Monthly Archives: July 2012

Urgent Prayer Requests for China

Here are three situations in China that need your prayers immediately:

State Security Breaks Up House Church of Theological Society

In late June, Chinese state security broke up the meeting of the Chinese Theological Society where it was training pastors from all over China. The aim of the organization is to develop theological education throughout China.

Reasons for Praise:

  • That the pastors were all protected and escaped unharmed.

Requests for Prayer:

  • That God would continue to protect and expand the reach of the Chinese Theological Society.
  • That God would soften the hearts of the government towards the Chinese Theological Society and the many others just like it throughout China.
Read the full report here.

Police Raid Sunday School and VBS Meetings in Xinjiang and Jiangxi Provinces

Just a week ago in the far western province of Xinjiang police raided a Sunday school meeting and detained 70 teachers and children for questioning. Likewise in the southern province of Jianxi, police raided children’s summer camps detaining teachers and confiscating materials.

Requests for Prayer:

  • For the safety of the children in both raids that they would be protected from any undue harm at the hands of the government.
  • For the teachers, that they may be wise as serpents and innocent as doves as they answer questions and proclaim the Gospel.
Read full report here and here.

The Government Continues to Sanction Forced Abortions in light of the ‘One Child Policy’

This has been an international story for a few months now as the grisly details of China’s forced abortion policy continue to leak out.

Reasons for Praise:

  • The continual leaking of news from China has lead to international awareness which is leading to international pressure to stop these forced abortions.
  • The church within China is playing a vital role in country by using its collective voice in support of the unborn.

Requests for Prayer:

  • For protection of the unborn and the mothers who are being forced into aborting their children.
  • For those that have gone through this terrible ordeal to find comfort in the Holy Spirit and rest in their Savior Jesus Christ.
  • For the government to soften their hearts towards the unborn and to stop all forced abortions.

Read more here and here and here.

The Prodigal Sons and Daughters of China

The Prodigal Son Returns

Most of the class giggled uncomfortably in their seats in response to my question.

I asked the question again, “Do you think your fathers would forgive you like the father in the story we just read?”

Again, giggling and now students squirming in their seats.

Silence.

Eventually, one of my stronger English students found the courage to answer.

With great certainty she said, “Of course not, Mr. Pritchard. My father might beat me and tell me never to come home again.”

The Prodigal Sons and Daughters of China

I had just finished teaching about the principle of forgiveness from Luke 15:11-32. My Chinese students loved the story. In equal parts, they seemed to loathe the son for his selfishness and to revere the father for his over-the-top forgiveness and reconciliation. The wind was sucked out of the room when my student declared her fear of her father and her knowledge that forgiveness wouldn’t be offered to her in abundance, let alone in meager sums. We spent the rest of the class talking about forgiveness and a God who can and does forgive the sins of his children. I remember leaving the classroom discouraged for my students and their lack of hope and yet encouraged because there is truly a God who does forgive the sins of his children. All they need do is to run back home into the waiting arms of their Heavenly Father.

The Forgiveness of Sins

Earlier today we broadcast the sermon “The Positive Power of Forgiveness” from our series on The Apostles’ Creed. This broadcast focuses on our need for forgiveness, our assurance of forgiveness and the results of forgiveness.We hope this broadcast reaches Christians and non-Christians alike, sparking reconciliation among friends, family, churches, and ultimately with their Creator. May our Chinese brothers and sisters experience the same forgiveness and life changing reconciliation that the prodigal son received when he returned to his father.

Pray

Will you take 30 seconds to pray for our brothers and sisters in China?

  • Pray that those who hear this broadcast would not only be made aware of their need for forgiveness but also be made aware of the One who forgives.
  • Pray for university students to experience true forgiveness from their Heavenly Father.
  • Pray that the Gospel would go forth boldly as old grudges and hurts are forgiven and relationships are restored.

 

KBM: China Project Update

We encourage you to take a few minutes and see what God has done and where the project is heading!

Giving Update

As of today, our total is $184,800 or 61% of our $300,000 goal!  We count this as a huge blessing and are encouraged by those who have joined us in prayer and giving.

If you’d like to give online click here or on the “Join-Us” tab above.

Broadcast Update

Today marked our 48th broadcast into China! Today’s broadcast “All One Body We” from our series on the Apostles’ Creed. Here is a quick look at what we’ve broadcast and what’s on the way:

Traffic Update

Our mandarin site “Keep Believing in the Truth” has been up now for just over 3 months and we’ve seen visitors from all over China:

and from all over the world:

While we continue to broadcast into China, God continues to expand the reach of these sermons and books for his glory throughout the world.

That’s it!

Keep coming back here and checking your email for more exclusive video and blog posts about the church in china and our broadcast updates!

Mark

 

China House Church Alliance Celebrates 7th Year!

The Church Worships

On July 4th, 2012 the “China House Church Alliance” celebrated its seventh year in existence!

The meeting celebrated what God has accomplished through their unified efforts in spite of the many hardships the church has endured. Keep Believing Ministries joins in the celebration praising God for his protection and his provision for this group of brothers and sisters.

