Hello every one! Last night in family worship my dad was reading a book called "By Their Blood" and on of the family's were John and Betty Stam. They were martyrs over in China. It was an amazing story about how the gave their life's even until the end. Their story influenced many people including a man named E.H. Hamilton and he wrote this poem:
Afraid? Of what?To feel the spirit's glad release?To pass from pain to perfect peace,The strife and strain of life to cease?Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what?Afraid to see the Saviour's face,To hear His welcome, and to trace,The glory gleam from wounds of grace,Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what?A flash - a crash - a pierced heart;Brief darkness - Light - O Heaven's art!A wound of His a counterpart!Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what?To enter into Heaven's rest,And yet to serve the Master blessed?From service good to service best?Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what?To do by death what life could not -Baptize with blood a stony plot,Till souls shall blossom from the spot?Afraid? Of that?
This poem was written by E.H. Hamiliton,after hearing of the death of his missionary colleague Jack Vinson.Vinson was martyred in 1931 and showed no fear of death to his Chinese captors, telling them,"Kill me, if you wish. I will go straight to God".
Their story is really amazing please read it.
However, the Communists caught up to the Stams and when the soldiers did, they demanded all the money the Stams had; and it was handed over. The Communists then arrested John and took him to their headquarters. They left Betty, their baby, Helen, the maid and the cook in the Stams' house. The soldiers later came back an took Betty and Helen. The maid and cook begged to go along, but they were threatened to be shot if they did. Betty and Helen were taken to be with John.
That night, John Stam wrote a letter to CIM authorities, but it was never delivered. The letter was found later bundled up in some of Helen's clothes. It stated that the Stams were being held by the Communists for a ransom of $20,000. John Stam also wrote to the mission authorities of how he and his wife had been captured, then wrote, "Philippians 1:20: 'May Christ be glorified whether by life or death.'"
John, Betty and Helen were then taken to the local prison where some of the prisoners were released to make room for the Stams. In the midst of hustle and bustle, Helen started crying, and a soldier suggested that they kill her, since she was only "in their way". Then one of the prisoners who had just been released asked why they should kill the innocent baby. The soldiers turned to him and asked if he was willing to die for the foreign baby. The man was hacked to pieces for Helen in front of the Stams' eyes. Thus, Helen was allowed to live.
Martyrdom at Miaosheo
The next morning, the Stams were forced to march 12 miles with the soldiers, to the town of Miaosheo. The group stopped for a night, and Betty was allowed to tend to Helen; but in fact, Betty instead hid her daughter in the room inside a sleeping bag. The very next morning, John and Betty were being marched down the streets of Miaosheo to meet their deaths. Curious onlookers lined both sides of the streets. A Chinese shopkeeper stepped out of the crowd and talked to the Communists, trying to persuade them not to kill the Stams. The soldiers ordered the man back into the crowd, but he wouldn't step back. The soldiers then invaded his house where they found a Chinese copy of the Holy bible and a hymnbook. He was then led alongside the Stams to be killed as well, for being a Christian. After marching for a short while longer, John was ordered to kneel, and he was beheaded. Betty and the shopkeeper were killed moments later.
Rescue and aftermath
The baby, Helen, was found two days later by a Chinese pastor who took her home and took care of her. Reverend Lo Ke-chou and his wife then took the baby girl to her maternal grandparents, Reverend Charles Ernest Scott and his wife, Clara, who were also missionaries in China. The Stams' daughter later came to the United States and was raised by her aunt and uncle, George and Helen Mahy. As for Helen's parents, a small group of Christians found their bodies and buried them on a hillside. The Stams' gravestones read:
John Cornelius Stam, January 18, 1907, "That Christ may be glorified whether by life or by death." Philippians 1:20
Elisabeth Scott Stam, February 22, 1906, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21
December 8, 1934, Miaosheo, Anhui, "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life." Revelation 2:10
The story of their martyrdom was much publicized and inspired many to become missionaries.