Archives For Christian Missions

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

Editor’s note: Zhang Xinyue, the wife of Early Rain Covenant Church elder and school headmaster Li Yingqiang (Elder Timothy), wrote the following letter to her husband the night after he was arrested last December. He is still in prison and charged with “internet provocation.”


Dear husband,

Last night I slept well. When I woke up this morning, I heard that you had been taken away. At that moment, my heart had great peace because I knew you had already prepared for this moment long ago.

I haven’t been able to sleep tonight. I’m sure things are hard for you right now, too. So I’ll just accompany you in your sleeplessness. I want to tell you a few things in case you might see this.

I heard that they usually bring you back to your home when they search it. I subconsciously hoped to use that opportunity to see you for a moment, but they still haven’t come. I’m not going to wait any longer. I’m not afraid of them at all. On the contrary, I pity them. I hope you do, too.

I know you must be worried about me, because you’ve seen how much of a mess I’ve been lately. But I’m doing very well now. I’ve loved the Lord more these past two days than I ever have before. More than anything, my heart is joyful and at peace. At night, tears flow by themselves. But it’s not grief. It’s hard to say exactly what it is. I just spent a long time thinking about it, and I’m still thinking to myself, “Why are you crying?”

I finally asked myself, “Aren’t you willing to experience this tiny little bit of pain for the Lord?” My conclusion was, “I’m willing.” I’m very willing, because I know that this slight, momentary affliction is not worth comparing to that eternal glory that is to come. I’m willing to foot that bill. So why am I crying? It might just be because I’m human.

But you can completely relax. Crying is one thing. Finishing crying is another. I allow myself to cry, but I haven’t felt the least bit of despair. Even if I look for it, I can’t find any. Sometimes I want to despair for a moment and grieve a little bit, but I really don’t feel like it. So, forget about it. I think the Lord has replaced that despair with his fullness.

The little ones miss you. I told them, “Missing daddy is normal. It would be strange not to miss him. If you miss him, then miss him.” Little Di then immediately said, “After we fall asleep, we won’t miss him anymore.” And then he immediately fell asleep.

This afternoon I prayed with you according to our agreed upon time. Sorry, I was ten or so minutes late.

Lastly, I want to say that knowing what I’m going to receive as a result of what I’m going through now makes me feel so much better. I really do thank our Father in Heaven. His plans are most certainly the best. They cannot be mistaken. So, what more is there to say? I will joyfully accept them.

I love you! I’m going to bed now.
12/12/2018, 3:52 a.m.”


Original:
亲爱的大头:

昨天晚上我睡了个好觉,早晨起来得知你被找到带走了,那一刻我的心里非常平静, 因为我知道对于那一刻,你早预备好了。

今天晚上我失眠了,我感觉你现在肯定也不好过,干脆陪你一起不睡吧。和你说说话, 万一你能看到呢。

据说他们一般会带卷你回来抄家,我潜意识里想趁着这个机会看你一眼,但是到现在还 没来,不等了。对他们,我一点也不恨,倒是很同情,希望你也如此。

我知道你肯定挺为我担心的,因为最近 我在你面前的表现实在太糟糕了,但是我现在 挺好的,这两天我比以往任何时候都爱主,心里更多的是平安喜乐。夜晚的时候,眼泪会自 己流出来,但不是悲伤,具体说不上是什么原因,刚才我实实在在为这事想了很久,我在想,我哭啥子呢?最后我问自己,你难道不想为了主,经历这一点点的痛苦吗?结论是:我愿愆,很愿意,因为我知道,这至暂至轻的痛苦,和将来永久的茉耀相比,实在是不值一 提,这个账我还是会算的。那我为什么哭呢? 可能只是因为我还是个人吧。只是你完全可以 放心,哭是一回瑱,哭完是另一回事。我允许 自己哭,但是我一点也没有绝望的感觉,想找 也找不出来。有时候我想绝望一下,悲惝一 下,但是实在是没有那种感觉,还是算了。我想是主已经把那个绝望填满了吧。

娃们还是会想你,我对他们说,想爸爸 才是正常的,不想才奇怪呢,想就想呗。小弟 马上说,睡卷了就不想了。然后他们马上就睡着了。

今天下午按照约定的时间和你一起祷告了的,抱歉晚了十几分钟的样子。

最后,我想说,知道自己在经历什么,会得到什么,这种感觉好极了。我实在是感谢我们在天上的父,他的安排肯定是最好的,不会错的。所以,还有什么好说的呢,欢欢喜喜领受吧。

爱你!睡觉去了。
2018-12.12 3:5


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develop churches that transform lives and communities.
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Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong

Editor’s note: Pastor Wang Yi and his wife Jiang Rong wrote this letter to Early Rain Covenant Church twelve days before they were arrested on December 9. They are still in prison in secret locations on charges of “inciting to subvert state power.” Please pray and share. English translation provided by Jason, Ryan, and the China Partnership translation team.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

For us, this year has been a very long one. The Lord has led us to realize what it means by “as your days, so shall your strength be”. This year has also been a very fierce one. Four times Wang Yi was taken to the police station, especially the first one when he was taken together with Jiang Rong to the police station, where they were detained for twelve hours. Everything we had was taken away, including our wedding rings, and we were stripped naked for body exams 

This proved two things to us:

First, we shall leave everything behind to follow the Lord. If necessary, we shall even leave marriage out of the Holy of Holies, where we will face the living God alone and be faithful to the Lord. Second, we deserve all the shame and be treated as sinners; yet we have been saved by Jesus and delivered from the coming, eternal shame. He has endured all these and much more than we have. With such, we have been led by the Lord into deeper faith and joy this year.

What we are most grateful for is that the Lord has led us through this year together with the church. We spent most days in persecution or rumors of persecution. Besides his published works, Wang Yi has also written other documents, including his testament and will. We two spent many evenings talking about the possibility of arrest and preparing for every situation. Even in the midst of our busy ministry in the church, we found time for just the two of us go on more dates than usual. These evenings and dates have led to our deeper union and sweeter love in the Lord.

This year, Shuya (son) has grown taller than mom (Jiang Rong). One time Wang Yi left home wearing Shuya’s gym shoes by mistake. We were shocked and amazed that our children are growing up much faster than how we had imagined. During the second half of the year, he studied harder than he did in the first half of the year. He developed new interests and breakthroughs in his piano lessons, and he has given more attention to spiritual things. We are grateful for the prayers and guidance of his teachers, and for the Lord leading him to grow up with His church in a time such as these. We are earnestly praying that the signs of his salvation and regeneration will become more apparent soon.

