初进慕迪圣经学院读书时，适逢一年一度的校友返校聚会。会中，偶遇一银发老人，她看见我，便惊喜、微笑地打招呼，攀谈中得知我和丈夫是从中国大陆 来慕迪读书时，老人家便更加惊喜，慈祥的脸上流露出不可抑制的激动和喜悦，拥抱着我，连声说："感谢主把你们带到慕迪！"老人告诉我，她爱中国， 也为中国人祷告了几十年，现在她终于看到自己的母校有来自中国大陆的神学生了。她还告诉我，她爱中国是因为几十年前她读慕迪的时候，她的校友( 也是我们的校友 ) 约翰和贝蒂·师达能夫妇在中国被杀害（ For John and Betty Stam weremartyred in China)。
查慕迪圣经学院1985年出版的百年校志"Teaching the Word, Reaching the world"一书，得知至1985年慕迪建校一百年来，已有两万三千慕迪毕业生在世界各地为主做工；校内礼堂门厅的墙壁上刻着六千名宣道士的名字，其中 20名是为主殉道的。20名中，有8名是於1900-1948 年期间在中国遇难的。约翰和贝蒂·师达能夫妇只是其中一例。
停至某地。围观百姓甚多。师达能夫妇即被处死，一中国医生，也是一位基督徒挺身而出，为师达能夫妇求情，结果反遭杀身之祸；约翰·师达能遂为此医生之性命 向红军求情，毫无结果。三人当即被斩首。其时，约翰28 岁，贝蒂 27 岁。（中国医生姓名、年龄不详）。
读完这些资料，任何一个重生的中国基督徒都难免感受到不可承担的沉重。这些资料呈现在我们眼前的是殉道士的鲜血，我们不得不面对一部杀戮的历史， 我们为自己那部杀戮的历史感到羞愧，为那杀戮中的同胞（被杀的和杀人的）而感到悲哀。我们不能不倍感那奇异恩典之浩大：我们是从那杀戮的历史中走 出来的、或者说 是被拣选出来的、蒙福的一代；而这浩大的恩典也同样使我们感到沉重：向国人传福音的责任无疑落在了我们这些蒙了救恩的中国基督徒身上。
二、红军第十军团领导人为方志敏，十九师领导人为寻淮洲。12月9日师达能夫妇被处死後，红十军团"十二月十日与十九师会合於黄山东南之汤口地区。…… 十三日，我们沿屯溪至青阳的公路向北转移，经乌泥关进到黄山东麓谭家桥地区。"（《名将粟裕》，23页）寻淮洲12月在这次谭家桥战斗中牺牲，方 志敏则於 1935年 1 月 24日下午 1 时（《方志敏文集》，106 页）在皖南陇首村被俘，1935 年8月6日在南昌被杀。
方志敏选择了一条革命——即杀人( 红军第十军团曾杀人数万 )或被杀的道路。他与基督信仰失之交臂。他曾经为了学英文而进九江南伟烈教会学校学习了一年，那时他也是一个"社会主义者"，对基督教的偏见已根深蒂固。 他在"我为甚麽不相信基督教"一文中写道：
基督教是帝国主义对中国实行文化侵略的一种最厉害的东西。它的任务，第一，是教人相信上帝，相信来生，相信逆来顺受的不抵抗主义。……对於中国，那就是 说，帝国主义侵略中国，一切都忍受好了；日本占 去了东北四省，那算甚麽，你把全中国统统送给他好了。……第二，所谓上帝的传道者——教士们，实际上完全是帝国主义派来深入中国各地的侦探和鹰犬。他们居 住在中国的城市和乡村，一切地理、经济人情风俗，哪一件不被他们侦察得清清楚楚去向他们的政府做报告？……他们新旧约圣经上所讲的，全是一些迷信 的神 话，与现代科学完全相反。所以除了一些想在洋人脚下讨口饭吃，甘心为洋奴的外，像我这样相信科学、相信真理的青年，那会相信他们毫无根据的鬼话呢？（《方 志敏文集》，18-19页）
他被捕後写了"我们临死以前的话"一文。此文再次申明了他相信"共产主义世界的系统，将代替资本主义世界的系统，而将全世界无产阶级和全人类，从痛苦死 亡毁灭中拯救出来"，并准备越狱，"能成功更好，不能成功则坚决就死！"在临死之前，"我们将用最大的阶级愤怒，高呼下列口号……"，这些口号中 有"打倒 日本帝国主义"，"打倒卖国的国民党"，及"苏联万岁"、"全世界无产阶级最伟大的领袖——斯大林万岁"（《方志敏文集》，107-109页）。
今天，当我们这些同样以爱——爱国、爱人——为起点而最终找到耶稣基督做为道路、真理、生命的人重读《方志敏文集》时，心中充满的已不再是少年时稚气的 对烈士的景仰，而是以成熟人的目光回顾历史人物时的那种深深的怜悯。如果方志敏知道他以仇恨、杀戮、鲜血和生命换来的社会主义给中国人民带来了甚 麽样的命运时，如果他知道他死後20年"斯大林同志"便消亡、便被揭穿，50年後"苏联"便瓦解、不复存在时，不知他该做何感想。他曾写过一首我 们都熟悉的诗：
1. Robert G.Flood & Jerry B. Jenkins: Teaching the WordReaching the World. 1985. Moody Press, Chicago. Page 69-70,164-165.
2. Kevin D.Miller. Gritty Pioneers, in Christian History, Vol. XV, No. 4.Issue 52. Page 37.
被红军砍头的传教士 - John and Betty Stam 是真实存在的
篇名：中国的殉难者 - 师达能夫妇
文中也提到了为师达能夫妇求情而惨遭杀害的一名中国医生，末尾给出了载文的来源，分别标明了作者、书名或篇名，出版时间等信息，最早的资料载明 1935年，即两夫妇被害的第二年，使用的是标准的西文出版物引用格式。详 见：http://www.saintpaulcommunitychurch.org/stamchinamartyrs.htm
The Martyrdom of John and Betty Stam
by Gordon Dunn
First published in East Asia's Millions, November/December 1984, as "For the Stams No Deliverance"
