Archives For Ministry News

Early Rain Church Elder Li Yingqiang Wang Yi and his wife Zhang Xinyue

Editor’s note: Zhang Xinyue, the wife of persecuted Early Rain Church elder and school headmaster Li Yingqiang (Elder Timothy), in prison since December 2018, wrote him this personal letter of encouragement. 

To read Zhang Xinyue’s first letter to her husband the night after he was arrested in December 2018, Click Here.


“Dear honey,

Today I just have one thing to tell you, only a few sentences. Being imprisoned for the Lord and suffering for righteousness’ sake are good things. Go in peace and do what you need to do. Regardless of whether you are there for two years or three years or eight years or ten years, we will wait for you. We will joyfully wait for you.

Last night the children asked me, “How can we let Daddy know that we are okay and that he doesn’t need to worry about us?”

“The angels will tell him.”

I love you! Keep it up.

Your wife

April 30, 2019”


Early Rain Church elder and school headmaster Li Yingqiang (Elder Timothy) with Steve Childers in China 3 days before he was taken into custody (December 7, 2018).


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develop churches that transform lives and communities.
Pathway Learning 

The young John Frame teaching at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia

Dr. John M. Frame has distinguished himself as a prolific author and one of America’s foremost theologians and philosophers—significantly shaping the thought of Evangelicalism today. Many of today’s most influential Christian leaders and authors, like Tim Keller and John Piper, readily acknowledge the significant impact John Frame has had on them.

After 49 years of distinguished service as a seminary professor at three seminaries, Dr. John Frame retired in 2017. But his influential writing ministry continues today. Although widely known and deeply respected in church leadership and academic circles for decades, his works are now, finally, becoming well known to the general public.

Framing John Frame: 4 Parts

With the goal of helping introduce Frame and his writings more widely to the general public, Childers wrote this is four-part series below called “Framing John Frame,” that was later published as the foreword for the book, John Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings, Volume 1, by P&R Publishing. Childers wrote this with the goal of helping more people to begin mining the rich theological, philosophical, and practical gems that have for too long been mostly in the hands of academics and church leaders.


The Applied Theology Project

For the last 3 years, John Frame and Steve Childers have been collaboration on the Applied Theology Project. The mission of the Applied Theology Project is to provide accessible, affordable, seminary-level courses to underserved church leaders in their language and adapted to their culture wherever they live and serve.

The vision for the Applied Theology Project is to use the latest advances in educational technology to help bring all the loci of Systematic Theology to the millions of church leaders, especially in the developing world, who have no access or cannot afford high quality traditional seminary education. – John Frame

Click here to learn more about the Applied Theology Project


We help under-served church leaders
develop churches that transform lives and communities.

US State Department Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom speaks at the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong.

Editor’s Note: Ambassador Samuel D. Brownback is the US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom in the U.S. Department of State. On March 8, 2019 he spoke at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong. Below is an excerpt of his remarks regarding the Chinese government’s persecution of Christians in China. The entire transcript of his remarks are available at the U.S. Consulate/Hong Kong website: https://hk.usconsulate.gov/n-2019030801/


In Chengdu, government authorities forcefully detained over 200 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church, Sichuan Province’s; it was the largest house church, in May 2018, for commemorating the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.

Seven months later, in December 2018, government authorities once again arrested more than 100 Early Rain members, confiscated the church’s Bibles and other religious materials, and permanently closed the church.

At least a dozen remain detained and their whereabouts and health conditions remain unknown, while the Chinese authorities prevent them from seeing their family members, or even talking with their lawyers.

Meanwhile, the government continues to monitor, harass, and, in some cases, physically assault family members of the detainees and prevents them from worshipping in even small groups. In one case, a security official kicked the elderly mother of the Early Rain lead pastor Wang Yi until she collapsed on the ground while violently ripping her hair.

Chinese authorities have charged Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong with “inciting subversion of state power.” China is using baseless political charges to attack individuals for simply practicing their faith.

The authorities have detained both parents of several infants and toddlers, meaning these young children are residing with relatives, but without any knowledge of whether or not they will ever see their fathers or mothers again, or even knowing if those parents are still alive.

Chinese authorities have charged Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong with “inciting subversion of state power.” China is using baseless political charges to attack individuals for simply practicing their faith.

Pastor Wang instructed his followers to release his “Declaration of Faithful Disobedience” – which I urge people to read; it is an amazing letter- if authorities detained him for more than 48 hours. Chinese authorities have detained Pastor Wang a number of times already for his courage and outspokenness, including most recently for initiating a nationwide petition reiterating house churches’ refusal to register with the government-backed Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

His words and call to action for how Christians should carry out what he calls “faithful disobedience” – distinct from political or civil disobedience – inspires me and many others. We believe that Chinese authorities wanted to send a message to others who dare follow in his footsteps and defy the Communist Party.

But as a man of faith myself, I think the Chinese Communist Party may have done the opposite. When faith is under attack, it grows stronger. In Scriptures, and throughout church history, we see persecution sparking resolve and perseverance in the faith.

I stand here today in support of Pastor Wang, his wife, and other members of their church and call on the Chinese authorities to release them immediately.

The resolve of the Early Rain Covenant Church community and countless others facing severe persecution is unshaken because they know that fighting for their right to freely exercise their beliefs is not wrong, no matter how heavy-handed the punishment and severe the mistreatment.

I stand here today in support of Pastor Wang, his wife, and other members of their church and call on the Chinese authorities to release them immediately.


We help under-served church leaders
develop churches that transform lives and communities.