Our Hearts Have Been Knitted To Yours: A Letter of Encouragement to the Chinese Church

Editor’s note: This year, China Partnership is praying for the church in China to hold fast. In the fall of 2022, we spoke with Chinese house church leaders and asked them how the global church can pray for and support them in 2023. They specifically asked that we pray that they would hold fast to Christ and to his promises in the midst of pressure, persecution, and uncertainty.

They also asked for encouragement. In 2023, we will be periodically publishing letters of encouragement to the church in China from the global church. This is the first of those letters. We hope these letters will remind Chinese Christians that they are not alone or forgotten, but that around the world, their brothers and sisters in Christ care and pray for them regularly. We invite you to join us as we labor in love and prayer for the church in China.


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“Your steadfastness to the gospel has been of humbling encouragement to us. With wonder at God’s power, we have watched the Spirit multiply churches into cities in your country. With tears, we have prayed for you who have suffered bitter persecution for faithful commitment to Jesus Christ.

Dearest sisters and brothers,

Grace, mercy and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We your family at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tenn., USA, send our warmest greetings to you. In the past twenty years, your steadfastness to the gospel has been of humbling encouragement to us. With wonder at God’s power, we have watched the Spirit multiply churches into cities in your country. With tears, we have prayed for you who have suffered bitter persecution for faithful commitment to Jesus Christ. Despite physical abuse, detentions, and arrests, new believers are being added to your number daily. 

Our hearts have been knitted to yours through many personal relationships, not the least of them being with Pastor John Qi and his family, who spent a sabbatical with us a few years ago. We have a dedicated mission prayer group at Second Presbyterian who pray for you weekly, especially for Pastor John. One of our elders prays daily for Pastor Wang Yi’s health, spiritual encouragement and release from prison. We also pray fervently for his family’s perseverance through their suffering. 


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Praying for you has strengthened our resolve to follow Christ regardless of the cost. Your courage, endurance and joy through suffering regularly moves us to repent of preferring comfort to discipleship. When we remember your example, we are bold in sharing our faith. When we hear of your thanking Christ for the privilege of suffering for his name, we loosen our grip on worldly comforts. When we read about your worship even behind prison walls, we strain more to sing praises. And when we learn that you pray for us, we cry out, “How long, O Lord?!” until we can worship with you together some day in heaven. 

Though we are not worthy to ask to follow our example, we humbly beseech you to hold fast to the Christ who holds you in the palm of his hand even as he is held in the Father’s hand by the infallible sealing power of the Holy Spirit. May the shield of God’s covenant faithfulness extinguish the devil’s fiery darts against you. May Christ your head assure you of his helmet of salvation guarding your minds. May his righteousness be your breastplate. May Christ your peace keep you peaceful in your walk. May you wield the sword of truth with power bringing many to faith in Christ and strengthening the faith of believers. 

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“Praying for you has strengthened our resolve to follow Christ regardless of the cost.

May our sovereign God remind you he knows the plans he has for you, to give you a hope and a future, to prosper you and not to harm you. May he who began a good work in you, complete it. May the one you have believed remind you he is able to keep what you have entrusted to him against that day. May the God of peace sanctify you through and through. May your spirit, soul and body be kept blameless until the coming of Christ Jesus. The one who has called you is faithful and he will do it! 

Though our nations may be at odds, be assured we are your loyal fellow citizens of that city with foundations whose architect and builder is God. May his kingdom come and his will be done in every place on earth as it is heaven. His is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen! 

Blessings,

Pastor George


George Robertson is the senior pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tenn.

FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION

Pray for Chinese Christians to walk with joy and peace as they hold fast to Christ and his promises this year.

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Further Reading

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Qingdao: How to Pray
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Qingdao: Locals and Outsiders
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Qingdao: Good Soil for the Gospel
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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Stories from Shanghai

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