After her baptism, Ruolin (daughter) has also been growing and serving this year. She transferred her Muji sales internship to being an assistant in a designer firm, and she has gradually entered into a profession that she likes. Praise the Lord, who consecrated her from her first breath in the world and placed her under the influence of many elders and companions in Christ, so that she would long for deeper spiritual growth.

If by the end of the year, God still has not allowed the government to take more severe action toward Wang Yi and Early Rain Covenant Church, Wang Yi will take two months of sabbatical after the congregational meeting in January 2019 and then a third month off in the second half of the year. This plan has been postponed for two years. If God is willing to put Wang Yi in prison for a prolonged sabbatical, we will also receive it as abundant grace.

On May 28, Wang Yi and several co-workers were taken to Caojiaxiang police station for detention and beating. That afternoon he made a resolution before God that before he reaches the age of fifty-three (the age at which John Calvin passed away), he would devote the next ten years to a new gospel movement. If he is imprisoned, he will entrust everything to the Lord and start his personal prison ministry. If he is free, he will be even bolder in preaching and asks God to transform him into a preacher that will “turn the world upside down”.

He also asked that if Lord willing, before he turns sixty-four (the age at which Martin Luther passed away), he would devote his next twenty years to this new gospel movement. He hopes to see the Lord Christ’s new revival within the Chinese church in the next twenty years, like the Shandong Revival from 1927 to 1937, when a group of preachers, faithful pastors and theologians would rise up.  Wang Yi asked God to work through him for the next twenty years. After the age of sixty-four, he will be ready to go to his Heavenly Home any moment.  

This year Wang Yi once again made this resolution before God, a second important prayer about his lifelong ministry, that in the coming years, whatever the situation, he will not participate in any debates within the church, and he will not respond or denounce any criticism, slander and opposition against himself. He will imitate Pastor Stephen Tong: do not seek justice for himself; use all God-given grace to defend the gospel rather than someone named “Wang Yi.”

May the Lord lead our family, that in our lifetime we will focus on the frontline between the gospel and culture, the church and the world, that we will face and die at the frontline of the gospel movement while entrusting everything behind us to the Almighty Lord.

This year we have continued to experience much weakness and sorrow, especially for Jiang Rong. In the face of many slanders, attacks and opposition against Wang Yi and the Lord’s church, she had shed more tears for the state of the church than for the distress of persecution. Spiritually she has also been through a very long year. Yet the Lord’s comfort and power have always been with her. We are also grateful that the Lord has surrounded us with many co-workers who treat each other with sincerity, pastors and mentors who comfort and deal gently with us, and all the details of God’s grace and blessings.

Due to the restriction on his travel, he cut his ministry outside the city. But this year our church founded the Covenant Mission and hosted two preaching conferences in city A and city B. Next year Wang Yi plans to cut his work in lecturing and devote more time to domestic revival preaching. As long as God allows him to be free to move around, may the Lord use up this freedom until we no longer have this freedom.

This year Wang Yi has tried several social media platforms, including a WeChat Official Account and Jianshu. Almost all of them have been shut down over ten times. So far, besides publication on the church platforms, he has almost no personal publishing platforms except one ZINE account that he used to publish hymns. Since 2004 when he started the “Wang Yi’s Microphone,” there is now only a WordPress version of the “Wang Yi’s Microphone” account that requires readers to get around the firewall to access.  

This year, three of Wang Yi’s books were published: God’s Power and State Power: A Dialogue about Chinese House ChurchMobilization of The Souls: Devotional Letters from The Shepherding Field, and The Shorter Catechism (poems), with one more (A Union of Angels: The Survivor’s Guide for City Church Planters) still in process. Wang Yi plans to spend the sabbatical next year to finish editing and revising a collection of sermons and Rise Up: Ten Lectures on Chinese House Church History, and to make preparations for writing The Triumphant Return: Ten Lectures on Political Theology.

Praise the Lord that you are walking on the earth with our family. What we long for the most is to see and commit ourselves to the gospel movement of Christ’s church in China over the next twenty years. We want to place ourselves in the middle of the lasting conflict between the gospel and the Chinese culture, and personally witness the spiritual warfare between Christ and Pharaoh. We pray that the Lord will, according to His own will, propel and send us to move forward continuously and steadily until the day of the Lord’s victory.

With love in Christ,

Pastor Wang Yi, Jiang Rong, and family

November 27, 2018

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

Editors note: These Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletins (below) are directly from the church in Chengdu, China seeking to communicate with their church members in the underground movement and seeking prayer and help from the watching world, especially followers of Christ. Special thanks to Brent Pinkall for translating these bulletins and reports and helping make them available to the public. Please pray and share with others.

To read all the original Chinese bulletins and reports to date(中文) : Click Here

To read several other key papers by Pastor Wang Yi and other persecuted Chinese leaders, including their latest bulletins and urgent prayer requests: Click Here


February 2, 2019

A brother from the church was just kicked out of his apartment by his landlord because the police told her he is part of an “evil cult.” The message from his landlord reads as follows: “The police station said that it’s illegal for you to participate in an evil cult, so I can no longer rent out my apartment to you. Please move out. I cannot get a hold of you by phone.”

February 1, 2019

Brother Pan Fei of Early Rain Covenant Church was fired from his job at Yonghui Superstore for refusing to stop going to church. On the “resignation” form he was forced to sign, he wrote: “For believing in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God and Savior of mankind, my employment with Yonghui Superstore has been terminated.”


Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (01/23/19-01/30/19)

“‘For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.’ (2 Tim. 1:7-8)

Our Lord, through these trials, has allowed both those in and outside of prison to testify together for the Lord.

Jan. 23: In the middle of the night, officers from the Caoshi Police Station took away sister Zhang Xiaohong and put her in criminal detention on charges of ‘illegal business operations.’ As the time approaches for families to reunite for Spring Festival, authorities are still enforcing rigid policies, putting great pressure on the church and on Christians. Those Christians who have been arrested and locked up have shown no signs of capitulating.

Jan. 24: A dozen or so Chengdu police officers and national security officers traveled a great distance to a sister’s home in another city and illegally searched the home. Police took this sister’s new iPhone 8 Plus, which costs 6000 yuan, and they still have not returned it. According to this sister, the phone was a New Year’s gift from her daughter. She has not done anything illegal, but police said the phone was a tool involved in this case. Without following any proper protocol, they took it from her home.

Jan. 25: At night, family members of those in prison, including Li Bing, the wife of Deacon Ge Yingfeng, Zhang Xinyue, the wife of Elder Li Yingqiang, and Xiao Hongliu, the wife of Elder Qin Defu, discovered that the bank cards they have been using for daily necessities were all frozen by the bank. On the 26th, they inquired of various people and were sent all over the place. The bank did not issue documents regarding the freezing and did not explain to their clients the reasons for it. Instead, they asked the clients themselves to go ask the department that froze the cards. They finally learned that the cards were frozen by the Qingyang District branch of the Chengdu Public Security Bureau.

