In June 1900, a fierce nationalist reaction in China against Christian
missionaries and churches claimed more than thirty-two thousand
lives. The worst massacres occurred in the northern province of
Shanxi. The pregnant Lizzie Atwater wrote a memorable letter home
before she and six others were martyred.
Dear ones, I long for a sight of your dear faces, but I fear we
shall not meet on earth. I am preparing for the end very quietly and calmly. The Lord is wonderfully near, and He will
not fail me. I was very restless and excited while there seemed
a chance of life, but God has taken away that feeling, and now
I just pray for grace to meet the terrible end bravely. The pain
will soon be over, and oh the sweetness of the welcome above!
My little baby will go with me. I think God will give it to me
in heaven and my dear mother will be so glad to see us. I cannot imagine the Savior’s welcome. Oh, that will compensate
for all these days of suspense. Dear ones, live near to God and
cling less closely to earth. There is no other way by which we
can receive that peace from God which passeth understanding. I must keep calm and still these hours. I do not regret coming to China.
On August 15, 1900, soldiers took Atwater and ten others away
from the relative safety of a nearby town and hacked them to death with
their swords, tossing the bodies into a pit.
This story is an excerpt from Foxe: Voices of the Martyrs. You can get your own copy free with any donation to The Voice of the Martyrs.