Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wife of Linfen Church Leader Released on Medical Parole

China Aid Association

(Linfen, Shanxi province – May 25, 2011) One of the 10 house church Christians sentenced in late 2009 to jail and labor camp terms related to the government suppression of a vast house church network based in Shanxi province has been released on medical parole due to her seriously deteriorating health, church sources told ChinaAid.

Yang Caizhen, whose husband was one of the senior leaders of the Linfen Church, was transferred in February from a prison hospital to a local hospital where test results showed her to be in seriously declining health. Due to the high cost of long-term hospitalization at the prison’s expense, the prison director decided to release her into her family’s care at their own expense. Ms. Yang is now at home, being cared for by her mother, brother and sister-in-law.

Yang, formerly a medical doctor, was given an extra-judicial two-year re-education-through-labor term which she was serving at the Shanxi Women’s Prison in the capital city of Taiyuan. She is the wife of Yang Xuan, who has served as a pastor for the churches in Linfen since 1994, shortly after the churches split from the government’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement. (More details about the couple and their ministry is available here:

Yang Caizhen’s health problems no doubt were related to the heavy work demands imposed on her by the labor camp. She was forced to work every day from 6 a.m. until 10 or 11 p.m., for which she received the equivalent of $20 per month, with 77 cents for medical care and $1.38 for pocket money.

In February, Yang began to feel ill, started to run a high fever and complained of pain throughout her body. The prison clinic gave her a course of antibiotics, and two days later, the fever was gone. But she had no appetite and then experienced recurring fever that did not respond to three days of antibiotic drip in the prison hospital. She was transferred to an outside hospital, where a chest x-ray and test results from routine blood work showed her to be in poor health, including a high fever and liver inflammation. Treatment would require long-term hospitalization.

When she was released into her brother’s care three days later, Yang was barely able to speak. After paying her hospital bill, which the prison did not pay, her brother transferred Yang to a hospital in Xi’an, nine hours’ drive away. When they arrived, doctors there said her condition was so serious that any further delay in treatment might have resulted in her death.

Yang remained hospitalized for more than two weeks before going home.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A young mans letter to His parents about his panic disorder

I gasped for air as I felt the life go out of me. I was repeatedly being plunged into darkness and brought up just long enough to know that air was available to the world around me, but not at my disposal. My throat was being fused together by an unseen force and I had the incredible urge to vomit, but my body did not have the strength to eject my stomach’s contents. Besides, I didn’t have the urge to vomit partially digested food anyway. The only thing that I thought would come out was gallons of blood. I fully expected to see sticky clots of blood and pieces of my internal organs hanging out of my mouth as my body was ravaged by the unseen enemy within. My chest tightened and my body contorted with pain as my mind raced. The pressure building in my head from the house of horrors made every noise I heard sound like the high-pitched whir of a band saw that was surely coming to slowly dismember me piece by piece. The thought of being cut to pieces was slowly fading as more important things took control of me. I could not breathe any longer, and the only thing left to do was to take my last frantic breath and die. That is when the real horror began, however. I was dying a horrible death, but death would not consummate its horrific union with me. I cried out to God to kill me, and feverishly looked around for some way out. I had to escape! Where could I go? How would I get out of this hellish torture chamber? Then the sinking realization dawned on me that there was no escape, and I would not have the good fortune of perishing. The prisoner, the prison, and the blood thirsty murderer seeking to destroy me all dwelt in the same place- my own mind.
I looked around the room and couldn’t help but notice all the smiling faces. Men chuckling, women beaming from ear to ear, and little children giggling was a common site that day. Cameras flashed and people murmured at how beautiful everything turned out. I wanted to stand up and scream for everyone to run for their life! Didn’t they know what was going on? We were all surely going to die. Were we being gassed? Was there an extremist group loitering in the wings that was using some highly sophisticated weapon to cripple our minds and take over our land? No one seemed to be concerned about the impending tragedy, however. They were living in blissful ignorance, I suppose, and attempting to enjoy the wedding.
That day, as I quietly sat in my shirt and tie, cleanly shaven with my pants pressed nicely, I was experiencing the most horrific things anyone could ever imagine. Two of my close friends were sharing their special day and showing the world how much they loved one another, but I was in a torture chamber. I was being beaten repeatedly, my family was being raped and mutilated in front of me, and I could do nothing to stop any of it. Actually, my brain (the small organ encased inside your skull so often taken for granted) was malfunctioning, and electrical impulses that are normally reserved for harrowing situations went rogue. The same chemical response one’s brain initiates during a time of the most intense crisis was happening to me that day inside a quiet Midwest church hall. I felt like a prisoner of war in my own mind. To the outside observer, I made have looked tired, or maybe even bored. Inside, however, was a different story.
Fortunately, there is help. Panic Disorder affects millions of people each year, and there are multiple pharmaceutical solutions to treat this disease of the brain. Much like penicillin will combat Strep throat, many different medications will help restore brain chemistry to its original setting. If you suffer from Panic Disorder, treat your brain like you would a broken bone. Don’t you think it deserves the care?
If you would like to more about Panic Disorder, please consider Steve and Robyn's book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It, Kregel Publications. If you are ot of the country please visit

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pray for the Persecuted Church

Hebrews 3:3-- Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
An average of 171,000 Christians worldwide are martyred for their faith each year.

As I read about the horror of the persecution of born again believers I am led by the Holy Spirit, the Parakletos (Comforter), to intercede on their behalf. Some have asked why in our purpose statement Heartfelt Ministries has a section regarding the persecuted church. My answer is twofold:
(1) Because the above verse in Hebrews commands and exhorts us to have intense empathy for "those who are bound, as bound with them."
(2) Because their suffering involves a radical assault on the soul/spirit of believers, which is true of those who have a mental illness and Christians who are grieving. Helping the persecuted church is in accordance with our purpose statment. This blog is read by a number of believers who are undergoing persecution in other countries.

These brothers and sisters in Christ continue to need your prayers. God bless you and if your mind and body is well, thank the Lord for it, if not, continue to persevere and trust in these difficult trials.

Steve Bloem, for HCM

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Our house is in foreclosure, please pray!

Hi friends,

We have seen many blessings from God in this last month. One that stands out is one thousand dollars that was raised for Robyn having a very much needed root canal. We are thankful for the people whom God has raised up to support us.

Heartfelt Ministries has been hit hard by the economy. Our donations have been considerably down. Because of this and horrible unemployment in Michigan, our house is now in foreclosure. This is a very difficult trial for us. This is the house that we put a large amount of money down from Lindsay's wrongful death suit. Please pray that we would be able to honor the Lord during this time of loss.

We are now considering leaving the state of Michigan. From our prospective there is an over saturation of counseling agencies in Grand Rapids area.

How can you help? First, pray hard for us! Second, check in your area whether there are ministry/pastoral care openings. Please also be on the look out for case-management job openings. If you would like to read about Steve and counseling ideas, treatment modalities etc. please go to: http://heartfeltcounselingministries,com/counseling.aspx

Don't forget our special sale on our book. Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It, http://heartfeltcounselingministries,com/bookpurchase.aspx

For seminars we conduct see,
If you wish to learn more about our CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness) support group material and/or the movement itself, please visit,
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