A wonderful testimony of the power of a long term witness has been sent to us at DongTeam. Not only is it a wonderful praise to the work of God, but a continuing prayer request. Many of us have prayed for Chinese government officials, though we may not have always been praying "for" them. This story may help give you a slightly different perspective that could change the way you pray.
[ A little disclaimer: we have had to strip some important information out of this story and rewrite it to make sure this does not harm any body involved. Please read with understanding. ]
"We have been visited many times. These visits are intended to intimidate and humiliate. It was always the same few officials. 'These are just foreign lies.' 'Only stupid, rural farmers would believe such superstitious rubbish.' 'You are harming the social stability.' We had just started to expect a visit every once in a while. This time was different, though...
"They came again, but the whole visit had a very different feeling. They still said we did not have authority to have such a meeting and that we should go to the county seat if we wanted to meet. Of course, the problem is that nobody will give us permission because we have to have about one hundred believers and a seminary-trained minister, and also, even if we did go to the county seat, there is no church there either, so it is no different. That was just what they said, but the underlying meaning was simply, 'stop meeting'.
"Then, they said some things like: 'So, why are you still meeting, anyway. It has been such a long time, we thought you would just give up, but you are still here, still doing the same thing, still believing the same thing. What is so special about your God?' We gave them a little something to eat and they even took a Bible home with them!"
In other words, the officials with responsibility to suffocate the local churches have themselves been impressed by the long term witness of these believers. God is proclaiming who he is to the Chinese government too.
All need to hear truth, and there is only one source of truth, and that is the one true God. As our hearts are lifted in praise for the work of God in once stubborn hearts, let us ask him to continue to make himself known through his children. God might have prepared for some of these officials to be modern day Pauls.
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