John & Betty Stam were American missionaries to China, with the China Inland Mission, during the Chinese Civil War. The missionary couple was murdered by Communist Chinese soldiers in 1934.
A poem written by Betty Stam at age 10:
“I cannot live like Jesus
Example though He be
For He was strong and selfless
And I am tied to me.
I cannot live like Jesus
My soul is never free
My will is strong and stubborn
My love is weak and wee.
But I have asked my Jesus
To live His life in me.
I cannot look like Jesus
More beautiful is He
In soul and eye and stature
Than sunrise on the sea.
Behold His warm, His tangible
His dear humanity.
Behold His white perfection
Of purest deity.
Yet Jesus Christ has promised
That we like Him shall be.”
Another poem written by Betty Stam, this time at age 18
“Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes
All my own desires and hopes
And accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all
Utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit
Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt
And work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost now and forever.”
Letter written by John after capture by the communists in China:
My wife, baby, and myself are today in the hands of the Communists, in the city ofTsingteh. Their demand is twenty thousand dollars for our release.
All our possessions and stores are in their hands, but we praise God for peace in our hearts and a meal tonight. God grant you wisdom in what you do, and us fortitude, courage, and peace of heart. He is able and a wonderful Friend in such a time.
Things happened so quickly this a.m. They were in the city just a few hours after the ever-present rumors really became alarming, so that we could not prepare to leave in time. We were just too late.
The Lord bless and guide you, and as for us, may God be glorified whether by life or by death.”
A Letter sent by by John Stam’s father to friends and acquaintances shortly after receiving word of John and Betty’s martyrdom.
“Our dear children, John Stam and Elisabeth Scott Stam, have gone to be with the Lord. They loved him, they served him, and now they are with him. What could be more glorious? It is true, the manner in which they were sent out of this world was a shock to us all, but whatever of suffering they may have endured is now past, and they are both infinitely blessed with the joys of heaven.
As for those of us who have been left behind, we were once more reminded of our sacred vows by a telegram received from one of John’s schoolmates in the Midwest—“Remember, you gave John to God, not toChina.” Our hearts, though bowed for a little while with sadness, answered “Amen!” It was our desire that he, as well as we, should serve the Lord, and if that could be better done by death than by life, we would have it so. The sacrifice may seem great now, but no sacrifice is too great to make for him who gave himself for us.
We are earnestly praying that it will all be for God’s glory and the salvation of souls. How glad we shall be if through this dreadful experience many souls shall be won for the Lord Jesus! How glad we shall be if many dear Christian young people shall be inspired to give themselves to the Lord as never before, for a life of sacrifice and service!
We were honored by having sons and daughters minister for our Lord among the heathen, but we are more signally honored that two of them have won the martyr’s crown. We are sure that our dear brother and sister, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Scott, both join us in saying, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”