Shortly after the birth of baby Helen, John and Betty Stam received their posting to the city of Tsingteh. And this brings us back to where we began in the beginning of the first part. After only a couple of weeks in their new home the Communists took over the city, took John and Betty captive, plundered their home and threw them in prison. And yet, as you remember, they rejoiced, trusting in God.
And now they were in prison, being held for ransom. The soldiers saw baby Helen and thought that this baby would prove to be a problem—she might slow down her parents as they followed the army. In front of John and Betty they talk about killing her. And then a strange thing happened. One of the men who had been tossed into prison by the Communist soldiers protested. He said, “The baby has done nothing worthy of death!” The soldiers told him, “It’s your life or hers.” The man said, “I am willing.” And just like that the soldiers struck him down and killed him, leaving the baby alone and unharmed. No one knows who the man was or why he would do such a brave thing.
Early the next morning the soldiers woke John and Betty and they all left the city, John walking and Betty riding on a horse. They started riding toward the town of Miaosheo. John had planned on going to the city that day anyway and waiting for him there was a friend, a man known as Evangelist Lo. As the soldiers marched into Miaosheo they took Lo captive. They asked him what he did for a living and he told them that he distributed tracts. They apparently didn’t know what that meant so they let him go. He hurried away, though he would return soon enough.
The soldiers pillaged the town just like they had pillaged the last one, taking anything that was valuable. John and Betty were hauled into a home that would serve as a jail and a guard watched them through the night. Betty was allowed to be free within that room, but John was tied in a standing position so he could not rest or sleep.
It was the next day, a Saturday morning, that the soldiers came into John and Betty’s room and told them to take off their clothes, to walk out of the house in just their long underwear. They tightly tied their hands behind their backs and led them out. John walked barefoot, having given his socks to his wife to protect her feet. They left the baby behind; Betty had tucked her into her little sleeping bag and then nestled her into a big pile of bedding. The soldiers forgot all about little Helen.