Sunday morning in the Connect Fellowship (for Young Couples) I taught from John 20 about Jesus standing in the midst of frightened disciples. We looked at “How would Jesus act toward and say to His frightened disciples?” We looked at a risen Savior who would not be confined by boundaries (walked through the wall), stood in the midst of them, and whose presence brought about the faith needed for boldness. I had no idea as I studied for the lesson that I would also be sharing with my class some events that had occurred in China only a few hours prior. I fully expect all who read this blog are aware of the situation in Northeast China but if not here is a quick summary.
My heart and mind have continually run to the scene above over the last 24 hours. I want to know every minute how my friends in China are doing. I want to know what they are thinking, what they are hearing, how they are feeling, and what can we do to encourage them. I think about the pending fate of Jake and John’s visas. There are other groups of disciples that may be frightened that need our prayers.
- Mark and his family. The police had even asked how they were doing. The police have watched services online and know many things about this team.
- Ben, Ed, and Philip who are raising support to return to China to serve. Two of the families they plan to serve along could have to leave the country before they arrive.
- A group from our church and other churches that plan to visit China this summer. Anything there are “unknowns” we have a tendency to be frightened.
- The leaders in the church there who love my friends dearly and would hate to see them removed from their lives. They also must wonder how this will affect their congregations.
Breaking News: I just got word that they are being sent to the National Security Bureau to apply for residence tomorrow. This could be a blessing in disguise.
There is one more group of “frightened disciples” that I am extremely concerned about! It is the homes of the senders who are reading these reports and have not yet decided what their response will be. Mothers and fathers who have children who have dreams of serving in missions are frightened about the future of their kids. Pastors and other teachers who challenge their listeners to consider the real possibility that God would have them to serve in China may become silent not sure if it is “wise” to send our own, anymore. Sender make a decision in your heart right now.
As Mark said, “they were born for this.” These brothers and sisters are having the adventure of a lifetime, they are filled with the joy of knowing that God is in control, there lives have been used in an incredible way for the glory of God! Do not pity them, rejoice with them!! Do not hide your kids deeper into a safe environment that will protect them from a life like this. Push them out of the nest into the hands of God and ask Him to use their lives in the same fashion! As our friends our embracing the fact the Jesus is worthy of any form of persecution we may face in the pursuit of world evangelism will you do the same in your living room!
Stephanie’s mother had the joy of sitting with her granddaughter in the office of a police station as Jake was being interrogated. She was able to do so because many years ago when Stephanie was a young child she did not create an environment that taught her to pursue safety over honoring Jesus!
If you are familiar with the stories from the Moravians, you will know their response to these situations. If a missionary was removed, died, or was unable to continue in the mission then they would send a replacement immediately! If it comes to being that these families are sent back to the States, we should have a parade for them when they arrive. We should not question their dedication to Biblically appropriate boldness. We should equip and activate our children to be launched out to go and serve in their place! This is not the time to shy aware from our commitment as senders. Jesus looked at His frightened disciples and told them there was peace. He told them to look at His hand and sides. We have peace today that can only be provided by the resurrected, crucified Savior! We are reminded of the day that death died!!
Save this link for your child someday: How to become a missionary to China!