Jan. 27: Preacher Cheng Zhangchun was released on bail pending trial. Last Thursday, the government sent someone from his hometown in Anhui Province to Chengdu to take him back to his hometown to monitor him. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun was released on bail pending trial for one year and forbidden from traveling. His personal communication devices were confiscated. After he was released from prison, it appears that his wife’s phone was also taken. Brothers and sisters have lost contact with his entire family.

Jan. 28: Four brothers and sisters who were arrested at a Lord’s Day gathering on Jan. 13 and placed in administrative detention for 15 days fulfilled their sentences and returned home. These include brother Qiu Hao, husband and wife Jianqing and Zhixue, and sister Haiyan. Praise the Lord! At this time, everyone who was placed in administrative detention has completed their sentences.

Jan. 29: Another young couple, after getting to know each other in the midst of these hardships of the “12/9” persecution and after praying, has decided to begin dating. May the Lord bless them and lead them down the path ahead of them.

Jan. 30: Spring Festival is almost here, but there are still 14 brothers and sisters in prison. Their family members thought that since they cannot celebrate Spring Festival with their other halves, they would try to send them some gifts in prison. They figured that the thing that would make their loved ones inside most happy would be a Bible. But after much effort, they were still unable to get Bibles to them.

Older brother Zhang Xian, who got sick and was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 4, is still dealing with a serious illness. Every evening brothers and sisters must be with him. May the Lord have mercy on him. In the midst of these tribulations, brothers and sisters have been showing more care and support for each other and have been praying more for each other. They have also been receiving attention, greetings, encouragement, financial support, and prayer support from brothers and sisters from all over. We are so thankful for the big family God has given us. May all glory go to our Heavenly Father!

Early Rain Covenant Church
January 31, 2019”


Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (01/15/19-01/22/19)

“Jan. 15: Brother Zhu, who was placed in criminal detention on charges of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’ for reposting an Early Rain Covenant Church prayer letter, was released on bail pending trial after being locked up for 30 days. May the Lord bless his mother, who has severe dementia, and those family members of his who don’t yet believe in the Lord, that they might be able to experience with him peace and joy in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jan. 17: Brother Li, who believed in the Lord and was baptized last week on his sickbed in the ICU, left this world and returned to his heavenly home at 7:20 a.m. on the 17th due to his illness. He was 83 years old. Please continue to pray for brother Li’s family members. May the Lord comfort them in their grief and give them hope for the day they meet again.

Today police suddenly burst into the home of one sister. Without following any proper legal procedures, they searched her home, rummaging through boxes and shelves. They did not find anything and left. Police tore up a copy of Article 39 of the Constitution that another sister had taped to her door. When asked about it he denied it. There is great injustice here. Please pray for law enforcement officers and ask the Lord to enlighten them that they might see their sin and helplessness and turn to seek the Lord who saves men from sin and brings them into the light!

Today we learned that a sister had a heart attack from the stress brought about by being followed and threatened for such a long time. The official who was harassing her said, “You can call the police at 110 if you’re able!” Another sister had an anxiety attack. Thank God brothers and sisters from her small group immediately went to take care of her. Please pray for brothers and sisters in these kinds of situations and ask the Lord to especially watch and protect them, to make them strong in the Lord, and to open a way for them!

Jan. 18: It is reported that churches and brothers and sisters from all over the country who previously purchased Early Rain Covenant Church books and sermon flash drives through WeChat have been being harassed. Police are entering their homes and searching for books, taking them to the police station for interrogations, and so on. Some have also been spoken to with threatening language for very long periods of time, and authorities have gone to their workplaces to pressure them. Brothers and sisters to whom this may concern, please be vigilant and make necessary preparations.

Jan. 19: This was the day of brother Li’s memorial service. Many brothers and sisters were prevented by guards from leaving their homes early in the morning. Even though there were all kinds of disturbances, the memorial service proceeded according to schedule. Brother Li’s body was covered with a sheet with a cross on it. Before it was taken to the cremation furnace, the hymn ‘God Be With You Till We Meet Again,’ which we had just sung at the memorial service, unexpectedly began playing right there. Having not previously planned this, we were all both surprised and delighted. This really was the good purpose of God! Praise the Lord! The promises of God are trustworthy! Thank you to the whole Body for praying!

Jan. 20: The Lord’s Day. The topic of the sermon was “The Storm of Eden,” and the Scripture was chapter three of Genesis. Please keep praying for those brothers and sisters who are being kept from participating in Sunday worship and cannot fellowship with other members. Ask the Holy Spirit to be present with them and to bless them with comfort and mercy! And ask the Lord to help them break free of these barricades so that they can once again experience the joy of worshipping together with their family in the Lord!

Jan. 21: The three brothers and sisters who were previously detained for holding the Gospel Class completed their sentences. They were released and returned home. The other brothers and sisters, seeing them finally reunite with their family members, rejoiced. We are also thankful that the employer of one of the sisters kept back her job for her. We are also especially thankful for those family members who do not yet believe in the Lord but who have been accepting and understanding. May the Lord especially open their hearts, and may they be drawn to that peace and eternal glory that cannot be taken away. May they seek and follow the Lord!

Summary and Prayer:

This week, many brothers and sisters were taken away multiple times for interrogation. The questions of those handling the case have centered on Pastor Wang Yi’s financial circumstances. For example, in addition to the electric scooter that he has been riding to and from work these past dozen or so years, does he also have a Mercedes Benz or a BMW? Some police have even said very directly through the course of their coercing and bribing, ‘We want to convict Wang Yi with a crime. As for the rest of you, it depends whether or not you cooperate. If you cooperate, you can return home for New Year’s and won’t have any problems.’ In their eyes, laws are clearly just decorations they can play around with.

Brothers and sisters are being visited by leaders from their registered permanent residences, including county heads of the United Front Work Department, bureau chiefs of the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, and village mayors. They are coming to Chengdu at public expense to speak with them and to require them to leave Chengdu, to return home, and to cut ties with Early Rain. Some brothers and sisters are being closely guarded in their hometowns and are not being allowed to return to Chengdu. Those brothers and sisters who are out on bail are also being strictly watched. What is even more ridiculous, family members of those in criminal detention are being surrounded by five or six people whenever they leave their homes. They are even afraid of women and children!