Join us as we pray for many other reports just like this one:

“…Praising God’s presence in the seven years affirms the fruits of the collaborative hard work of brothers and sisters. During the seven years, coworkers’ hearts have truly lived in the life of God and untied in the love of Christ.”

I count it a great blessing to be united to these brothers and sisters through our Lord and look forward to the day when we will all meet and worship Him in all his glory.

Revelation 7:9-10

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

‘Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

 

Universal Unity

 The Cross

“I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

When Jesus spoke these words in Matthew 16:18 the phrase “gates of hell” encompassed not only any worldly foe outside the church but also any worldly foe inside the church. We’re well aware of the persecution that comes from outside the church in China, but what about the strife and discord that exists within the church? Just like anywhere else, the Chinese church struggles with unity within the body.

Discord from Below and Within

Before the take over by Mao in 1949 there were approximately 10 major denominations within the Christian church in China. As soon as Mao came to power, all foreign missionaries were expelled and the church with its denominations had to stand on its own. Fast forward to 2012 and the church has grown in size (75-150 million believers) and in diversity. There are no   accurate numbers on the count of different denominations within the house church movement, but it’s safe to assume that every major denomination has a Chinese counterpart. One of the most public and contentious breaks in Christianity in China is between the house church and the government run Three Self Patriotic Movement church of China. While there are many reasons (too many for this post) for this break, it’s enough to say that while there are brothers and sisters in both churches, there is little corporate unity between the two.

Unity from Above and Within

“I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The 2000-year-old promise of Jesus in Matthew 16:18 is still true today. Earlier today we broadcast the sermon “God Has a Big Family—Part 1 ‘I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church‘”, which is part of the series The Apostles’ Creed. For years Christians around the world from different countries, languages and denominations have affirmed their membership in the universal church, the bride of Christ. This greater unity has lead to countless revivals and missions movements that have transformed countries for the glory of God.

It is our hope that our brothers and sisters in China will follow in the steps of those that have gone before them and unite as one body for the hearts of their Chinese countrymen.

Will you take 30 seconds and join us in prayer for our brothers and sisters in China?

  • Pray for unity of vision among the house churches.
  • Pray for forgiveness and reconciliation between the Three Self and house churches.
  • Pray for the leaders of the church, that they would lead with grace and humility.

Never Thirsting for Freedom Again

The Great Wall of China

“The tallest nail is always the first to be hit.”

“The tallest blade of grass is always the first to be cut.”

These were just a couple of the uniquely Chinese sayings I encountered while teaching English in China. Along with being witty, they reveal a lot about the Chinese culture and history. However, these weren’t the most interesting sayings I encountered during my time in China.

A Distant Authority

“Maybe that law doesn’t matter here.”

I heard that answer from a lot of my Chinese friends for a lot of different laws and regulations, including the practice of the Christian faith outside the government run 3-Self Church . The Chinese have a saying about laws and authority that originated while China was ruled by emperors, “The mountains are high and the emperor is far away.” This little saying is applied in equal measure to the local police, the regional authorities and even the Beijing government itself. This attitude of distance inspired freedom can just as easily support the spread of the Gospel as support the persecution of the church.

The Authority Draws Near

Earlier today we broadcast the sermon “When God Comes Near: ‘I Believe in the Holy Spirit’” from the series “The Apostles’ Creed”. This sermon focuses on the phrase from the Apostles’ Creed, “I Believe in the Holy Spirit.” In a country (really, the whole world) full of injustice and unjust leaders, our hope and prayer is that our chinese brothers and sisters rejoice knowing that a good and just Authority has been given to them for a freedom unlike anything they’ve experienced. We hope that they come to experience the words of Christ and thirst no more:

“…If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him…” 

Pray

Will you take 30 seconds to pray for our brothers and sisters in China?

  • Pray that they would experience the true freedom that comes from submission to the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray that local, regional and national leaders would soften their stance towards the open practice of Christianity.
  • Pray that the Gospel would go forth with boldness throughout cities, university campuses, and rural towns.

What is the State of the Chinese House Church?

“What is the state of the House Church in China?”

This is a question we hear all the time when we talk to folks about this project and we answer it the best that we can given our limited knowledge of the inner workings of the Chinese church. When our Pastor Peter was in town and we asked him the same question and his answer may surprise you.

Take a look at this article from The Christian Post on the Wenzhou Church, a great example of this first group Pastor Peter mentioned. This first group will  find Dr. Pritchard’s sermons via at our mandarin language web site or through our app on their phone.

The second group is comprised of the more common people as Pastor Peter stated. These are the everyday believers with little to no political or monetary influence and as a result, are easily intimidated and persecuted by the governing authorities. This group will have familiarity with radio as well as access to the internet and our mobile apps.

Our primary radio audience is the third group that is primarily composed of older men and women in a rural setting who don’t have ready access to the internet. These are the believers who endured the Cultural Revolution and are weary of authority in any context.

Each group in the Chinese church has different strengths and encounters different challenges.   We’re hoping and praying that by broadcasting, streaming online, and through personal interaction to help strengthen the church of China one sermon at a time.

Would you join us…

…in prayer?

…in giving?

…in hosting?

…in going?