There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: Ecclesiastes 3:1-7
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
As we come to the end of the year, you probably agree that 2020 took an unexpected course that few of us had anticipated. The Covid pandemic has affected all of our lives to various degrees. If you have read our monthly newsletter updates and web blog postings you know that we have been a consistent voice and advocate for the Church in China.
As the verse at the top of this page says, there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. The Apostle Paul knew the importance of discerning the seasons and following God accordingly. Paul once boldly declared: “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13), but on another occasion he was hidden inside a basket and lowered over the wall of Damascus to escape from those who wanted to kill him (Acts 9:20-25).
The situation for believers in China has been extremely difficult, as Xi Jinping and the Communist Party gradually prepare for what seems like a final assault to try to rid Christianity from the country once and for all.
The Body of Christ, however, has grown to such a size under Communism that they will find it impossible to completely eradicate God’s people. Instead, the authorities have been putting plans into place to “corrupt” the Gospel. By doing so, they hope to control the Church and ultimately render it powerless and subservient to the Communist system.
To that end, the government has openly announced plans to “reinterpret” the Bible and other religious texts, so they will have “socialist characteristics.” A glimpse into what that might look like was seen recently when a government publisher altered the ending of the account of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. Their blasphemous version now has Jesus concluding his talk by saying: “I too am a sinner,” instead of, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
The battle lines are drawn. Please pray for our precious brothers and sisters in China. This year, thousands of house church pastors and evangelists have gone missing, especially in those provinces with a large concentration of Christians.
Most of those are still alive, but in preparation for the struggle ahead, they have gone into hiding. They have completely disconnected from all phones and computers, because those devices are used by the government to track their location.
Furthermore, each person in China must have an ID card. It is impossible for a person to catch a flight or train, open a bank account, get a job, or rent an apartment without using their card. Each ID card contains a computer chip which is also used to track people’s movements. Many Christian leaders, before they go into hiding, have placed their cards inside a microwave oven for a few seconds, which ruins the chips and renders them useless.
Despite all that, it is a wonderful example of how the kingdom of God has grown so powerfully in China, even after seven decades of efforts to crush and suppress God’s people by the God-hating Communist Party.
Thanks to the grace of God and your prayers and generous support we continue to operate full steam. As long as the Lord continues to hold the door open, we will help our Chinese brothers and sisters through our field co-workers to have access to God’s Word.
Although there has been a great revival among the Han ethnicity in parts of China, more than 90 percent of the population still remain unreached, including more than 400 tribes and people groups, many of which are completely unaware of the Gospel. Please pray for the precious people of the world’s most populated country.
On behalf of all the grateful believers in China, thank you and God bless you!