Braving Storms and Perils, Winning Battles with Glory All Along the Way

China Aid Association
—Third Congress of Chinese Christian House Church Alliance—

(October 20, 2008) Chinese Christian House Church Alliance was founded on October 20, 2005. This is the special sign and revelation God has brought to the Chinese churches in the 21st century. This is a great light under which the Chinese churches are integrating and reconciling in harmony in this new historical period.
1. The Course We Have Taken and the Grace We Have Been Endowed
In the past three years, the Chinese Christian House Church Alliance headed by Pastor Zhang Mingxuan has gone through numerous storms and bumps and a chain of internal and external spiritual battles. As God promises in the Bible that “A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.” When the lack of understanding and the vicious attacks from inside the church and the persecution and detention from outside poured on our church, God has always protected it with grace as a shield, turning insults into glory, weakness into strength and bruises into triumph.

The course the church has taken in the past three years is a course of engaging in battles under the guidance and protection of the Lord and a course of victories with blessings of the Lord. What needs special mention is the family of Pastor Zhang Mingxuan and his wife Xie Fenglan.  They have suffered to the fullest extent of the word and have contributed everything for the founding and development of the Alliance. Even now, they do not have a fixed place to stay in and have to wander from here and there. In addition to this, there are those co-workers who have common signs, who are truly devoted to the ministry for which they have paid dearly.  In the meantime, church organizations, brothers and sisters all over the world who support the Alliance have provided us with their sincere help and prayers. This has let us see that the holy hand of God has always been involved in the ministry of the Alliance and the Holy Spirit is also personally leading the Alliance on its way forward.
In the past three years of ministry, the Alliance constantly overcame various types of difficulties and pressure and held Bible training sessions, founded churches, seminaries, orphanages and adopted homeless children. It has done a large amount of work to promote the construction and development of the churches in China, especially in providing legal consultation and assistance to its fellow Christians all over China who suffer persecution. The seminars of the “Relationship between Christians and Politics” sponsored by Pastor Zhang Mingxuan have made a profound impact on the free, liberal and harmonious development of the Chinese churches in the future.  While all types of ministry of the Alliance were being conducted, it suffered various levels of persecution and browbeating. These have not only failed to extinguish this burning light, but have made it become an even brighter golden lamp stand burning bright both in China and abroad.
2.  Future Missions and Signs.
On the road ahead, the Chinese Christian House Church Alliance will just as always persist in the principles of patriotism, abiding by the law, unity and harmony.  Led by the Holy Spirit, the Alliance hoists high the banner of the truth of the Bible and has brought the house church from darkness to the light and from the underground to above the ground.  It has become a living sacrifice completely devoted to the elimination of conflicts among TSPM [Three-Self Patriotic Movement] churches, house churches and churches of various denominations and to the realization in the true sense of the word of integration and all-round revival.

(1) Ministry of Bible training. The greatest need at this time in China is still the training of shepherds.  On the one hand, we should establish schools for long-term training in theology and Bible. On the other hand, we should establish short-term training programs in faith, truth, law, regulations, relationship between Christians and politics so as to prepare for the future of Chinese churches workers who suit the taste of God.
(2)  Establish the ministry of the church. Clergymen co-workers in various places of the Alliance all have the burden of the Gospel. They should work to develop and establish churches and fulfill the grand mission assigned to them by Jesus Christ.
(3) Ministry to orphans and homeless children. As the society changes constantly, disasters, poverty and family problems are still important problems of the Chinese society. As a result of these, orphans and homeless children are found in many places of China. The church should play the role of light and salt and provide a warm home for these children.
(4) Ministry to senior homes. Since the start of the 21st century, China is gradually entering an era of aging population and how to provide for the seniors has become a serious problem for the social security in the future. The church should have this foresight and actively build “senior homes” and do our duty for the construction of a harmonious society.
(5) Ministry in text and audio/video materials. The Alliance has been constantly raising free spiritual books and Bibles. It continues making copies of seminar discs of the series of “The Relationship between Christians and Politics” and giving them to churches and co-workers in various places where there is such a need.
(6)  Ministry of preaching the Gospel in areas of ethnic minorities. There are altogether 56 nationalities in China and the population in these areas of ethnic minorities has exceeded 100 million. Preaching the Gospel to them has become an important mission for the church at this time. This is the final relay for the Chinese church in preaching the Gospel and it has a profound meaning.
(7) Ministry of legal consultation and assistance. House churches in China still suffer persecution and browbeating in various areas. The Alliance will continue to provide ministry in legal consultation and assistance to boost the confidence of the house churches and make them truly understand the religious policies, laws and regulations in China so as to promote the free and normal development of the churches.
(8)  Ministry of evangelism to unreached people. The sign God has given China is to preach Gospel to the ends of the earth and greet the second coming of Jesus Christ. Today, the church should take this holy mission and train evangelical workers to unreached people..
So far in 2008, China has experienced great joys as well as great sorrows. After the huge earthquake in Wenchuan, people of the entire country have stood united. The quick response in the rescue efforts in the areas hit by the disaster and the triumph and successes in this phase have greatly united the people of the country in their common efforts. The success of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, the smooth implementation of the space program with manned Shenzhou 7 have greatly inspired the Chinese people and increased its international status. All this, combined the active participation and devotion of churches both in China and abroad, including the Alliance, has brought new opportunities for the development of churches in China and opened up even broader space for development.

The Chinese House Church Alliance is a seed God has personally sowed in the land of China.  After three years of baptism in storms, it still retains a vital life though its branches are still fragile. We are aware that this young and small organization cannot make great accomplishments, but we are willing to come to God in a humble manner and implore Him to make accomplishments with His omnipotent hands.  It is our belief that while man cannot achieve much, God can do everything.
May all the members and co-workers of the Chinese churches pray for the ministry of our Alliance. May fellow members who hold same signs in serving the God join the ministry of the Alliance and become the container in the hand of God and the sacrifice of fragrance on the road of development of the Churches in China. Let’s walk hand in hand in one God, one belief and one baptism and fulfill the mission God has given us.
—Chinese Christian House Church Alliance

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Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
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