Sent by a Chinese and Korean missions organization, our brother in Christ Li Xinheng (Local name: Dawood) and sister in Christ Meng Lisi (Local name: Musa) went to the Zhena district of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan province in southwest of Pakistan in November 2016. They started a Chinese school there and while teaching Chinese, studied the Urdu language and learned the local culture.
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The city of Quetta in Pakistan is a region where military conflicts and terrorists are active. On May 24, like any other ordinary day, Xinheng and Lisi left the language school and were about to dine out with another missionary from Wenzhou, China when they were abducted by three armed ISIS members disguised as policemen. The missionary from Wenzhou narrowly escaped when the kidnappers fired shots and intimidated passersby, but Xinheng and Lisi were taken by the gunmen to a car without a license plate.
When the abduction happened, a Pakistani man who tried to help was injured and hospitalized. Chinese foreign ministries declared on May 25 that the Chinese government would pay close attention to the safety of China citizens abroad and would denounce any kind of kidnapping. They also claimed that they would try their best to work with the government of Pakistan to secure the release of these kidnapped Chinese citizens.
The special forces of Pakistan launched military operations in Mustang, south of Quetta, trying to clear out all the military gangs related to ISIS. After days of investigation, they finally located armed men in a cave in Mustang. The army started an attack on the early mornings of June 2 and 4. As the area twisted with narrow passages, the government force could only travel on foot, as no vehicles could get through.
The government army fired at the armed men, killed 12 terrorists, and secured the arms and ammunition. Eight members of the strike force were injured and two of them were seriously wounded. The government force found the kidnappers’ car but not the two people. On June 6, the Phoenix network of China falsely reported that the Pakistani strike force succeeded in rescuing two hostages near Quetta.
On June 8, however, ISIS publically announced that the two hostages had been killed. The next day, the spokespersons of China’s Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nisar Alikhan confirmed that the deaths.
6月13日，「巴基斯坦基督教大會」（Pakistan Christian Congress）在「巴基斯坦基督教郵報」（Pakistan Christian Post）上發表文章，該組織主席巴替（Nazir S Bhatti）博士譴責巴軍方對中國傳教士保護不利，指責軍方在事發後沒有盡力救助人質，而是先採取轟炸，清剿恐怖分子的軍事活動。
On June 13, the Pakistan Christian Post published an article by the Pakistan Christian Congress, in which Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti criticized the operation, saying that Pakistan did not do enough to protect the Chinese missionaries. Instead of trying to rescue the hostages first, they focused on bombing and attacking the terrorists.
When the news of the kidnapping of Xinheng and Lisi spread, their friend Elsha said she could not believe that only one day before they were taken, they had visited her with another Chinese girl. In shock, Elsha cried and prayed for them. Xinheng and Lisi had visited Elsha once a week to teach her Chinese, sing songs, and watch movies.
Because Balochistan is an unstable place, Elsha once suggested they should find a personal guard, but they said they believed the Pakistani people were friendly.
The deaths of Xinheng and Lisi drew great attention in China. People anxiously waited for further news. Parents of Xinheng and Lisi received request for a blood test from China’s security department, which revealed their bodies had been found by the police of Pakistan. Through this, their identities were confirmed. Their parents went to the embassy of Pakistan in the aftermath. On Nov. 3, the ashes of Xinheng and Lisi were sent back home.
Li Xinheng was born in 1993 in Hengyang, Hunan. His parents are devoted Christians. Xinheng graduated from Xi’an University of Electronic Science and Technology and joined a student fellowship while he was studying in university. After graduation, Xinheng went to Zhejiang mission seminary to study. He had learned Arabic, Aramaic, and English.
Half a year before he went to Pakistan, he visited Qatar and Jordan. On his Facebook, he posted some pictures and notes about his visit to Jordan. One of the pictures was a stone monument with the word “Maranatha,” meaning “The Lord is coming.”
Xinheng’s neighbor described him as smart, capable, and loving. All his colleagues were sad about his death. One of his classmates said Xinheng was outstanding, with a contagious happiness and great leadership skills. The local Quetta people said he was a young man that was full of energy, loving others, never tiring and helping others and bringing warmness to others.
Born in 1991 in Ezhou, Hubei, Meng Lisi went to church with her mom from a young age. She graduated from Network College of Huazhong Teachers’ University, majoring in preschool education. After her graduation, she went to work in Wuhan, Hubei. Before her martyrdom, her WeChat signature seemed to predict what would happen to her: “If one life lost can rejuvenate a nation, it is worth the cost.”
Meng Lisi flew to Istanbul, Turkey on July 18, 2016, from Beijing and then to Pakistan. She flew back to Urumqi, Xinjiang on August 1, then returned home in Hubei, which was the last time she met with her parents.
On Sept. 19 of the same year, Lisi and Xinheng went to Renchuan, South Korea from Yantai, Shandong. On Oct. 2 they returned back to China together before going to Bangkok, Thailand on Oct. 18. In November, they headed back to Pakistan again, where they were killed.
Before Xinheng and Lisi died, a video broadcast showed both of them laying in pools of blood, with blood flowing from their mouths and noses. Their eyes were shut and the scene was very dark. There were rocks and grass surrounding them, and one man said in English that they were Chinese. In the scene, the sound of breathing was faintly heard.
Voice of the Martyrs recorded that sound and it has become the evidence for the saints to judge the wicked people at the end of the world. The voice will be broadcast everywhere in the world. These martyrs live because of faith. Their shouts will never stop, continuing forever.
Now, Xinheng and Lisi’s burdens are relieved and set aside. They enjoy the peace in the Lord. They are back to their true country. Although it is difficult to say goodbye, Jesus is our hope. When that day comes, The Lord will wipe out our tears. There will be no more pain or crying, We will be with thousands of saints and worshipping Jesus Christ, the lamb who died and was resurrected!
我們主內的骨肉至親 - 欣恒，麗思，願你們安息！
Our dearest sister and brother in Christ, Xinheng and Lisi, may you rest in the Lord.