It was a bleak December day in brick-walled Tsingteh [today spelled Jingde] in South Anhwei, China, when rumors began to sift through of a possible bandit attack on the city. Farther to the south the muddied waters of the mighty Yangtze rolled through Wuhu, past Nanking, Chenkiang and Kiangyin to stain the blue waters of the Pacific. But no echo of the world's commerce ruffled the
secluded city of Tsingteh this day in 1934. Hidden like a jewel in the heart of rugged natural beauty, Tsingteh was accessible to the outside world only by stone paths cut through the mountains.
John and Betty Stam were not the first missionaries to find their way to this isolated community of people, but they were the first to settle there as a family. Their first child, newborn Helen Priscilla - beautiful with blue eyes, innocent face, and curly hair - gladdened the hearts of the young couple. A rented shopfront on a stone-flagged street served as their home and preaching
chapel as well.
John had already demonstrated remarkable facility in speaking Chinese. Fresh from language school in Anking he had attended a spiritual life conference led by Dr. James Graham for Chinese believers. Listening intently, John took careful notes. Immediately afterwards, with surprising effectiveness, the new missionary reproduced these messages in Chinese at a summer conference in nearby Sucheng.
Now, however, he was married and wholly on his own for the first time on the mission field.
"Do you think we should leave, John?" wondered Betty as she bathed the baby that morning, little realizing that it would be the last time she would do so.
"We'll wait and see," replied John.
The stories were contradictory and confusing, the rumors wild and unconfirmable.
No one knew the truth. In the end the authorities were caught off guard. As the bandit horde piled into the city through the unguarded East Gate, the magistrate and his train barely escaped through the West Gate. By this time it was, of course, too late for John and Betty even to think of fleeing. Better stay and weather the storm, they decided.
But this storm was different from any Tsingteh had ever seen before. Wildly cheering, the bandits at last broke through the Stams' front door. Urging them to sit down, John served the uninvited guests tea. But such courtesies were lost on the outlaws, who were out to avenge themselves on a thankless society, and John and Betty were ordered to get ready to leave.
