Editor’s note: At China Partnership, believe one of our jobs is to tell the story of the modern-day Chinese house church. We do not want to sensationalize their experiences; but we do want to truthfully convey the challenges they face.
This is a recent letter from the wife of a persecuted Christian to her husband, who has been in jail for several months now. In this letter, she updates her husband on the family circumstances, and shares how God has helped her grow to better understand his love and to more greatly treasure his church. She reflects that God is not just calling her husband to trust God while he is in prison, but is also calling her and their children to trust and follow him as they miss him. We hope this letter gives you an idea of the challenges and joys Chinese Christians are facing in this day.
“We Miss You So Much”
I miss you so much! Our children miss you, your parents miss you, and the brothers and sisters in Christ all miss you, too. Two of the children and I already had Covid-10. We are all well and recovered now. Your parents and the little one are staying in the countryside. I am grateful the Lord has kept them from getting infected. The little one has been staying with them, and he has become a source of comfort and joy for them. They are not so worried anymore. Through this persecution, your mom is gradually seeing God’s will in her son. They are proud of you.
I used to think I was not ready to live with your parents. Since the pandemic policy has been relaxed, many people have been infected and fallen ill. I worry a lot about their health. I worry they will have no one to take care of them when they get sick, and I now deeply understand what is called the loneliness of the elderly. After Chinese New Year, I will try my best to help them move in with us here in town. If that is not possible, I will take our children and go back to visit them often.
The children are doing well. The oldest has grown taller. His temper has improved, and he has become soft-spoken. Our middle child has lost one tooth; soon, she will lose another. The little one went to be with your parents, and grew big and strong. All of them are growing up. They are happy every day, because many people come to visit us, and I often take them out to visit other people’s homes. The older two enjoy listening to Bible stories, and they love to play games and act or draw out the stories. Now, when it is bedtime, those two compete to tell me Bible stories. Our daughter is really good—she can retell the complete stories of Joseph, Ruth, and Samuel.
The little one really enjoyed being with your parents. He is active every day, only staying still when he lies down to sleep. He jumps back and forth from the coffee table to the couch, and rolls on the floor when he is especially happy. He hugs and kisses his grandmother with intense love. He is a real joy to them.
“We Have Learned to Rely On God”
Although I still have weaknesses and often experience lows, I am doing well. The ups and downs have helped me to grow. During this time, I remember all the things we have been through together. I have realized God did not call you to this alone—he has also called me. I see the flood of God’s salvation in our marriage and in our lives, and I see his plan and will in us. I have experienced the beauty of the Holy Spirit dancing with me. I have finally learned how to pray. The Holy Spirit himself is leading me. I keep finding that God hears each of my prayers. Whenever I am at my weakest and worst, that is the very time the Holy Spirit is working in me. How much God loves me!
Everything is well out there. It’s not easy, but it’s good. Through persecution, all of us have grown, including me. We have learned to rely on God, and have begun to read the Bible more, pray more, and listen to the Word more. We have come to a deep appreciation of what it means to be members of one body, to be a union. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Would You Pray With Us Today?
Dear, you used to often remind me that people do not light a lamp and put it under a basket. I didn’t quite understand. But after this incident, the people around us are caring for us and amazed by us. We have been given an opportunity to share our story, which is really God’s story.
Dear, I miss you beyond words. This recent period is when I have missed you the most. You must be missing me and the children terribly, too. But, let’s wipe your tears and have our eyes fixed on the Lord so we can walk the path before us. If the Lord wants to use us, let us faithfully offer ourselves to him.
The last thing, the thing I cannot help but say, is also what I want to say to you the most: dear, do not worry about us. Work on your own spiritual growth so you can accomplish the task God is giving you.
Perhaps I will go to the countryside in a few days and spend Chinese New Year with our parents. Although you can’t be with us, please don’t be sad. While we may be apart, our hearts are still together. I believe God will give more joy and hope to you, me, to your parents, and to our children.
I am always in love with you and waiting for you!
Wen Yan is a pseudonym for the wife of a Chinese house church pastor.
FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION
Pray for this family to follow God in the suffering he has called them to, both as a family and as individuals.