|Chinese Police patrol car.
(Photo: Creative Commons)
(Chengdu, Sichuan Province —Oct. 1, 2020) In “Journal of Grace #5,” Yingqiang Li, an elder of Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church, shares his current experience with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) monitoring [like that of several (roughly 6) fellow Christians].
Recently, as my wife and I left home, planning to take our two kids for a trip, two young men sitting in the corridor started following us. As I hailed a taxi, the men intercepted, advising the taxi driver they were police and that he could not transport us.
When I argued with these police at the roadside, they replied, “We are just doing what our supervisor asked us to do.”
“You have to wait,” they said. “A police car is on the way.”
“I want to go to Leshan, may I go by train?”
My kids began to cry.
Being banned from taking a taxi frustrated me. The day before, those monitoring me only photographed the taxi’s plate.
Police officers who arrived expelled all nearby taxis as well as private cars. “Why did the other police not allow us to take a taxi?” I asked.
He did not answer this question but invited me to sit in his police car. This officer then had to leave for another call.
After my family and I returned home, we walked to a nearby park. Afterward, we ate lunch at a nearby restaurant. During this time, two plain-clothes police followed us, even when I went to the restroom with my kids.
“Would you like to have lunch with us?” I asked them.
As no empty tables were available inside, I asked the restaurant owner to set a table outside for me and my family. While sitting there, singing hymns, and praying, I recalled the time when our church met in the chapel on Baihua Lane where more than 600 brothers and sisters could meet for services. In the past, I regularly met for lunch in nearby restaurants with many of those brothers and sisters. One day earlier, I had revisited the chapel now used as a pharmaceutical company’s office.
My family and I returned to Chengdu to stay with and shepherd fellow brothers and sisters. I remember the encouragement to “remember those who are in bonds as though you were bound with them, and those who suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body,” In a sense, we are not to go back to Chengdu to shepherd other brothers and sisters, however, but to experience the tribulation as well as God’s peace with them.
Although scheduled to preach on September 27, to an unbidden guest’s visit, I had to cancel. The main verses of my preaching included 1 Peter 3:13-22. 1 Peter 3:13-16 encourages:
From Heaven, God always takes care of us. Without His permission, not even a swallow can ever fall to the ground. So, my heart, filled with peace, proclaims, “praise the Lord….”
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