Many have asked if our ministry has been affected by the pandemic and subsequent China lockdown. Our leaders reported that the last several months have been the busiest they’ve ever been! Amazingly, during this time of stress and uncertainty 223 participants finished the past 12 week “Faith or Fiction” class and gave their lives to Christ. And now people who previously showed lukewarm interest in joining a class have asked to be included in future classes starting mid-October to learn more about Jesus! More good news is that our Chinese leaders have been able to recruit a seventh leader to join the team allowing them to spread out even more in the coming months!
Our house church leader reported that in recent months, house churches across the nation have seen a new openness to the gospel since the virus appeared. Despite gatherings being banned and the Communist Party shutting down many Christian websites and social media platforms the numbers of people placing their trust in the Lord has increased! “Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.” Acts 12:24 NLT Many house churches have started doing telephone and website evangelism, which has been very effective.
In Rolf’s city there was another virus outbreak which resulted in the schools being forced to close. For the time being all teaching is done online. Rolf also found out that all visas to travel to China issued before March 31st were cancelled. The Chinese National Immigration Administration announced starting Sept. 28, only foreign nationals holding valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters and to reunite with families will be allowed to enter China. China-bound passengers are required to obtain COVID-19 negative certificates before boarding in the country of departure. Upon their arrival in China, they will still need to be quarantined for 14 days at a hotel designated by the government at their own expense.
As for travel out of China and coming back…forget it. For example if you want to take a trip to Vietnam and then return to China, you can get to Vietnam but you can’t come back even if you have a valid Chinese visa. The door into China is limited at this time. The National Holiday starts October 1st and everyone in China will get seven days off. Travel restrictions around the mainland will be lifted for most areas but not for leaving China even for Chinese Nationals. The risk of bringing the virus back is what the government is trying to avoid.
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:11,12
Please continue to PRAY for our hard working leaders that they continue to persevere and for all the new believers that their faith continues to grow. The Lord Jesus remains completely in control of this world despite diseases, lockdowns, and the persecution plans of governments. His kingdom is advancing and cannot be stopped! PRAISE the Lord!!