I went grocery shopping. I was in a very good mood, and bought your favorite chili peppers, thinking everyone would return the next afternoon. I was so joyful that day, but now the peppers are rotten, and you still haven’t returned.
In the face of both increasing pressure, and of the pandemic-induced economic collapse, some have neglected to gather together. For some, this is so they can make ends meet, while others face pressure. We continue to rely on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and we continue to hold on to weekly worship.
When they are attacked, some churches are actually very weak. Some believers are under the mistaken impression that persecuted churches are very strong, and do not need to be visited and cared for by others. This is not true! In the midst of suffering, these churches have weak moments. When other brothers and sisters visit them, it brings these persecuted believers comfort and encouragement.
It is clear to me God has shaped my worldview through this year of study. This is a wonderful feeling. The silent power of these courses is like the power of water, which gently washes over a piece of rock, and slowly changes its shape over time.
Although they know Christ is with them now, they still live under a grim reality. They are still marginalized, still face police harassment, some of them may still go to jail….What sustains them in China is not just knowing Christ suffers with them, but knowing they suffer in Christ.
We are paying a very minimal price compared to what our ancestors paid. But nowadays, with social media, the power of dissemination is wide. We are now paying a small price, but we can spread the gospel more broadly. We need to ask the Lord to give us wisdom.
The Bible clearly teaches, “a man shall leave his father and mother, and they shall become one flesh.” My wife and I are different from my parents. We try to respect and care for them to the best of our abilities, but I struggle determining the boundaries.
All of us at China Partnership are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jay Kyle. Jay was the co-founder of China Partnership and a great friend to many the world over. Throughout his life, Jay exhibited a heart for the people of China and a love for the gospel.
Don’t just say comforting words, but tell the children the truth: why we are persecuted, how to face the scene of persecution [i.e. how to respond if the authorities come and mistreat their parents or other adults in front of them], and how to fully rely on the Lord in the absence of their parents. Even if both parents are arrested and they are sent to an orphanage, help them to believe that the Lord’s arrangement is always good. Pray often. Pray for your parents, pray for yourself, and ask the Lord to keep watching over you.
When we got married, my wife and I had a Christian ceremony. My parents attended our wedding and many of their Communist colleagues also attended. They were all shocked when they saw our marriage covenant. They had never seen such a solemn covenant formed between two people… Although they recognize that we have struggles, they also understand we have a different kind of hope. Although we argue, we are ultimately bound together and inseparable. They feel a lot of reassurance. Nowadays, they even praise us in front of other people and tell them that a Christian marriage is truly different. I think our marriage has had a positive influence on them.
As Chinese Christians, God has called us to take up the cross and suffer the injustice of these fabricated charges in order to renew China in Christ. We are called to suffer in this way in order to renew this drought-stricken land of Shanxi Province, the region where we grow and live. We suffer in this way in order to renew the knowledge of God in the hearts of those in power, including those who make these arrests. We suffer in this way in order to renew their knowledge of God’s kingdom, of eternal life in Jesus Christ, and of the people in this kingdom who belong to God.