Dear brothers and sisters:
Peace in the Lord! On December 25, Shouwang had her thirty-eighth Sunday outdoor worship service. This was also the last Sunday for outdoor worship service. Many believers got ready beforehand to go to the platform to worship our Lord.
This past Sunday was also Christmas. In the past week, each police station put more force in guarding and watching believers. Many believers were detained at home since Friday, a sister was detained in a hotel nearby on Friday, and a brother was taken to a police station since Saturday. As far as we know, on Sunday morning, at least thirty-nine believers were taken away for going to the planned location to join the outdoor service, either at the spot or on their way there (including a sister from Xinshu Church). Except some individuals were released on the way, most believers were sent to twenty-two local police stations of their respective area. Till midnight, forty believers were released home. The last believer detained at Xiangheyuan police station of Chao Yang district got released around 3:00pm on the 26th.
As the outdoor worship service that lasted thirty-eight weeks since April 10 now came to the end, we want to especially offer our thanksgiving to God for his protection in the past eight months. Although this prolonged incident of outdoor service far exceeded our expectation, and we experienced different kinds of hardships during this period, suffering from being detained, rebuked, forced to move, forced to quit jobs, sent back to hometown, and divided, the faithful Lord sustains his church and each member of his church with his might hand. As we look back and count his grace on the church as well as on each individual believer, we find that he has dealt bountifully with us; this kind of grace can be hardly experienced in ordinary days. Through outdoor service, the Lord touches our heart, allows us to experience weakness; his grace strengthens our faith and enables us to grow and to know him deeper.
We also want to especially express our gratitude before God, to churches, pastors, and believers from Beijing, China, and around the world, who have been supporting us and helping us through prayers or other ways. We want to especially offer our thanksgiving for Xinshu Church and pastor Shuangyan; they have been supporting us, accompanying us, and joining us in outdoor service from the beginning to the end. We won’t be able to persevere till today without prayers, help, and support from churches and members in the body of Christ; this enables us to understand the love among members in the body of Christ in a deeper way. May the Lord remember them!
We understand that the journey before us remains difficult, and the church is facing a hard choice. Therefore, we need members in Shouwang as well as in other places to continue to pray for Shouwang Church earnestly. May God continues to sustain his church with his mighty hand, opens a way for his church, reveals his will to his church, and guides his church to walk in his will.
“To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21)
Beijing Shouwang Church