Although the Stams had been in Tsingteh only a short time, many friends watched silently and helplessly from doorway and roadside as the young foreign couple, stripped of their outer garments, were paraded down the street. John's hands were tightly tied behind his back. Betty, on horseback, held baby Priscilla. No one who saw them dared to lift a finger to help, for the city was in the grip of lawless terror. Wealthy people, landlords, stragglers among government officials and others were also taken captive. The communist bandits, perhaps fearing a counter-attack, urgently herded their "enemies of the people" along the stone-slab road that led to Miaoshou, some twelve miles west of the city.
John's arms were probably unbound as the little family was thrust into a mud hut to spend the night, for in those first hours of capitivity John wrote a letter to the China Inland Mission leaders. It said, in substance: "My wife, baby and myself are today in the hands of communist bandits. Whether we will be released or not no one knows. May God be magnified in our bodies,
whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:20" And probably sometime during that night of prayer and suspense Betty tucked provision into her little daughter's snuggle bunny (hooded sleeping bag) and bundled her into the pile of heavy winter bedding.
But what made the little baby sleep for 27 hours without a cry, a silence that saved her? What happened to the parents when the sun broke over the beautiful tree-covered hillside that December morning? These are questions we still ask.
If there were eyewitnesses, we do not have their testimony. We do know that the bandits moved on to fresh violence. We know that a courageous Christian, Mr. Lo, something of a lay evangelist, followed the trail as soon as he dared. It was he who found the bodies of John and Betty Stam and, at the risk of being discovered by lingering bandits, obtained coffins and sealed the bodies inside. The danger was by no means over - the times were so chaotic, in fact, that the coffins lay there for 40 days in the long grass of the Miaoshou hillside before even government help could be secured to bring them out for burial.
Having cared for the dead, Lo looked for the baby. He presumed she had been ruthlessly killed too - or kidnapped. At any rate there was no sign of the little foreign baby. Quite by accident he eventually discovered her, still sleeping in the little hut, content and carefree, unaware that the sword had made her an orphan for life. But after her long fast she was hungry - that she
In the baby's clothing, Lo found the ten-dollar bill, miraculously still where it was placed in faith and love by a tender mother, doubtless with the prayer that it might save her little one's life. That it did. Wonderfully, Lactogen - milk powder of a special brand and a rare commodity in those parts - was found.
And the one person in the area who knew the proper formula was Lo's wife. So when Helen Priscilla arrived at the mission compound in Wuhu, carried there in a coolie's vegetable basket, she was puzzled, perhaps, but in good spirits and in good health.
When the coffins were finally delivered to the missionary hospital in Wuhu, the heavy coffin lids were lifted to reveal the bodies, lying on their backs, modestly clothed in their underwear, just as they had trod the streets of Tsingteh a month and a half before. Each casket contained probably one hundred pounds of lime. The bodies, wrapped in clean, white cotton sheeting, were
preserved in good condition. Apart from deep rope bruises on John's wrists, there was no evidence of mutilation or abuse.
John's straight, aquiline nose and jutting chin were tilted in his customary posture of candor and open friendliness. His lips were parted in an expectant smile. One could easily believe that when the dagger struck, tearing a savage hold in the front of his throat, that he saw beyond his assassin to the angel hosts at the portals of heaven. Certainly there was no sign of fear or terror, leading us to conclude that the attack was sudden, and death almost immediate.
What courage it must have taken for Lo to make even unskilled attempts to stitch up the torn throat to make it more respectable!
With Betty it was somewhat different. On her face serenity was blended with terror and consternation. Obviously she had witnessed what happened to her husband. But in the same split second a heavy sword swung across her neck from behind, almost severing head from body. Even here Lo had succeeded in sewing the head back on again so that it appeared almost natural. What struck each of us who saw the bodies and what made the sight unforgettable was the underlying look
of quiet peace and expectancy on the faces of the two martyrs.
