MO Update: D. & J. (China)

August 26, 2010

Dear prayer partners,

We have settled down into [the suburbs of Boston] and have just returned from a week at [camp / retreat with our church]. While we are thankful to the Lord for His provision for our family, I can’t help struggle knowing that our brothers and sisters in China are under intense pressure.  Since we left, they are experiencing increased attacks with greater intensity each week.  My heart is unsettled as we now live in the US with our comforts and safety while are family members are fighting the battle at the frontlines. Let me share with you some of the pressures that are taking place within China.
*Landlords forcing churches out from rented space
*Leaders under informal house arrest, harassed and then released
*Seminaries raided by police
*Christian businessmen threatened if they join or contribute what they previously committed
*Passports confiscated
*Cult leaders attempting to infiltrate

*24-7 survelliance/monitoring/pressure
*Cyberattacks

On top of all these pressures, here are some immediate challenges to pray for in order of urgency:

1) South African embassy visa requirements – $6,000USD holding deposit for each China delegate.  Many leaders are struggling to raise $3,500 for airfare/hotel/conference and can not afford the deposit.
*Pray that the South African Embassy will not cave into the political pressures.  They can easily withold the passports and visas if they are pressured.
*Pray for a generous donor who can quickly lend a large loan amount for the deposit to be returned after the delegates return to China.

***We may lose all 230 Chinese delegates at Capetown due to the South African Embassy in Beijing***

2) Original donations that were verbally promised by Chinese Christian businessmen are under threat of delivery because of outside pressure.  Pastors and church leaders can withstand pressures and attacks as the Chinese church has weathered many storms in the past, but Chinese Christian business leaders under threat are dealing with potential loss from money that belongs to shareholders and other stakeholders.  They have a responsibility to their business and stakeholders and can not just easily ignore the threats.
*Pray for pressure to be released from the Christian businesss community so they can have the joy and priviledge of joining in and contributing to the congress.

3) We have a dozen bilingual volunteers from China who are the future younger Chinese leaders.  Among these future leaders are two children of the top Lausanne leadership  (both will be attending [an American Christian college] this fall).
*Pray for donations to raise $3,500 each for these younger leaders/volunteers. These funds can be raised from outside China.

What are the Chinese church leaders saying under this pressure? Here are two responses …
“您好!压力极大,但有一线希望我都不会放弃!您放心。这是我们这一代中国牧者的使命。”
“Greetings! The pressure is extremely intense. But if there is an ounce of hope, we will not give up.  Please be assured.  (Lausanne) is our calling/mission for this generation of Chinese pastors.” (Pastor H. from Wuhan)

“这里虽有一些压力但靠主可以站立…压力是因洛桑引起。但我们感恩有份于这种事奉.”

“While there is a bit of pressure (70 police detained him and raided his seminary), we stand as we trust in God… Even though the pressure is because of Lausanne, we are grateful to be a part of this ministry” (Pastor J. from Beijing)
What are the Chinese church leaders doing under this pressure?
Last week, the Chinese leaders wired $100,000 USD to Lausanne International to provide scholarship for South Asia including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal,… They are planning on wiring another $100,000 USD this week and hope to provide a total of $350,000 to support a total of 100 delegates from neighboring countries. Amidst all the hardship and pressure, they are generously giving in faith even when they are struggling to cover their own costs for the congress.
Join me in prayer and fasting for these Chinese leaders as trust in God during this difficult time.
For those who are willing to be more involved in prayer, fasting and joining in solidarity with our Chinese brothers and sisters, I will be opening up my schedule to travel and meet with anyone interested in hearing and exploring a deeper partnership and solidarity with the Chinese church.  Yesterday, I’ve decided to travel to the West coast to share what is happening and then to China next week to provide our prayers and encouragement to them.  Please pray for me as well during this very difficult time.

D.
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