So far, those who have been in jail since the beginning have all exceeded the 40-day limit. Some say they have already been indicted, but their family members have not yet received any indictment documents. Some family members have seen documents and signed them but were not given copies. According to Chinese criminal law, all who have been placed in criminal detention throughout this case are allowed to meet with their lawyers. But throughout this case, none of the lawyers have been able to meet with their clients. They have not even been allowed to meet with those who have already been indicted. What’s worse, while the detention center falsely claims that someone is being arraigned, the Justice Bureau simultaneously calls and notifies the lawyer that the director is not able to meet with him and that there is no use waiting. The shameful trampling of the law by Chengdu authorities has been incredible. May God comfort his servants and the hearts of his children on earth, and may he heal this land, granting liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and setting the oppressed free.

Some brothers and sisters are seriously considering formally applying to withdraw from the Communist Party after seeing what is really happening and the differences of values. Please pray for them, asking the Lord to strengthen them and to open a way for them.

Brothers and sisters who were once in administrative detention have come out and shared about their experiences. First of all, they realized that they were not as prepared as they thought they were. And they did not have the love and desire to share the gospel with drug users and thieves to the degree they once thought. They shared that they wanted to memorize more hymns and Bible verses so they could strengthen themselves and bless others. They also summed up some specific experiences. For example, people who were locked up were really weak and unaccustomed to that environment for the first few days. If brothers and sisters had visited them it would have greatly helped them. Their family members outside could usually get by fairly well for the first few days, but later they became more and more exhausted and lonely and needed brothers and sisters to visit them and help them. Hopefully churches that are preparing for similar situations can draw on these experiences and better care for each other.

Finally, let us think about what Paul said in prison: ‘I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.’ (Phil. 1:12-14) We believe that this is also the desire of those brothers and sisters who are locked up. May we all advance the gospel! May we respond with the gospel to those who are persecuting us, guarding us, and limiting our freedom. May we love those unlovable people with the love of Jesus. And may we cover with the righteous garments of Christ the weaknesses, failings, and humiliation of ourselves and others, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God!

Early Rain Covenant Church
January 22, 2019”


Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (01/09/19-01/15/19)

“’May every street know the name of the Lord Jesus!’

We don’t know how many streets have heard the name of the Lord Jesus until now, but we know this number is increasing. This increase is not on account of our initiative, nor did we orchestrate it. And God is still continuing to send his ‘special ambassadors’ to prison. This week, eight brothers and sisters were released on bail pending trial, and four more were placed in administrative detention. We use the passive voice here because regardless of whether we are being arrested or being released, we are not doing this of our own initiative.

Jan. 8: The lawyer whom Pastor Wang Yi appointed for himself was taken away by Chengdu police after meeting with Pastor Wang Yi’s mother and son. He was released after six hours. As of now, none of the lawyers working the “12/9” case have seen their clients.

Jan. 9: Brother Zhu Xiaoguang, who was locked up for 27 days in criminal detention, was released on bail pending trial and returned home. He is the first brother we know of to triumphantly return home. He was charged with “illegal business operations,” and his crime was helping the church mail some books. He is the father of little Abel mentioned in the last church bulletin. All of his children were still counting flower petals today looking forward to their father’s return. God has given them an unexpected surprise!

Jan. 10: Brother Fu Lijun and sister Lü Jinheng, who were both in criminal detention, were released on bail pending trial. Brother Liu Yingxu, with whom we had lost contact for a long time, was also released on bail pending trial. Only then did we learn that he had been locked up the whole time. We could not learn any information about him no matter who we asked.

Brother Fu Lijun was the first Christian arrested during the first wave of the “12/9” arrests at Early Rain Covenant Church. His crime was selling the book with the highest volume of sales in the world, the Bible. The sales volume of this book in China is no exception.

Jan. 11: Through help of Facebook staff, our stolen account was returned to us. We officially began using it again on the 11th. These past few days, people have still continually been trying to break into it, resetting the password, and so on. But they have not succeeded. It is likely that these attacks will continue.

We were notified by chance that one sister has been continually and closely guarded at her home by 20 to 30 people since December 9th. She is not even being allowed to leave her home. When she tried getting on a public bus she was dragged off. Because communication channels are being blocked, we did not know that there are some brothers and sisters facing situations like this. Please pray fervently for them!

Jan. 12: Sister Huang Yaling and brother Luo Yao were released on bail pending trial.

Brother Li believed and was baptized in the intensive care ward at the hospital. Praise the Lord! He caused brother Li, who had been in a coma, to wake up that afternoon. His mind was clear and he could clearly communicate. His baptism went smoothly.

Jan. 13: For this second Lord’s Day of 2019, the Scripture was Matthew 12:28-34 and the topic was ‘Loving God and Loving Neighbor.’

One small group was raided while worshipping at a home. A total of eleven adults and three children were taken away during the ordeal. The youngest child was two years old, and the oldest was seven. While police were waiting for more people to come to take them away, brothers and sisters there still continued fellowshipping. Throughout the afternoon until late at night, news trickled in of the brothers and sisters being released one by one. On the second day, it was confirmed that five brothers and sisters had been placed in administrative detention. The sentence of one of them was temporarily suspended, and he was allowed to return home because his wife is still in detention and they have a young child.

Jan. 14: We learned that sister Huang Yutian was released on bail pending trial and returned to her home in Chongqing on the 13th. Brother Wang Fei was also released on bail pending trial.

A young couple announced that they are beginning a relationship together. They shared with everyone about how God led them these past six months from not knowing each other to falling in love with each other, and especially about how God worked all things together for good in the midst of danger and persecution. Through this, God made each of them know for sure that He was the one leading them to enter into a relationship. Even though they are currently forced to be apart and cannot see each other, may God bless them and allow them to break through the distance barrier so that they can know and love each other more, seeking a future running the Heavenly race together.

Jan. 15: Brothers and sisters are still often suddenly being visited by police and taken to the police station for a few hours of interrogation (in some cases even more than 20 hours). Police are searching their phones and trying to crack their passwords. This happened to two more brothers and sisters today. Video cameras have been installed outside the doors of brothers and sisters whose homes are being monitored. They are still being closely followed or secretly stalked. Photos are still secretly being taken of them, and so on. May the Lord give us brothers and sisters an alert mind to help us look out for each other!

National News:

Jan. 10: Fountain of Life Church, which belongs to Western China Presbytery, was raided. The Civil Affairs Bureau, the Religious Affairs Bureau, the Department of Culture, and the police came together, led by the deputy director of the police station. They cited social management regulations (Civil Affairs Bureau), the new religious regulations (Religious Affairs Bureau), and cultural management regulations (Department of Culture). They gave a verbal warning that the church could not organize illegal religious activities. The elders were briefly interrogated and refused to answer many questions. Authorities took a few books.

