I have been in China for almost 8 years. Right now I am on home assignment in the United States to prepare for the Lausanne Congress. I will be joining ranks with many of my Chinese brothers and sisters there in Cape Town, South Africa. This year is historic for several reasons, one of them being that China will be represented for the first time at Lausanne. More than 250 (from both the registered and unregistered churches) have been invited. Very exciting! This past Sunday I spoke in two services of a church here in the United States about all the good things that are happening with the church in China taking a more vibrant role in Chinese society and government. They have something very valuable to offer each of us in the task of global evangelization because they are agents of one of the largest growth movements in the history of the church, propelled by the hand of the Spirit of God Himself. I greatly look forward to spending time with my Chinese brothers and sisters in Cape Town.
However, we have an Enemy who does not want any of this to take place. Somehow the government of China has gotten hold of the list of participants to Cape Town and is making it very difficult for Chinese people to come to Lausanne. The first group of seven volunteers at the airport were turned away on Sunday, their passports confiscated, and they were escorted home. A big wave of Chinese will be passing through this Friday. However, unless someone countermands the public security bureau (like, God), then it is unlikely that many of them will be able to come. This has less to do with the congress and more to do with the ongoing skirmish between the public security bureau and the unregistered churches. While great progress has been made over the years, it is often touch and go, two step forward and one step back. But, God is not deterred. I really believe that!
PLEASE pray for China. Be on your knees for your brothers and sisters who are trying to come and be involved in this great global conversation at Lausanne. Pray that doors will be open (quite literally) and that hearts will be softened. Trust that God is much bigger than all of this.
**By the way- this is not the time to criticize the government of China- so please don’t air those kind of grievances here. The Enemy I refer to is not the government, but the kingdom of Satan and sin. It is love that conquers- not criticism. This is simply a time to come together and pray. Let God be God here.