One of the Chinese martyrs associated with the Christian Missionary and Alliance work was a young woman named Li Chouzi (Li Ch’ou-Tzu). Her given name, Chouzi, means “putrid” or “disreputable.” In those days - as still in some rural areas of China today - babies were given horrible names in an attempt to trick the demons into believing they were ugly and detestable and therefore not worth their attention. However, despite this unpromising start to life, by the age of seven Li Chouzi was a lovely little girl, the spark of her family. She came into contact with missionaries and enrolled in the mission day school. Her mother was upset when she found out that her daughter was in regular contact with the “foreign devils” and forbade her from attending the school. Slowly, however, her opinion changed, until she too believed in Jesus Christ. Chouzi and her mother were baptized on the same day.
Chouzi proved to be a good soul-winner for Jesus, on account of her outgoing and attractive personality. One day, she went to the chapel to find that nobody had come to hear the gospel. She told the leaders not to worry, she would bring some people in to hear God’s word, and she returned just minutes later with a string of women behind her. When she was asked how she had managed to find so many in so short a space of time, she replied, “Oh, I just went out and asked them how they could dream of buying and sewing, or, in fact, doing anything else, when anything so important as a gospel meeting was being held.”
On 6 June 1900, what proved to be the final prayer meeting was held at the small chapel. The Bible study that day was appropriate, from the 14th chapter of John: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house there are many rooms. … I am going there to prepare a place for you.” Before the women headed home, Chouzi asked to sing the hymn “God be with you till we meet again; till we meet at Jesus’ feet.”
Little did they know that most of the women would be heaven-bound that very day. After the Boxers had ransacked the mission premises and burned them to the ground, they went into the Christians’ homes and dragged them out and hacked them to pieces. Li Chouzi, her father, her mother and her brothers were all massacred.
- China’s Book of Martyrs. Carlisle: Piquant Editions, 2007. Used by permission