Feng Xizhang was a distinguished nuclear physicist and noted research professor at China’s prestigious Academia Sinica from 1956 until his death at his home in Beijing from a severe stroke on April 23, 1994. His scientific works included more than 30 papers published in various journals in the People’s Republic of China.
Dr. Feng became a Christian while studying at the University of California in the 1950s. He was converted at a Baptist church there. Later he transferred to the University of Chicago where he got to know David and Ruth Adeney, who introduced him to various Bible study groups that strengthened him in his faith. The Adeneys had served as missionaries to China from the 1930s through 1950s. David Adeney taught theology at a post-graduate level, and later wrote China: The Church’s Long March.
In 1956 Dr. Feng returned to China even though he knew it would be difficult as a committed Christian. This was the period of increasing pressure on the church, when government religious policies were controlled by Maoist thinking. His faith was severely tested during the Cultural Revolution. He later testified that daily meditation on God’s Word while walking in his garden during those dark and difficult days gave him the strength to persevere.
After 1979, churches were once more reopened across China, and Dr. Feng regularly attended the Haidian church near Beijing University. In recent years he conducted a Bible study class for university students, which followed the Sunday morning service at the church. Friends who visited him in the months before his death reported that, as a result of this Bible study class, he received requests from graduates all over China inviting him to speak. Many remember seeing his smiling face and white hair as he waited unassumingly at the door of the church to talk with overseas Christians.
His friendship with David and Ruth Adeney spanned four decades. When he learned of David Adeney’s declining health, he said he would gladly give his remaining years to extend David’s life and service. Such was the level of their friendship.
Dr. Feng had a great passion for the Lord Jesus Christ. He wrote his personal testimony, Absolute Truth and Absolute Love, which was published in 1993. It is a perceptive analysis of the truth and love Dr. Feng found and experienced personally through faith in Jesus Christ.
Reprinted from Pray for China Fellowship Newsletter, Overseas Missionary Fellowship, July/August 1994. Used with permission.