Jan. 15: At 9:00 a.m., around 50 people with the City Management and Law Enforcement Bureau in Xiamen, Fujian Province, illegally and forcefully removed the aluminum-framed glass partitions, the stainless steel security door, and the electronic lock on the 5th floor of the No. 6 commercial building in Yuanbo Liuli on Xinglin Street in Jimei District without presenting any legal documents. They did so under the pretense of it being a security risk, but their real reason was because the owner of the 5th floor is homeschooling many children and toddlers and throughout the year puts on many cooperative community group activities on the 5th floor, gives education training for teaching mixed classes of regular and special-needs children, hosts activities for families to help each other, holds training for parents, and so on. The security door prevented them from easily entering.

At 11:00 a.m., around 150 Christians in Nanyang prefecture in Henan Province were surrounded by armed police while attending a dinner at the Nanyang Bright Moon Hotel. A few believers who fainted were taken by ambulance to the emergency room. Phone signals inside the hotel were blocked. Details of the situation are not clear.

Summary and Prayer:

After seeing that brothers and sisters of one of our small groups were taken away, a pastor in Wenzhou responded in a message saying, “Thank God! The persecution you are encountering has greatly encouraged me. In the midst of trials and tribulations, you have steadfast hope. This has caused me to repent by fleeing comfort. The next time my church encounters persecution, you suffering saints will remind me that the cross is my glory. Christ’s perfect Kingdom of Heaven has sounded forth out of this environment in which you are trapped and has caused a chain reaction. God has heard our cries.”

Our lives are a play. People will watch it, whether we want them to or not. Sometimes it seems like we are living in peaceful times, but in reality, danger lurks around the corner. Sometimes it seems like the waves are crashing in, but in reality, we are safe and sound. If God uses us to let people see spiritual reality through the play of our lives, then we have lived worthy lives.

As we watch this persecution continue, churches and brothers and sisters from all over the country are being pulled into this storm. This is an opportunity to spread the gospel to the authorities and to all of society, to tell them that God’s only Son Jesus, the savior and king of mankind, was killed in order to save us sinners, was buried, and was raised from the dead by the power of God, that he overcame the power of sin and death. Out of his his love and mercy, God has prepared forgiveness and salvation for all who are willing to believe in Jesus, including Chinese people. At any time, any person can repent of any sin and turn to Christ and fear God, obtaining for himself eternal life and bringing upon his family and country the generous blessings of God.

Early Rain Covenant Church
January 16, 2019”

Attached:
List of Early Rain Covenant Church Christians with whom we have lost contact or who have been put in jail throughout the “12/9” persecution:

“List of those in criminal detention (22 people, 8 have already been released on bail pending trial, 14 are still in detention):

1. Pastor Wang Yi (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention)
3. Elder Li Yingqiang (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
4. Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
5. Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
6. Sister Li Xiaofeng (illegal business operations)
*7. Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*8. Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial)
*9. Sister Huang Yaling (picking quarrels and provoking trouble; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
10. Elder Li Zihu (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
11. Brother Wang Fei (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
12. Elder Su Bingsen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/17/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
*13. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (illegal business operations, 12/13/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/09/19 released on bail pending trial)
*14. Sister Huang Yutian (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, a Christian from Chongqing, detained for visiting a sister from Early Rain; 01/13/19 released on bail pending trial and sent back to Chongqing)
15. Brother Dai Zhichao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/19/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
16. Brother Zhu Dong (charge unknown, 12/15/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
*17. Preacher Cao Qingen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/14/18, detained at Chengdu Detention Center)
18. Brother Liang Huali (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
19. Brother Song Enguang (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
*20. Brother Luo Yao ( charge unknown, 12/12/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center; 01/12/19 released on bail pending trial)
21. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/15/18 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and transferred to criminal detention after serving his sentence, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
22. Brother Liu Yingxu (originally lost contact for a long time; 01/11/19 released on bail pending trial, after which we learned that he was locked up)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time (1 person):

23. Brother Ding Shuqi

List of those in administrative detention (12 people, 1 has been transferred to criminal detention, 4 have completed their sentences, 7 are still in detention):

24. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention on 12/15/18 for 14 days then transferred to criminal detention)
25. Brother Wang Jun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/18/18 for worshipping outdoors; sentence completed)
26. Brother Liu Hongliang (placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 12/17/18; sentence completed)
27. Brother Liu Xin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/10/18; sentence completed)
28. Brother Chen Bin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/17/18; sentence completed)
29. Sister Li Chengju (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 01/07/19)
30. Brother Zhu Hong (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 01/07/19)
31. Sister Deng Keli (placed in administrative detention for 14 days on 01/07/19)
32. Brother Zhang Jianqing (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/12/19)
33. Sister Yu Zhixue (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/12/19)
34. Brother Qiu Hao (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/12/19)
35. Sister Zhang Haiyan (placed in administrative detention for 15 days on 01/12/19)

Early Rain Covenant Church
01/15/2019”


Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (01/12/2019 – 01/14/2019)

Saturday, January 12:

“I’m going to pack socks and underwear, put on warm shoes, put on my down coat, delete everything from my phone, turn it off, and then go to Lord’s Day worship. I will bring a printed Bible and take notes by hand. These are the worst of times, Lord, and they are the best of times. The only question left is should I prepare dress clothes or jail clothes?”

Sunday, January 13:

Police detained at least one small group as they met for Lord’s Day worship this morning in China. The member who talked about not knowing whether to wear dress clothes or jail clothes to church this morning (see our previous post) was one of the many who was taken away. An account of the incident is given below:

“Our small group, the college small group, met at C’s home. At around 11:40 a.m., two police officers from a local police station came while we were having fellowship. They wanted us to register our IDs. We didn’t cooperate. They called over four more police officers and demanded again that we register. We still did not cooperate because they did not follow proper protocol for entering a home. Therefore, with the exception of sisters X and L, who were allowed to stay behind to look after the many children, all of the other brothers and sisters were taken away. Before we were taken, J wanted to lead us in a prayer and was forcefully kept from doing so! But God has already heard! While they were calling the other police officers, we continued fellowshipping together and ended with a time of sharing. Praise the Lord! The Lord is with us!”

Monday, January 14:        

Four of the brothers and sisters arrested this Sunday during their small group worship were sentenced to 15 days in jail. Chen Shaowen (receiving family) was released because his wife (Li Chengju) was already in the detention center and had a child at home:

Lord, please look after them and commemorate them for your church. May the Lord be with them personally and give them an unexpected peace! May the Lord personally comfort, inspire, use these limbs to go to the footsteps of the mission, and bring the gospel to those who are desperate and suffering in the dark!


Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (01/02/19-01/08/19)

“Praise the Lord! Brothers and sisters at Early Rain Covenant Church welcomed the new year with a New Year’s prayer meeting. Brothers and sisters sacrificed their love and their knees for the church and for those brothers and sisters in prison. They were also comforted and encouraged by God and by each other. In this new year, members of Early Rain Covenant Church are still being harassed in their workplaces and persecuted because of their faith. School authorities are greatly pressuring some members at their schools, and church workers who have not yet been detained are still being closely monitored through various methods.

