Peace in the Lord! On Oct 9th, Shouwang had her twenty-seventh Sunday outdoor worship service. Since this past weekend was right after the long holiday, many people had to work on this past Sunday. However, on this day that God sanctifies, many believers were still wiling to seek and worship our God together.
In the past week, many believers were detained at home since Saturday. As far as we know, at least eighteen believers were taken away on Sunday morning for going to the planned location to join the outdoor service, either at the spot or on their way there (including Pastor Shuangyan from Xinshu Church, four believers from a church in Fangshan, and a brother from a church in another city). Two of them were released on the way to police station, and the rest of them were sent to eight local police stations of their respective area. Till 20:00pm on Sunday night, sixteen believers were released home. The other two brothers were detained respectively at Jingsong Police Station in Chaoyang District and a hotel arranged by Shuangjing Police Station. The last brother was not released until 11:00am on the 11th.
The four believers from Fangshan received harsher treatment by the town government of Heibei Zheng than last time. They were threatened that they would lose their job or pension. The company of a sister even threatened her that they would deduct expenses which the town government spent on watching them from her salary. May the Lord take care of these believers, protect them, and grant them sufficient grace.
At the same time, an older sister was detained at Fenglinglvzhou residents’ committee in Chaoyang District from the time she was brought from a police station in the morning till late at night. She was also required to report to them on the next day. Our sister was full of joy and peace in the whole process, and witnessed for our Lord. However, as we observed that residents’ committees everywhere are employing people to assist police stations to watch believers and to prevent them from going out, we cannot help but asking: what kind of authority do these residents’ committees have to do this? They are supposed to serve residents of a community, but now they become police in this community, and do things that violate the law! May God have mercy on this country, and that the country can make real progress in “ruling according to law.”
Till this past Sunday, we had full six months of having outdoor worship service, which was a long period that exceeded our expectation. In this long period of time, we experienced weakness and struggle before God, we experienced heart-breaking separation in the body, and we experienced the pain of prayers not being heard by God. However, we still believe that our God is faithful, and that he loves his church. He has been sustaining his church with his right hand, has been comforting us and guiding us through the Holy Spirit in each of our hearts, and has been renewing our weak souls and strengthening our weak bodies. Therefore, we continuously get renewed to follow his steps. May he continue to grant us perseverance, so that we will continue to look to him and wait for him with fervent prayers in the remaining journey, till we experience victory together with him as his mighty works be revealed among us.
May peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the mercy and love of Father God, and the console and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, be with each brother and sister of Shouwang Church and all the churches who remember Shouwang Church in prayers, from this time on and forevermore! Amen.
Beijing Shouwang Church