Believers Vindicated in China
by John Lindner
In some places, police find that destroying church buildings bears bitter consequences,
while believers continue to
exalt their God.
Believers who live close to the Lord in times of persecution often experience guidance by His Spirit in New Testament ways. This is true of believers in China today.
In Sichuan Province, an elderly believer named Xu had a dream in which he heard a voice say, "A man named Sun is selling books at the back street." Later, when Dr. Freddie Sun, Christian Aid's China Division director, showed up with Bibles to teach God's Word, they believed he was the fulfillment of that dream.
A local church insisted that Dr. Sun baptize all the new believers who had been converted during the year. Dr. Sun said, "No, you should do that." They said, "No, when you were here last time, many of the sick people you baptized also recovered from their sicknesses. We want you to baptize the new believers again this year." So Dr. Sun baptized another 249 believers.
One of them was a paralyzed older man.
"I can baptize you by sprinkling," Dr. Sun suggested. "No, I want to be baptized in the tank," the older man said. So his son lifted him in and out of the tank to be baptized.
The legs of another man previously baptized grew cold and numb, and then he went unconscious. Many of his family members thought he was dying and began making funeral preparations. The believers kept on praying for him; he revived and attended this year's baptism.
Sometimes Communist Party leaders came for baptism at night. Dr. Sun calls them "Nicodemus" Christians.
In one area of Zhejiang Province, many churches refused to come under government control. So authorities ordered the army to blast the buildings of these unregistered churches with dynamite and push them down with bulldozers. But the local Christians kept on meeting-some in the ruins and others in houses.
At one place, where eight persons had come to destroy the building, four died soon after the building was razed. Frightened, the remaining four thought leaving the area would spare them, but, one by one, they died, also.
"Better leave them alone," the police now say.
The number of Christians has increased in the area. Some have boldly written "Emmanuel" on their apartment building to show that they are Christians.
Many of the small businessmen of the area who have come to Christ proclaim the gospel and start house groups of believers wherever they go on their business trips. When they return, missionaries from this area are sent to establish these churches.
Policeman Serves Christ
In Fujian Province a prison officer became a true believer through the witness of Christian inmates. He now uses the police guesthouse to hold meetings for Christian workers. The police can do nothing-he is the police!
Another man was the manager of the military men's club in a large city. He became a Christian and started holding co-worker training meetings in the military clubhouse.
Many wives of police and military personnel have become believers and are telling their husbands, "Leave the Christians alone. If you want to do something, go after the really bad guys!" And many of the police heed their advice.
Ransacked Training Centers Revive
In Shanxi Province, police ransacked an underground training center in 1995. That school divided into smaller sections and now holds training classes in nine different places. So instead of training 30 students per year, they now train 90.
Police ransacked another training center in Jiangsu Province in 1997, and the leader became a fugitive for a long time. This group also has reorganized and now conducts 18-month training sessions in four places, training a total of 120 students at a time.
There is a spiritual warfare going on in China today. In some places the police are attacking and jailing Christians. In other places police are accepting Christ and becoming co-workers with the Christians. The prayers of believers are influencing the outcome.
Believers in China must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. No matter what persecution comes their way, they adjust and survive in the midst of it. Whether underground or operating openly, they can use help from overseas Christians to great advantage.
Reprinted from Christian Mission magazine (c) 2000, Christian Aid, PO Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906.