Jan. 3: Brother C, who went missing for 48 hours, suddenly returned home and was being monitored by community police officers with “red armbands.” During these 48 hours, brother C was detained at the Chengdu City East Gate Police Station. On the first day of interrogations, police handcuffed this brother to the interrogation chair for 24 hours. He did not sleep or rest and was given no food or drink during this time. Many phones and computers from his home were taken. His wife was taken to the police station for interrogation while carrying her swaddled child. Three men and one woman, none of whom identified themselves, interrogated brother C for 48 hours straight using harsh language, threats, and yelling.

Jan. 4: 90-year-old scholar and brother Zhang Xianchi came down with a sudden illness and was rushed to the hospital. Brothers and sisters dropped what they were doing and went to the hospital. Brother H, from one of the church plants, was being strictly monitored at the time. He broke away from those trying to prevent him from leaving and came to Chengdu to be at the bedside of brother Zhang with the other brothers and sisters. They prayed, sang worship songs, and accompanied him during the hospital stay.

Jan. 5: In the afternoon, the pregnant wife of one brother in criminal detention hemorrhaged. Brothers and sisters rushed to help her get to the hospital. Our Father in Heaven took the child in her womb back to himself. His mom named him Abel and wrote a poem titled “On the Road.” Little Abel has already returned home. We are still on the road, waiting for the day when we all arrive home! (During the Dec. 9th incident at Early Rain Covenant Church, area police officers broke down their door in the middle of the night and dragged this sister from her bed to the courtyard of their complex. She was interrogated for a long time at the police station.)

Jan. 6: This was the first Lord’s Day worship of the new year. The Scripture was the Gospel of John 14:1-14 and the sermon was “Do not Be Troubled.” At 5:00 p.m., while nearly 20 students of the Gospel Class [a Sunday School class for seekers] were eating at a restaurant, area police officers from the Shuyuan Road Police Station arrested them. Students of the Gospel Class were released one by one around midnight. They were required to sign pledges that had been printed off ahead of time which forbid them from meeting together and from attending Lord’s Day worship and Bible studies at Early Rain Covenant Church. The next day, three people were taken back to the police station and interrogated. These three members (sister Li Chengju, sister Deng Keli, and brother Zhu Hong) were still not released after 24 hours. After many inquiries, we were told that they are being kept at the Pixian County Detention Center. Their relatives have not yet received any legal documents regarding their detention.

Jan. 7: Brother Chenbing finally found sister Xiaofeng’s detention notice at the post office. The reason it was stuck at the post office was because the mailing address on the notice did not contain the name of her residential district. Brother Chenbing can finally send clothes to his wife. Some sisters said, “We are truly joyful people in the Lord. When we receive a detention notice we are excited and thankful, as though we just received a letter of admission into the Kingdom of Heaven…God has not forgotten the female criminals in prison. He has sent them a few gospel heroines!”

Since the “December 9th incident” at Early Rain Covenant Church, churches from all around the world have been praying for Early Rain Covenant Church in many ways. There have been outdoor prayer meetings. There have been calls to pray every day at a certain time. There are also brothers and sisters from all around the country who are fasting and praying on their own for the members of Early Rain Covenant Church. We believe that God has allowed suffering to come to his children in order to accomplish something greater. Our ultimate hope is not that this country would allow freedom of worship, for the kind of worship our Father in Heaven desires is worship in spirit and in truth, and this worship cannot be restricted. Our ultimate hope is that the gospel would spread throughout the whole world and that the Kingdom of Heaven would come in its fullness!

Early Rain Covenant Church
January 8, 2019”


Early Rain Church Report: Sunday, January 6, 2019

Police raided a Sunday school class for seekers this Sunday while the class was meeting in a restaurant. They took everyone to the police station. Three members have still not been released. An account of the raid is given below by one brother from the church who was taken:

“Today was the exam for the Gospel Class [a Sunday school class for seekers]. It was also our final class. We met at a restaurant to study and to have a fellowship meal together. We began around 5:30 p.m. At about 6:00 p.m., around 20 officers from the Jinjiang District Police Station rushed in and confiscated all of our cell phones and ID cards.

Then they took us to the nearby Shuyuan Road Police Station. At around 7:30 p.m., brother Zhu Hong and sister Ke Li were taken to the interrogation room and interrogated. At around 8:00 p.m., they took three to four brothers and sisters upstairs to be interrogated. Sister Ke Li was interrogated for around two and a half hours. The brothers and sisters upstairs later came down one by one. I left the station at around 12:10 a.m.

According to my cousin who came to pick me up, I was the second person released. I think the first person must have been sister Ren Pingying and her child (I was told that two police officers took them home). When I was released, brother Zhu Hong was still being interrogated (loud and angry yelling was coming from the interrogation room). Sister Cheng Ju is praying with everyone.

Praise the Lord, the police were fairly gentle this time. In the beginning they were quite severe, but later, while we were waiting, we could talk freely, read our Bibles, and sing hymns. During this time, sister Cheng Ju shared the gospel with an assistant officer and prayed for him.

Please pray for those seekers who have not yet believed in the Lord. This is a big test and trial for them. Please pray especially for brother Zhu Hong and sister Cheng Ju. Ask the Lord to protect them and give them words to speak.

The floor outside of the interrogation room is very cold. No one there has eaten or drunk anything yet. May God help us. May he destroy the schemes of Satan. May he give us the full armor of God so that we may testify well to the gospel and fight the good fight for the Lord.

When the police rushed in, my heart was at peace. Everyone was very cooperative. When we got to the police station, I remembered those brothers and sisters who had worshipped and prayed here before. When I realized that we got to share with them in the bitter cup of the Lord, my heart was continually grateful. May the Lord bless this night. Amen!”


Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (12/26/18-01/01/19)

“12/26: In addition to Christmas Eve gatherings in small groups, there were also small group gatherings in the middle of the week. Brothers and sisters studied, shared, and prayed together, and everyone was greatly comforted. The homes of some brothers and sisters were closely monitored on Wednesday evening and all day Sunday, preventing them from attending the gatherings.

12/28: Preacher Cheng Zhangchun was transferred to criminal detention after his sentence in administrative detention was served.

12/29: Little sister Zimi returned to her heavenly home. Around 70 brothers and sisters gathered at Zimi’s home in the evening to bid her a solemn farewell. They were very grateful. Two police officers came. It was a testimony of the gospel for them.

Twenty-some families have husbands or wives in jail. Family members who expressed their thoughts on Weibo or WeChat all had their accounts closed and their articles deleted. They started a public Telegram channel called “Reflections on the Early Rain Covenant Church 12/9 Incident” (https://t.me/qysysnpd). You are welcome to subscribe!