Their bodies lie buried in a little Christian cemetery on a quiet hillside in the rice-bowl city of Wuhu. There they await an Easter deliverance that was denied them on earth. The handful of China Inland Mission missionaries and local Christians at the simple burial service took comfort in God's assurance, "My ways are not your ways; neither are your ways My ways." But more than one was heard to say, "Why were the Stams, with all their gifts, taken at the very beginning of their missionary career? And why was I left?"
Only God has the answer.
REGARDING HELEN PRISCILLA STAM:
Helen Priscilla Stam was three months old when her parents were killed in China.
She was brought to the United States and was cared for by her maternal grandparents, who had also been missionaries in China, until she was five years old. She was adopted by her mother's sister and her husband who were missionaries in the Philippines. She grew up in the Philippines and returned to the United States for college, after which she was involved in student work for
her denomination. Growing up, Helen wanted to avoid the publicity associated with her family's experiences, so she took the name of her aunt and uncle. She lives in the Eastern part of the United States, is single, and worked as an editor of scientific journals until her retirement.
MORE ABOUT JOHN AND BETTY STAM:
John Stam was born in 1907 in Paterson, NJ, and Betty (Scott) Stam was born in 1906 in Albion, MI. They met each other at Moody Bible Institute, where both felt God's leading to China. Betty went to China in 1931 as a missionary of the China Inland Mission (CIM). John sailed to China next year also as a CIM missionary, and was stationed in a different region from Betty's. A year later, the two married on October 25, 1933. In September 1934 (note: the civil war in China between government forces and the Red Army had already started) their daughter, Helen Priscilla, was born in a Methodist hospital in Wuhu. Two months later the Stams left Wuhu and returned to their station, Tsingteh.
The terrible death of the Stams shocked many Christians, including Frank Houghton who was at the CIM headquarters in Shanghai. Houghton, serving as editorial secretary of the CIM in England, happened to be in China during that time. His plan was to tour the country to visit various mission stations and to see the progress of the work. The tragic death of the Stams plus the capture of other CIM workers had made any travel questionable for foreigners at the time.
When traveling over the mountains of Szechwan, Frank Houghton was reminded of God's words in 2 Corinthians 8:9 (though He was rich, for your sakes He became poor). These words he made into a lovely hymn, Thou Who Wast Rich. Later Houghton accepted the calling as bishop of East Szechwan in 1937, the year when Japan started an eight-year war with China. Houghton also served as the general director of the CIM from 1940 to 1951.
The Stams' death has inspired a generation of missionaries, and continued changing many Christians' lives. The hymn (Thou Who Wast Rich), however, has gradually become unnoticeable over the years.
Thou Who Wast Rich By Frank Houghton (1894-1972)
French Carol Melody
Thou who was rich beyond all splendor,
All for love's sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who was rich beyond all splendor,
All for love's sake becamest poor.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love's sake becamest Man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenward by Thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love's sake becamest Man.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Savior and King, we worship Thee.
Emmanuel, within us dwelling
Make us what Thou wouldst have us be.
Thou who art love beyond all telling
Savior and King, we worship Thee.
NOTE: Extra information about John and Betty Stam and Frank Houghton's hymn was kindly researched and provided by Shih-Fong Chao, using the following references:
Biographies of Ephemera of Elisabeth Alden (Scott) and John Cornelius Stam, (www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/guides/449.htm )
John and Betty Stam, p37, Christian History, Issue 52, 1996 etc.
The Martyrdom of John and Betty Stam ( www.us.omf.org ), and personal communication
John C. and Elisabeth Scott Stam, CCM Proclaim, Feb 2002 (www.ccmhk.org.hk/ccmProclaim/Cp-2002/0202p11.htm ) (in Chinese)
Faith Triumphant - An Anthology of Verse. Frank Houghton (OMF Books 1973); Thou Who Wast Rich ( www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2000-12-26 ); Rudolf Alfred Bosshardt (http://ricci.rt.usfca.edu/biography/view.aspx?biographyID=1531 ) etc.
The Christian History Timeline, p26-27, Christian History, Issue 52, 1996
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