Editor’s note: This month, we are praying for the church in China to hold fast to Christ. But as we pray for Christians in China, we also want to pray for Chinese Christians who, for various reasons, no longer live in China.
Today Pastor Zeng, a church planter who now lives in Southeast Asia, wrote about how he and his family held fast to Christ even as they left their homeland. Pastor Zeng said that, although moving is difficult, a Christian’s true home is in heaven. Earthly uprootings can take their proper perspective when we remember that Christ is with us wherever we go.
This essay has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
One Day, We Will All Move To Heaven
Thank you, Lord! Moving is actually a difficult thing, and it has been especially hard for my wife. A stable environment allows people to rest, and to enjoy the beauty of that rest.
The first time we moved, it was for our children’s education. We wanted them to go to the church school, and to be involved in it. We had already bought our own house and were happily living in it, but we rented our home out to someone else. Then we rented another house for our family to live in. After a few ups and downs, and because of ministry needs and constant church planting events, we eventually sold our house. When we sold the house, at first I felt a little uncomfortable. Later, I got used to it.
Would You Pray With Us Today?
We see more and more clearly that in this world we are only sojourners and exiles. Through the salvation God has given us, we see that his promises are faithful and will never fail. One day, we are all going to move to heaven. We look forward to moving to that best place which God has prepared for us. With this hope, although moving is difficult, we feel it is also full of joy. Every time we move, we have within us that true hope.
More recently we moved from China to a city in southeastern Asia to follow God’s calling. We moved here for the purpose of doing church planting and establishing a seminary to train more people who can be called to the harvest field and will plant more churches in the future. With this burden, we came to our current city. We don’t know where we will go in the future, but we do know we will move again to plant churches.
There is always a time to move, but every time we move, we are looking forward to the ultimate and real move. I am so thankful to be reminded of where I am going, of where I will live, and of who is going to walk with me there. He is a faithful Lord! He is always with us, even when we are living as sojourners – let alone in the future, when he comes again and we will be together forever.
We Are Sure Of God’s Leading
Currently, I live in a large city. I am a pastor of a church here, helping in their transitional process of institutionalization. I hope we will build a well-institutionalized church here. I came to this city in the summer of last year with my family. Why did we leave China and come here? To do church planting.
In China, I felt the lack of workers in ministry, but in China it was too difficult to do anything involving theological training. That is why we wanted to establish a seminary here – and here we are. As a pastor and a church planter, I will surely start planting churches. Since we arrived, the Christian school my children attend was without a pastor. I am grateful they wanted us to promote the Reformed tradition here, in their church. That is how we started our current ministry.
Of course, there were struggles in the process of leaving China and moving here. The main struggle was whether or not our decision was due to God’s calling and guidance. This is a very important issue. We are thankful that, along the way, there has been clear evidence from the situations around us: the support of the seminary, the needs of the Christian school, or even the suitable conditions this country provides for establishing a seminary. We are more and more sure of God’s leading, so we are able to walk this path with peace in our minds.
There have been adjustments in our life since we moved to a foreign country. After all, we had a very comfortable life in China. After we moved here, there is a language barrier and we have had to make some adjustments to our diet. But these are only small things, not worth mentioning, because there is not much pressure financially. This is because God had richly provided for us a long time ago.
As we consider the needs of the seminary students, they will need places to do internships. Because of this we hope to plant five or six churches before September, and the seminary students can do their internships there. We pray that, through church planting, we can provide internship opportunities to seminary students. At the same time, with the students, we can also help with the church planting movement in this country. I believe this is something that is pleasing to God, and he will lead us and complete his work in his amazing way.
Zeng Likun is a pseudonym for a Chinese pastor. He and his family now live in southeast Asia, where he continues to plant churches and lead a seminary.
FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION
Pray for Chinese Christians to experience the real and precious presence of Christ in every place they live on earth. Pray for Chinese Christians to remember heaven is the true home of every believer.