12/30: On the Lord’s Day, we gathered together for worship using special methods. The sermon was “The LORD Will Double Your Blessings” and the Scripture was Job 42:1-17. Everyone was greatly encouraged. However long we suffer, we will be blessed with double blessings for just as long, and this entire process will testify to the glory of God.

On the previous Lord’s Day, worship was interrupted at the home of Elder Su Bingsen. Almost 20 adults and children were taken to the police station until 5:00 p.m. On this week’s Lord’s Day, all of these people still persisted meeting together and used this as an opportunity to practice doing “small things” for the Lord and to practice overcoming fear and worry in their hearts. Praise the Lord! This was the first time these two groups finished a worship service in its entirety without interruption since December 9th.

Brother Wang Jun, who led the outdoor worship service on the Lord’s Day of December 16th by the river, completed his sentence today and returned home! Everyone called him “The Long-Bearded Knight” and “The Missionary.”

As New Year’s Day approaches, there are still brothers and sisters being forced to leave their homes immediately. They are looking for temporary places to say and trying to pack. They are experiencing many difficulties. The law firm where one sister works terminated her contract after she refused to sign a pledge promising not to attend gatherings at Early Rain Covenant Church. She may now not be able to obtain her lawyer’s certification. Many brothers and sisters have been given a “final notice” that if they attend a gathering at Early Rain Covenant Church again, they will be placed in detention.

12/31: The New Year’s prayer meeting began at 8:30. Each small group took turns leading everyone in a song and in a prayer and shared what they were thankful for. The brothers and sisters were greatly comforted and encouraged. As they entered the new year, everyone listened to the hymn “Everlasting Lord,” based on Psalm 90, hoping that they will have as many days of joy as they do of suffering.

1/1/19: Many family members of those detained have appointed lawyers to take on the 12/9 case, but the lawyers are still not being allowed to meet with their clients. The reason given by the detention center is still that the case is being reviewed. One of the litigants is from Guangdong and is not a Christian. She has been kept in Chengdu under suspicion of “illegal business operations.” Her lawyer has also not been able to meet with her. Not only have these appointed lawyers not been able to see their clients, they have been asked, one after another, by relevant departments to drop their cases.

Nation-wide News:

A Three-Self Church in Luoning County, Henan Province has been forced to remove the First Commandment from the Ten Commandments. Earlier in August, the cross on this church’s building was taken down by the government. Bibles have reportedly been completely removed in order to make way for a new translation of the Bible based on so-called “traditional culture” and the core values of socialism. The government has also required all churches to teach the “core values of socialism” as doctrines.

The homes of villagers in Anhui Province have started being searched and all things related to Christ are being destroyed. Some illiterate sisters have been sending voice messages to encourage each other not to voluntarily take down religious décor in their homes. As a result, their WeChat accounts have been deleted. House churches in cities are also being closed and banned.

Summary and Prayer

The new year will bring more challenges. Persecution may become commonplace in more areas. Ask the Lord to lead us and protect us as we walk in the will of God, that we would do so by faith and not by sight, that we would trust in the good purposes of God, that we would have hearts of gratitude and joy, and that we would respond to all maltreatment with a spirit of gentleness. Pray for all pastors, leaders, brothers, and sisters who are detained and in prison Ask the Lord to comfort, strengthen, and protect their bodies, souls, and spirits from harm. Ask him to open doors for the gospel, that they may boldly preach the gospel! Ask the Lord to look after and protect those who have been forced to move, those who have been threatened at work, and other brothers and sisters who are being coerced and forced into difficult situations. Ask that they would resolutely follow Him, that they would give the most beautiful testimonies for him on earth. Ask that those in authority would not abuse their authority, that those carrying out laws would not violate their consciences, and, more importantly, that God would soften their hearts and open the door of salvation! May the Kingdom of God come quickly!”


NOTE: There are two bulletins for 12/28/18: 1) Morning Bulletin and 2) Evening Bulletin:

Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (evening of 12/28/18)  

“At 6:00 p.m. this evening, a number of police officers came to the home of Preacher Cheng Zhangchun and searched his house. They took a few books, CDs, and his cell phone. Those who came notified his family that Preacher Cheng Zhangchun has been transferred from administrative detention to criminal detention. He is now being held by authorities at the Chengdu City Detention City.

On December 15th, authorities placed Preacher Cheng Zhangchun in administrative detention for 14 days on charges of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble.’ He was originally scheduled to be released on the 29th of this month. According to Chinese criminal law and the usual practices of the justice department, Cheng Zhangchun and the other brothers and sisters in detention might be facing indefinite detention. Authorities can continually alternate forms of detention, prolonging it for several years. The coming days will determine whether or not this is the case for Preacher Cheng Zhangchun.

We just received news that many family members of those in detention have been told they cannot leave their homes tomorrow because city leaders are coming.

A preacher from Enfu Church was notified that authorities are currently trying to determine how close the connection is between the two churches [i.e. Early Rain Covenant Church and Enfu Church].

During this ‘smokeless war’ in China today, when you see the Chinese government shutting down an influential house church on December 9th, when you see Pastor Wang Yi and other brothers and sisters continually being thrown in prison, when you see the following list of those in detention, all of this tells you the actual situation in China.

List of Early Rain Covenant Church Christians with whom we have lost contact or who are being detained (as of 7:51 p.m. on 12/28/18):

List of those in criminal detention (21 people):

1. Pastor Wang Yi (inciting to subvert state power, in secret detention)
2. Pastor’s wife Jiang Rong (inciting to subvert state power, 12/10/18, in secret detention)
3. Elder Li Yingqiang (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
4. Elder Qin Defu (illegal business operations)
5. Deacon Ge Yingfeng (illegal business operations)
6. Sister Li Xiaofeng (illegal business operations)
7. Sister Lü Jinheng (illegal business operations)
8. Brother Fu Lijun (illegal business operations)
9. Sister Huang Yaling (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
10. Elder Li Zihu (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
11. Brother Wang Fei (picking quarrels and provoking trouble)
12. Elder Su Bingsen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/17/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
13. Brother Zhu Xiaoguang (illegal business operations, 12/13/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
14. Sister Huang Yutian (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, a Christian from Chongqing, detained for visiting a sister from Early Rain)
15. Brother Dai Zhichao (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/19/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
16. Brother Zhu Dong (charge unknown, 12/15/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
17. Preacher Cao Qingen (picking quarrels and provoking trouble, 12/14/18, detained at Chengdu Detention Center)
18. Brother Liang Huali (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
19. Brother Song Enguang (illegal business operations, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
20. Brother Luo Yao ( charge unknown, 12/12/18, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)
21. Preacher Cheng Zhangchun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/15/18 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and transferred to criminal detention after serving his sentence, detained at Chengdu City Detention Center)

