Yes, I am a Christian!” 23-year-old Nora Lam declared to the interrogator.
Shaking with rage, the Communist Chinese official exploded: “Take her out and shoot her! That’s an order.”
Nora was blindfolded and pushed into a courtyard before a firing squad. Given two minutes to leave a message for her husband, the young pregnant mother quietly quoted Psalm 23. Suddenly, the wind howled, and a freak storm crashed downward.
On the official’s command, “Fire!” guns exploded, and Nora collapsed–shaken, but unharmed. Later she discovered that the soldiers saw a blinding light and, upon firing their guns, unseen forces pushed their guns skyward.
Until Chairman Mao Tse-tung died in 1976, China’s Cultural Revolution required all upper-class doctors, lawyers, teachers and landlords to be tortured and often killed. Under the new belief system, all of China should come under one class of people–the peasant working class.
While Nora was imprisoned in a room at the school where she taught, God told her, “The day will come when you and all your family will get out of Red China.”
Within two years Nora’s daughter and later her husband went to live in Hong Kong. She finally escaped Communist China in 1958, accompanied by her 3-year-old son and pregnant with her third child.
Nora first came to the United States at the invitation of healing evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman, who gave Nora her platform to share her testimony. “The calling of God is on you, Beloved,” Kathryn said. “Your story should be told all over the world.”
Nora left her abusive husband in Hong Kong and brought her three children and her mother to live in the United States in 1966. She traveled to Taiwan and later to China, preaching in churches, stadiums and through shortwave radio with miracles, signs and wonders following.
Her autobiography, China Cry (Thomas Nelson), gained her national recognition in the United States. For 30 years she traveled the globe liberating thousands of women for missions, and ministering to needy children, government dignitaries and the persecuted underground churches in China.
Nora was born Sung Neng Yee in 1932, in a missionary hospital in Peking, and was adopted six months later. She died in California on February 2.
She is survived by two sons, three daughters and seven grandchildren. Her oldest daughter, Ruth Lam Kendrick, is president of Nora Lam Ministries International, which continues to support Chinese house churches, Christian orphanages and children’s programs around the world.
C. Hope Flinchbaugh is a freelance writer and the author of Daughter of China (Bethany House) and Spiritually Parenting Your Preschooler (Charisma House).