|L-R: Chai Ling, Nick Smith, Brynn Harrington, Kirby Francis,
Kristin Warren, David Sweet, Carolyn James, Sharon Denney
Synergy’s first EzerWatch with Chai Ling was an absolute pleasure. She is, of course, delightfully warm and ready to talk—an interviewer’s dream. Her staff couldn’t have been more welcoming. And of course, the Synergy production team (Kirby, David, Nick, Brynn, and Kristin) were simply amazing—perfectly calm, professional, and generous with their talents. I love working with them!
If you haven’t yet gotten your hands on a copy of Ling’s book, A Heart for Freedom, here are just a few reasons why I think this is such an important book to read:
First, it is a rare and gripping student leader’s on-the-ground account of events as they unfolded at the Tiananmen Square in the 1989 student protest. With multiple protests in the news today, what could be more timely than to get an insider’s perspective on this early student movement for freedom and democracy in China.
Second, it is the powerful story of an ezer stepping out and finding her voice, along with the courage to use it for the good of others. It is nothing short of miraculous that the bold young leader at Tiananmen Square is the same girl who grew up watching her grandmother hobble around on bound feet and who knew her birth was a disappointment to her father who had hoped his firstborn would be a son. Even the Chinese culture put leadership out of reach for her. Ling writes,
“In the culture I grew up in, a woman must obey her father, and then her husband when she marries, and then her son if her husband dies. A woman is never given the chance to be her own person.”
Reading Ling’s story—seeing how, against the odds, she grows and flourishes as a person and a leader and how good that is for so many—will surely help readers (both female and male) see that God can and does work in mighty ways through his daughters to bless the lives of others.
Third, it puts before us the unvarnished truth about the unspeakable loss of life and the suffering of so many mothers in China. Here is just a sampling of the statistics:
- 37,000,000 girls have lost their lives
- every 2.5 seconds a baby in China is aborted
- 86% of Chinese women have had abortions
- more than 52% have had at least 2 abortions
- 500 women per day commit suicide
Based on these statistics, 540 abortions and 16 suicides occurred during our 45 minute EzerWatch. Hard to fathom!
The courageous leadership Ling displayed at Tinanamen Square continues to this day. Her heart still beats strongly for China and her people. Her passion as a follower of Jesus has only intensified her commitment to address the resulting gendercide and deepened her compassion for the millions of mothers who grieve the loss of their children. I also wonder if Ling’s eye-opening discussion of abortion might bring to the forefront a much needed gospel message of healing and grace (versus condemnation) to women with abortions in their past. That alone is reason enough to read this book.
Check out www.AllGirlsAllowed.org and find out how you can help!
EzerWatch with Chai Ling from Synergy Women’s Network on Vimeo.