I recently read this fascinating account of 19th century Presbyterian (OPC) missionary Bruce Hunt: For A Testimony. This book is Hunt’s account of his mission work in the Far East in the 1930’s-40’s. Hunt (along with his wife and children) was laboring in Harbin, Manchuria during the Second World War. Hunt, along with other Christians in the area, was opposed to the Japanese government’s attempt to force everyone (Christians included) to worship the emperor. He was imprisoned in 1941, and spent the next few months suffering specifically for the sake of the gospel.
One time, when Japanese authorities were interrogating Hunt, he was asked this question:
“Do you believe, according to the verse you have just quoted [Acts 4:12], that the Japanese emperor would be lost if he did not believe in Jesus?”
Hunt, a prisoner for his testimony, replied,
“Yes. I believe the emperor is a mere man like any of us, and that unless he believes in Jesus, the Son of God, he will suffer eternal punishment.”
After his answer, Hunt said the interrogator “looked at me with raised eyebrows as much as to say, ‘I wonder if you realize what you are saying!’”
While Hunt did stand firm in his faith, it wasn’t easy and he was challenged in many ways. I was encouraged in my own Christian life by Hunt’s faith – and I’m thankful that Christ’s church in this part of the Far East stood firm under fire. Hunt wasn’t alone in his convictions, and he gives credit to other saints who walked the path of suffering with him; some walked even unto death for the sake of the gospel. Ultimately, Hunt gives credit to God, his Word, and his promises in Christ that gave him strength in suffering and brought him through the ordeal.
If you’re looking for a story of Presbyterian missions in the Far East, or if you just want a faith strengthening story, I highly recommend this one: For A Testimony. You can find new copies for $9 (shipped) on the OPC’s website (HERE).