God will build his church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
As a girl, Jeanette Li was stubborn, sassy, and suspicious of her parent’s Buddhist superstitions. The only girl at her rural school, she learned to read by age six. Before his death, her father gave her a nickname: Yu Xiong, meaning, “doctrine prospers.” Li was converted to Christianity as a child, and her nickname took on special significance over the next half century. Through tumults of family beatings, estrangement, and foreign occupation, the doctrines of Jesus prospered through the life of this dedicated woman.
In 1949, the People’s Republic of China declared the annihilation of all religion and instituted the doctrines of communism. They confiscated church properties and deported foreign missionaries. The Chinese church – and Jeanette Li – disappeared from Western eyes. Still in China, Li herself was accused of treason, imprisoned, and brainwashed.
In the late 1960s near the end of her life, someone asked her if she thought the gospel of Jesus Christ in China would be obliterated by Communist indoctrination. Li answered: “The church of Christ is his body. He purchased [her] with his own blood….You ask me if the church in China will be destroyed? How could it be, in the light of all these great promises?”