Another Winter Turns to Spring

Editor’s note: Elder Li Yingqiang was arrested in the December 2018 crackdown on Early Rain Covenant Church and spent about eight months in jail in 2018 and 2019. After his release, he and his family returned to Southwest China. Several of those who helped him in that time have now been imprisoned themselves. In this reflection, he mourns their arrest and remembers their faithfulness.


Today is March 16, 2022. My friend, brother, and dear brother in the Lord, Elder Zhang Chunlei, was arrested a year ago today. It has been a whole year.

My Brother, Chunlei

On November 15, 2020, our family had to leave Leshan after only two weeks due to heavy pressure to evict us. Chunlei helped us settle in Guiyang and repeatedly urged us to stay for longer. We stayed in Guiyang for four months , leaving on the night of March 15, 2021. Chun Lei was arrested the next day. Initially, he was arrested on charges of “fraud”, but later “incitement to subversion” was added to his charges.

During my stay in Guiyang, Chunlei cared for our family, visiting almost every week, bringing brothers and sisters to my place for fellowship and communication, and many times he took our family to various places in Guizhou to visit missionaries’ footsteps. He gave me a lot of comfort and help during a very difficult period.

>
“Chunlei regarded going to prison with Pastor Wang Yi as a glory from the Lord. Sure enough, the Lord has given him this glory.

When I was in Guiyang, Chunlei often told me optimistically, “I believed Pastor Wang Yi will not serve the full nine years.  He should be released from prison soon.” My response was, “Maybe we are not waiting for Pastor Wang Yi to be released soon – we have to prepare ourselves, and many others, to go to prison with him before he is released.”


Never miss a story

Sign up to receive our weekly email with our original articles.

 Chunlei regarded going to prison with Pastor Wang Yi as a glory from the Lord. Sure enough, the Lord has given him this glory.

In fact, in 2018, after the 12-9 Church Case [the December 9th, 2018 arrest of Early Rain Covenant Church Pastor Wang Yi] , Chunlei sent a message on WeChat that he was willing to go to jail with Pastor Wang Yi. No one else in China was so vocal.

My Friend, Hao Ming

On March 16, 2021, our family returned to Sichuan from Guiyang and stayed in Deyang. Here was another one of my brothers, Elder Hao Ming.

In August 2020, Elder Hao Ming, his wife, and Chunlei visited me in Hubei, when I had just been released from bail and was preparing to return to Chengdu. When I returned to Chengdu in early September, I was forcefully evicted by Chengdu police and had no choice but to leave. Before I left Chengdu, I borrowed money from a friend and asked Elder Hao Ming to help me buy a property in Deyang (so I could live close to Chengdu and continue to serve the church). At that time, Elder Hao Ming responded that even if he had to go to jail for this in the future, he would do his best to make this happen.

I thought he was being a bit dramatic. I thought, “I am buying a house with money borrowed from a friend, it is not that complicated.  I am only asking him to help me find a house and do paperwork.  It shouldn’t get him into so much trouble, right?”

Elder Hao Ming took a two-month leave of absence from his church to avoid implicating them, and went specifically to purchase the house for me. My hope at that time was to go back to live in Deyang in mid-December 2020 and live in my own house.

But something happened which kept me in Guiyang longer than planned; it was March 16, 2021 before I was able to return to Deyang. Before I left for Deyang, Hao Ming had retired from Green Meadow Reformed Church, where he had served for many years.

>
“At that time, Elder Hao Ming responded that even if he had to go to jail for this in the future, he would do his best to make this happen. I thought he was being a bit dramatic.

After returning to Deyang, Hao Ming took great care of our family, inviting us to his house almost every week for dinner and fellowship. Since late March of last year, Hao Ming’s family has also become part of Early Rain Covenant Church. Unexpectedly, on November 17, 2021, Hao Ming was arrested at his home only half an hour after we went home from lunch together. The initial charge was “fraud,” but shortly afterwards I heard that “incitement to subversion” had been added to the charges.

Today, Hao Ming has been imprisoned for 4 months.

More Blessed Than Me

What can I say about all this? I am thankful for Chunlei and Hao Ming, and I know they are more blessed than me today as they sit in the presence of God himself.

Only on this spring night, when I think of them, there is still some sorrow in my heart. Lord, be gracious and strengthen Chunlei and Hao Ming. I know you keep them and are with them. Also keep my heart, and be with your weak children.

Yingqiang

March 16, 2022 in Deyang


Elder Li Yingqiang is an elder of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu. He and his wife have two children.

 

FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” Heb. 13:3

Share This Story

Further Reading

henry-co-G0rae74NmvY-unsplash
The Internal Cross: A Pastoral Letter
Read More
hangjia-xu-3ZdSvOSlm4c-unsplash
The External Cross: A Pastoral Letter
Read More
billow926-ND4-6joi3t8-unsplash
Qingdao: How to Pray
Read More

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

Videos

ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

Videos

Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

Videos

Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Videos

Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

Videos

Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

Videos

Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

Videos

Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

Videos

Stories from Shenzhen

About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

Videos

Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

Videos

Stories from Beijing

About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

Videos

Stories from Shanghai

give

A short message about partnering with us.