This is from one of our dearest friends. He serves in China and is home on a short furlough now. I am right now on the phone with another friend from our church in China! I hurt for the believers, the Bible teachers, and all who serve God in China.
I want to comment on the questions asked by my friend.
Oh the junk going through my head right now….
Got a phone call from my buddy tonight just as we were laying down to go to sleep. Told me that there was an email from China just sent out to our missionary team (I am in the States right now). This morning’s church service was interrupted by twenty police officers. Two of the Chinese men training for ministry, two of the best friends God has ever blessed me with, are in the police station right now.
One of them was about ten minutes into his sermon when they came in. They didn’t all have on uniforms – most didn’t I understand. The pastor from the government church was in their entourage. Guess it didn’t get ugly or anything. They gave the Chinese people a lecture on the illegality of the service. Took down people’s info. Then they took the guys away. In good spirits, according to my co-laborer still on the field.
– why am I here on the other side of the world when this goes down?
– how long are they going to hold the guys?
– what are we going to do next week?
– whose faith will be shown to be false in this trial?
– will the cops leave us alone after this?
– how much of our 4 years of work must be rebuilt?
– do those two know how much I love them and how proud I am?
– have I prepared them sufficiently for this day?
One question need not be asked, and I pray my friends won’t ask it even in custody: is it worth it? Preaching the Gospel to many who are learning to love it, to some who’ve never heard it before? Attempting to share it with even more people? If that’s not worth it all, what is?
Was there a way to avoid this? Sure. By staying under the rock. Maybe they’ll keep pushing us back under. If so, we’ll do all we can from there. But how can we not try to reach? Not try to be more bold? How can we content ourselves with the rumors of other people’s persecutions and avoid all of our own? How can we act like we have no higher purpose than escaping persecution? Jesus was expelled from places, as was Paul – who do we think we are to rest under the rock?
So to all my friends and brothers who visit this page: please pray, not that the Lord will allow us to escape safely under the rock, but that we will take refuge in him and gladly pay the price of preaching the Salvation that cost the ultimate price to earn.
God is in control. He knew this was going to happen as well as did my friends. They have been the boldest witnesses I know of in China. They will continue to be so. Many have been saved. Others have grown spiritually.
They were big enough to get on the Devil’s radar. Their message was never political but Biblical. They told people about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The true believers will be stronger. Some will go back because they never believed. Others may be scared for a short time but will believe and get stronger.
This is just more proof of why we must train national pastors to do the work in case the missionaries get kicked out!
This is proof of the need for an indigenous church. A church that can operate on their own, serving Jesus, without help from America.
I am so proud of these believers. I am super proud of my missionary friendsh. They are my heroes. They have trained the men. One of them was preaching today. None of them backed down. None of them denied who they were, who Jesus is, or what they were doing.
That happens because God’s men have invested correctly in the people.
This is not a man’s work and it will stand. Jesus is and will be glorified. To my friends M and J. I love you and I am so proud of you!
To my friends in China I love you. I am so super proud of you and blessed they get to know you and serve Jesus with you.
Keep up the good work!
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