And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. Acts 5:41
When I surrendered to go to China as a missionary, I knew that persecution was a possibility, not only for me but also for those in our future ministry. Persecution has many different degrees, you can read more about that topic here, and this timeline is just to document those instances that we, our teammates, or those in our ministry, both missionary and nationals, experienced and how God continues to triumphantly build His church in spite of it! All glory to God!
Note: Below are just short “blurbs” about the incidents. You can click on the references to find out more information and read other related blog posts from the same time period for further details. Also, click “Show more” to expand more details about each incident.
2010: We arrived on the field without any problems.
2011: We are in a language school and have our first experience with persecution on the field.
2012 to 2013: We finished language school and moved to Dalian. We experienced relative peace without any noticeable persecution.
2014: This was a year with several instances of persecution in multiple locations and because of multiple reasons.
2015 to 2017: The church and ministry were growing. We experienced relative peace without any noticeable persecution.
2018 to 2019: We were in revival, but we could also sense a wave of persecution building, it was also time for us to return to the USA for furlough, and after we did, more persecution ensued.
2020: We are no longer living permanently in China, but the persecution continues within the ministry there, and as this year unfolds, we simply declare, “The Lord is still in control.”
In the future, what will we experience? Persecution! We are willing to preach the gospel in the face of persecution, are you? In fact, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering! Join us! Who will take the place of those who can’t live there or have been deported? Who will go and encourage the Chinese believers and pastors? Who will go and tell the lost? Jesus, the Saviour fo the world has come, people must know, the Chinese must know!
Christ Triumphantly Builds His Church
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
In the first mention of the church, the church is described as a “persecuted but victorious church”. Jesus says that He will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Thus, in a sense, Jesus is saying that the church will be attacked by the wicked, but none of these attacks will overcome it—even the worst of attacks “the gates of hell” (murder, death, martyrdom). The “gates of hell” resemble the place that holds the human soul prisoner at death. This means that the “power of death” will not overpower the church. Death is strong, its gates hold the dead within and people do not come back from it. But Jesus will overcome death by His resurrection from the dead and pave the way for all members of the church to do the same.
Thus, Jesus is the church’s Foundation, Builder, Owner, Victor, and He declares that even though His church will be persecuted, He will triumphantly build His church in this world—it will never be overpowered or cease to exist because of persecution or martyrdom.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Stories, articles, and audio resources about persecution.
- Story from Dalian, China: Where Are You Going?—A Story Of Modern Persecution
- Blog Category: Persecution, Fear, Boldness
- Blog Tag: Persecution
- Podcast: China Ramblings! Podcast, Episode 64, Quick Persecution Update & Persecution, Boldness, Fear
- Sermons: Christ Triumphantly Builds His Church & Pledge Your Allegiance: A Lesson in Persecution
- Audio: Persecution Course
- Book: “A Thousand Lives“