Dear brothers and sisters,
Peace in Christ! For this week, we began to feel the tension in the air in mid-week. However, as the ninth Sunday of outdoor worship drew near, no forces could prevent our hearts from worshipping the Lord.
June 5 was a sunny day in Beijing. As a sensitive day known to all fell in this week, many brothers and sisters began to be restricted at home and a few were taken to a nearby hotel. Some were told to report at their respective local police stations or neighborhood committees during the day. For this Lord’s Day, still only a few dozen people could go out to the location designated by the church. Some brothers and sisters who wanted to enter the platform or who went to places near the platform were taken away by the police there. According to our statistics, 20 brothers and sisters were taken away on Sunday morning because of the outdoor worship. One of them was a brother from another church who came to attend our outdoor worship. Another one was a brother from Haidian Church and he was arrested by mistake when he was on his way to a gathering at Haidian Church via the platform. These people were respectively sent to the 14 local police stations that have jurisdiction over their localities. By midnight on June 5, 16 people had been released but four people were not released until noon on June 6.
What we want to point out here is that though we understand officers in the police stations tend to be a little nervous in this sensitive period, we still don’t understand why officers from a few police stations showed signs that they are ignorant of the law and lack humanitarianism. For example, in the Haidian Police Station, the DSPS (Domestic Security Protection Squad) agents locked up the two sisters who were waiting outside the door in the basement of the station. Meanwhile, because of their nervousness, they began to restrict the movements of the brothers and sisters within their home or took them away on Wednesday without any legal basis or procedures. All these were acts of violation of the law, committed while they were clearly aware of it.
We want to thank our Lord once again for bringing peace to so many brothers and sisters of ours in the past week while the police made endless calls, knocked on their doors, talked with them and took them away. He let us experience and testify about the heavenly peace and joy that He bestows us in this period full of tension and devoid of peace. May God have mercy on the police officers and employees of related agencies who live in nervousness all day long. May God bestow on them wisdom and make them know how to extricate themselves from the stress and nervousness of their job. Though the external pressure has failed to take away the peace in our inner hearts, yet we know the news announced by the church this week that four co-workers have left Shouwang brought shock and pain to many brothers and sisters. In this special period of fighting, this news also brought to our Shouwang brothers and sisters regret, confusion, pain and blows to their faith. As leaders of the church, we have experienced these pains in advance. We beg that God show mercy to the weakness and limitation of us human beings and heal our wounds as soon as possible.
Despite all this, in the brothers and sisters who walked toward the platform as usual on this Lord’s Day, we see the Lord whose work transcends the limits and weakness of man. We still believe that God is leading Shouwang Church according to the visions He has bestowed on us. Though we are often weak, every week we persist in our worship will be remembered by God, and, through the submission of His children, we will witness the actions He has done in this era.
May we forget what has happened before and press forward in patience to reach the goal before us. Though we often beg God in our prayers to open up a road for us as soon as possible so that we can worship together at an indoor site, in awe we give the road ahead into the hand of God. It is our belief that if He wants us to run further distances in this race than what we have predicted, He must have a beautiful intention in this and He will bestow enough grace on us so that we have enough endurance and strength to experience the eventual triumph with Him.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love and mercy of God our heavenly Father, and the fellowship and guidance of the Holy Spirit our Comforter be always with every brother and sister of Shouwang Church and all the brothers and sisters everywhere who are concerned about Shouwang Church. Amen!
Beijing Shouwang Church