List of those in administrative detention (4 people, 3 have completed their sentence):

22. Brother Wang Jun (placed in administrative detention by authorities for 14 days on 12/18/18 for worshipping outdoors)
23. Brother Liu Hongliang (placed in administrative detention for 10 days on 12/17/18)
24. Brother Liu Xin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/10/18)
25. Brother Chen Bin (placed in administrative detention for 5 days on 12/17/18)

List of those with whom we have lost contact for an extended period of time (2 people):

26. Brother Liu Yingxu
27. Brother Ding Shuqi

Early Rain Covenant Church
8:56 p.m. on 12/28/18”


Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (Morning of 12/28/18)

“Since the ‘12/9’ incident began, Early Rain Covenant Church’s WeChat [i.e. social media] groups, including evangelism groups, Bible study groups, fellowship groups, education groups, and humanitarian groups (nearly 200 in all), as well as over half of the personal WeChat accounts of church members, have all been permanently shut down or restricted from sending messages. Tencent, the company to which WeChat belongs, did not give any explanation when they shut down these ministry groups of Early Rain Covenant Church. Church members’ personal WeChat accounts have been shut down with notices saying the accounts are “fake,” “too large,” or “unused,” and they have not been given an opportunity to appeal.

The radio station used by the church to spread the gospel has been deleted by NetEase. NetEase has not only restricted the public from listening to the gospel through the NetEase cloud service, they have also deleted all of the gospel materials in the account and forcefully taken away Early Rain Covenant Church’s ownership of all the audio recordings in the account.

On December 11th, the church’s Facebook account was stolen, preventing us from telling the public about the harsh persecution brothers and sisters of Early Rain Covenant Church are experiencing.

Through a series of restrictions on Early Rain Covenant Church and on the faith of brothers and sisters, and through increasingly strict measures preventing church members from preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, authorities are suppressing true churches like Early Rain Covenant Church by controlling various public resources. In this moment we see the mighty arm of God upholding his people, showing them favor and performing wondrous works.

Through much hard work, Early Rain Covenant Church members have opened new media accounts in order to spread the glorious gospel and eternal hope of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are as follows:

Early Rain Covenant Church’s Gospel information Telegram channel: https://t.me/earlyraincovenantchurch

Early Rain Covenant Church’s Telegram group for “seekers” [i.e. non-Christians interested in Christianity]: https://t.me/joinchat/KgFdAle4UqB81s4Q6Zc2KQ

Early Rain Covenant Church’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/cha…/UCn7IF7YEKrgKi0LaCsX8YCg/about…

Early Rain Covenant Church’s GitHub account: https://github.com/chengduqiuyu/-/issues

Email: earlyraincovenantchurch@gmail.com

Early Rain Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church
Friday, December 28, 2018″


Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (Dec 27, 2018)

Chinese authorities have forcibly taken away four foster children from one couple at Early Rain Covenant Church. The following is an excerpt from a piece written by Early Rain member Jia Xuewei贾学伟)titled “A Kind of Evil Called Intentional Cruelty” (有一种 叫故意的残忍). Names have been changed for security reasons.

“What makes me weep most is what I saw this morning. The four children in sister C’s family are all being sent back to their birthplace in Xuanhan County and may never be able to return.

The biological family of these four children from Xuanhan is facing extremely difficult circumstances. Their father is absent. Their mother has a mental disorder. Their grandmother and grandfather are very old and have no energy to take care of them. Local welfare agencies won’t take them because of some strange rule. Of these four poor children, the youngest is three years old and the oldest is not yet ten. They were barely surviving at home. C and W brought them to Chengdu to foster them. I remember it caused a stir within the church at the time. With the addition of their own biological child, their family all of a sudden had five lively children. Of course, they were financially strained. W is just a normal mail courier. Providing for his whole family has been difficult. But this has not been a huge concern. God provides for his own children. We all supported them together. For more than a year, the children have been living here and going to school here. They have been so happy.

What is so upsetting is that after the [persecution against Early Rain] began, demons unleashed an even greater spiritual attack on sister C’s family, convincing Xuanhan authorities that those children have fallen into the midst of an ‘evil cult’ from which they must be saved. After they were forced to leave Chengdu today, C cried uncontrollably with her friends. Nothing brings me more pain and grief than what has happened today. My heart has been pierced.”


Early Rain Covenant Church Bulletin (Dec 22, 2018)

“As of today, 16 members of Early Rain Covenant Church have been placed by authorities in criminal detention, 4 have been placed in administrative detention, 5 have gone missing, and more than 150 have been arrested and taken to police stations for long interrogations, including pregnant women, children, and elderly people. Nearly 700 members are being monitored, followed, and threatened by community authorities and security departments of their workplaces. Two people have been beaten and suffered serious wounds. The sanctuary on the 23rd floor, the library on the 21st floor, the liberal arts college and seminary on the 19th floor, and the sanctuary and K-12 school on the 6th floor have all been ransacked and emptied.

Brother Wang Jun, while peacefully and reasonably negotiating with police, was seriously and violently attacked. His head, knees, and toes received wounds in multiple places. After the church lost its sanctuary, he, along with other brothers and sisters, worshipped Christ the Lord beside the Funan River on the Sabbath last Sunday, where he was once again detained. His child, who had just turned one year old, and his wife Tang Shuangfei were also detained. After being interrogated for more than 30 hours straight, brother Wang Jun was sentenced to 14 days in administrative detention.

On December 20th, police came again to the home of Elder Su Bingsen and searched it without a warrant, violating the privacy of other family members. Elder Su Bingsen, as well as the other pastors, elders, preachers, and members in criminal detention, have been deprived of the right to meet with an attorney. We have no way of knowing with reasonable certainty how police are treating them, whether or not they have been abused or tortured while in detention. We plead for the Lord’s mercy.

Normal gatherings at the homes of brothers and sisters are being greatly disrupted. Authorities are sending unidentified men to stand guard outside the buildings and residential areas where these homes are located. These men are following members when they go out and preventing people from visiting them. Families opening their homes for Bible studies are being greatly pressured and coerced. Police are threatening them by saying that if they open their homes again, they will immediately be placed in criminal detention on charges of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble.’

Even so, brothers and sisters are still holding fast to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible to not stop meeting together. They are still bravely preaching His Truth and meeting together in various forms to study the Bible and to comprehend God’s Word.

We offer up thanksgiving to God. As his church is under great assault, he is reviving multitudes of His faithful children.

Early Rain Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church
Saturday, December 22, 2018”


We help underserved church leaders
develop churches that transform lives and communities.