost 60 long nights. It indeed took a lot of courage, and it was something that most people would not dare undertake.
How did he do it? He could not remember all the details, but he recalled that the best places were the small train stations. However, he had no train ticket, so most train stations would not let him in. On the entire trip, only at three stations were people kind enough to let him in. Some nights he was fortunate to find abandoned sheds. Even though they had no windows or doors, at least it had a roof and three sides. With some dry grass to cover him, he was able to get some sleep.
Sometimes he was able to find a temporary well-drilling shed. They were usually very wet, but if he could find some bricks to cover the ground, he could sit down to sleep for a night. It was still much better than staying outside. In general, as long as it wasn’t pouring rain, it was not too hard to fall asleep. This was because, after a whole day of walking, he was so tired. As long as it was not wet, he would sleep on dry grass in the woods, in small bushes, or in haystacks on farms.
He usually could not sleep in the train tunnels, because the trains were coming and going, and it was not only very loud, but the wind caused by the trains was very cold and strong. He only went in there when there was thunder or on rainy days.
Dealing with Fear
Someone asked Mr. Feng, “Did you run into any bad people at night?” He said he did once. It was in a rural area. It was getting dark, but he had not found a spot to sleep, and he was walking by the railroad tracks. About a dozen young people came up behind him. One held a metal baton and demanded, “Give us your money! Hurry!” Mr. Feng said, “I’m a beggar. I don’t have any money. I haven’t even found a place to sleep tonight. If I had any money would I be in this situation?” They stared at him for a second and yelled, “Get out of here!”
He was also asked, “You were in your late 50s. At night in the wilderness, weren't you scared all by yourself?”
“I was and I wasn’t,” he answered. “If I were to tell you that I wasn’t afraid at all, then that would not be realistic. During the entire trip, there was not a single night when I did not wake up in the middle of the night. I was often awakened by the cold and by nightmares. When I woke up, the darkness was endless and I sometimes felt so lonely and helpless. Sometimes I even felt frightened.
“But I also wasn’t afraid. Being a true practitioner, Master was always with me, so what would I be afraid of?”
To make the nights easier to get through, Mr. Feng sometimes changed his routine. Once he had reached the northern provinces, it was sunny and hot for most of the day, so he slept in the afternoon and traveled at night
It has been more than 20 years, and Mr. Feng is almost 80 now and has forgotten a lot of details. But there were two things that he still remembers very clearly and has talked about them several times. One is his amazing encounters on the trip, and secondly the feelings and thoughts he had the three times after he reached Beijing.
Wish Come True
When Mr. Feng planned his trip, in order to be as low-key as possible, he did not bring rain gear nor did he have the money to buy any. While on his way, he suddenly thought, “If I could pick up a tarp or an umbrella, that would be great.” So he started to pay more attention to his surroundings.
Even before he had left his province, he found a piece of an old plastic tarp in a tunnel and then an old rain jacket by the side of the road. He washed the jacket and wore it. It kept the rain off and kept him warm. At night, he used the tarp on the ground and covered himself with the jacket. Thus, he was able to get through several big storms. It was indeed that what he wished for came true!
Even though he relied on picking up whatever he could eat and asking people for food, he never went hungry. Isn’t that amazing? Mr. Feng said that his food bag was never empty.
Sometimes, he found the same kind of food all day long. For instance, one day he just found dumplings, another day it was all steamed bread, then just meat, and so on. It was amazing and true. Something like that happened on eight or nine days.
When he stopped one time to see if anything was going bad, he burst out laughing—he found eggs, fish, dumplings, stuffed buns, and different types of meat in his bag, all edible. It was almost as if he was having a party!
He was in Hunan Province one afternoon, and he had not had lunch yet when he saw three piles of noodles on the ground near the railroad tracks. They were what’s called “cold noodles” in southern China—first boiled, then cooled, and then mixed with oil and seasoning. The piles were very fresh and clean. Why would someone leave out three pile of noodles? He took the top halves of the three piles. Those noodles were delicious, and he ate them for three days and still had some left. He didn’t want them to go bad, so he gave the leftovers to a peasant woman. Surprised, the woman said, “Wow! Where did you get those?” He said he found them near the tracks and the woman wondered, “How come I never found anything like that?”
