If we understand the times, we believe that the return of Christ is imminent. The enemy understands this also and is redoubling his efforts to destroy the work of God. Even the secular media is reporting on this. A recent article by the BBC titled Christian persecution ‘at near genocide levels’ addresses this
OUR MISSION IS TO PRAY AS WE HAVE NEVER PRAYED BEFORE.
Jim and Jody Smith are our very own missionaries. Those that know them know the heart they have for missions and for the people of China. They minister in one of the most populous provinces in China with a population of over 95, million. The predominant religions are Chinese folk religions, Taoist traditions, and Chinese Buddhism. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009 1.21% of the population identifies as Christian.
Jim teaches at a university and Jody teaches English. They are restricted from teaching bible studies but witness through relationships they encounter. As you see below, China is becoming more restrictive on Christians as well as other religions. The Smiths are very careful with information they share with us. The government pays for spies to monitor church services and other activities. Their children; Jim Jr., Katee, and Jenee are still in the States. Jim and Jody have two grandchildren, the youngest they have not seen.
- For guidance to know who they can trust,
- That the Holy Spirit would guide then as they walk the tightrope between witness and government restrictions.
- That Holy Spirit would grant them favor with the people,
- For their witness would be effective,
- For their children,
- That the Chinese Christians have true conversions and be hungry for God.
- Health and safety
Matthew 11:12 “And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it. (NLT)
China Christians have experiences explosive growth in the past. About 100 million Christians live in China. About 30 million are affiliated with government-authorized churches, the remaining 70 million worship in unapproved house churches. Recently China has seen a sharp increase in government opposition to religion, including Christianity, as the Chinese government has destroyed crosses, burned Bibles, closed churches, and is forcing believers to sign papers renouncing their faith in Beijing and several other provinces, demanding loyalty to the atheist Communist party in power.
In 2018, the government implemented sweeping rules on religious practices, adding more requirements for religious groups and barring unapproved organizations (house churches) from engaging in any religious activity. One of the goals of a government work plan for “promoting Chinese Christianity” between 2018 and 2022 is “thought reform”. The plan calls for “retranslating and annotating” the Bible, to find commonalities with socialism and establish a “correct understanding” of the text. Many are saying the Chinese government is now emboldened because of the lack of protests from the West.
- That the Kingdom of God will advance even as persecution increases,
- For the growth of believers from minority people groups including Muslim & Buddhists,
- For Chinese Christians to stand strong among tightening religious restrictions,
- That Christ will reveal Himself to government officials who seek to control the church,
- For protection of believers who stand against communist opposition.
UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS:
Matthew. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Unreached People Groups are identified as having 0.1% or fewer Christians of any kind, and no evidence of a self-sustaining gospel movement. One fourth of the world have almost no chance of hearing about Jesus from someone in their own people group. The vast majority of mission prayer, giving, and laborers focuses on strengthening Christians where Christians are already present. Only a tiny portion of mission prayer and resources go to Unreached People Groups.
Matthew 35:37-38 “Then he (Jesus) said to his disciples,“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
The harvest in China is vast! It is estimated that 82% of the Chinese people fit the definition of Unreached. https://joshuaproject.net/frontier
PRAY FOR THE FOLLOWING:
- for more mission workers willing to take the risks and sacrifices to reach these remote areas,
- for churches to be planted and disciples made,
- for direction of the Holy Spirit and protection for those involved,
- that gospel will be made available it their native language.
“PRAYER IS NOT THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO, BUT IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO!” https://joshuaproject.net/