In Hubei Province, he passed a wedding at a farmer’s home. There were 20 some tables outside. He went up to ask for some food, but the owner was very generous and asked him to sit with the other guests. He was very thankful for their generosity.
On another day, Mr. Feng went to a farmer’s home to ask for some food. He described what happened:
“Looking at their home, you could tell that the two brothers who lived there were poor. The older brother was working outside, and the younger one was making bamboo baskets inside. At lunchtime, the younger brother put down his work, went inside, and brought out a big bun and a bowl of hot vegetable soup with an egg in it. He asked me to sit down and eat. As I was eating, the older brother came back and the younger brother went inside to grab lunch for the older brother. It was exactly the same as what I was eating. He then sat down and continue to work. The older brother asked him why he wasn’t eating. The younger brother looked at him and didn’t say anything. By the time I finished and said thank you and goodbye, I still did not see the younger brother eat. I then realized that the younger brother had given his portion to me, and he would be hungry all afternoon. I felt very bad.”
In Hunan Province there was a yard with the gate open. Inside was a young woman with her seven or eight-year-old daughter. He said, “Hello! I’m just passing by. I’m sorry but can you give me something to eat?” The woman said, “No, no, I don’t have anything” and went to close the gate. Her daughter pulled on her mother's clothes and said, “Mom! Mom! Give him some!” They went inside together. After a short while, the little girl brought out a bowl of thick tremella mushroom soup. It was still hot and her hands were shaking as she handed him the bowl. Mr. Feng’s eyes were filled with tears! He said that was the only time on the trip that he had tears in his eyes when he asked for food.
Mr. Feng said that there was no way that these encounters were all coincidental. Not just one or two but several of them, and they were all so special. He said that Master arranged them, that Master was caring for and protecting his disciple.
Feelings and Thoughts on Arriving in Beijing
After July 20, 1999, Beijing became a very dark place full of police officers and plainclothes officers.
However, the three times when Mr. Feng went to appeal in Beijing, as soon as his feet touched Beijing soil, he felt his mind and heart become very calm, clear, and at ease. In his words, “My heart felt like a bowl of clear water.”
Facing the evil factors, Mr. Feng was not afraid or anxious. He just had one thought in his mind: “I’m a Dafa practitioner and I must stand up for Dafa.” He did not have any other thoughts or worries. He had never experienced a realm of such complete selflessness.
For example, he always carried his driver’s license and identification card on him, but he left them in Beijing the first time he was there. He did not think that he would ever go back and thus would not need them again.
Perseverance and Strength from Dafa
It took Mr. Feng 58 days to walk to Beijing. Over those 58 days, he did not buy a single meal, sleep a single night in a hotel, or get a single ride.
The entire 58 days and nights, he was all by himself, overcoming hardship after hardship and enduring tribulation after tribulation.
It is about 1,600 miles from his home to Beijing and that does not include all the detours he had to take. On average, he walked over 27 miles a day. He walked from his home all the way to Tiananmen Square. How courageous he was and how he persevered! What strength of will and determination! Mr. Feng said that it was all because of the power of Dafa.
“Because I am a Dafa practitioner,” he said, “I decided to do such a courageous and risky thing. Because I am a Dafa practitioner, I experienced so many amazing things. Because I am a Dafa practitioner, I was able to prevail in every dangerous situation and to overcome tribulations. Thank you, Master! Thank you, Dafa!”
What Happened Afterward
He had similar encounters in Beijing. He was emotional when he finally got to Tiananmen Square, but he quickly calmed down. He sat down and began to meditate, and many people started to notice him. But before he could say anything, the police arrested him and had him taken back to his hometown.
But because his account of traveling to Beijing on foot to appeal for the right to practice Dafa was so astonishing and touching, the local people reacted favorably and that upset the local authorities, who sought revenge.
Mr. Feng was first sent to a forced labor camp and tortured for three years. Then he was imprisoned and tortured for another four years.
But because of his total belief in Master and the Fa, he was able to endure the tribulations and returned home on November 4, 2008.
The communist regime’s persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners has continued for over 20 years. Mr. Feng’s determination to “Stand up and speak the truth” has also been unremitting. To this day, Mr. Feng’s will is still strong and he is more courageous and diligent than ever.