open doors: China

Sichuan Earthquake Aid Demonstrates God’s Love

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”

– Psalm 46:1-2 [NIV]

China

Open Doors’ local church partners are ministering to those affected by the disaster in a village located 30 km from the epicentre, nearly three months on from the devastating Sichuan earthquake.

Open Doors has been distributing tents and relief packages here with the help of the local house church. Prior to each distribution, the church leader explains to the villagers that the tents and aid materials have been contributed by Christians who want to express their love to the victims.

In some instances, this has prompted villagers to ask, “If we don’t believe in Jesus, will we still be able to receive the tents and aid materials?” This has given church leaders the opportunity to explain that it doesn’t matter whether they are Christians or not; all the needy in the village will be helped.

The aid provided by the church and the kindness of local believers has made a positive impression on village officials as it demonstrates that, contrary to their misconception, Christians do not destabilize society, but instead bring good to the community.

One villager who is not yet a believer gratefully told a Christian who was helping with the aid distribution, “You Christians really have a good heart and genuinely love us. Thank you so much for your tent. Now I can have a shelter in which to live.”

Many other Christian groups are also active in the disaster zones and several house churches have sent volunteer teams to help victims by providing counselling services and distributing fabric and medicine. Most use this as an opportunity to let the victims first experience God’s love and comfort before sharing the Gospel with them at a more appropriate time.

“Sharing the Gospel with a victim is important, but not the priority. We must first develop friendships and care for their needs so that their hearts will be open to the Gospel,” one church worker said.

Source: Compass Direct

Prayer points:

  • Give thanks for the opportunities Chinese Christians have had to share the Gospel, both in actions and in words
  • Pray that many non-believers will meet with Christ through this practical demonstration of God’s love
  • Pray for wisdom for government authorities and for Open Doors and other Christian groups as they continue to deal with the aftermath of this tragedy

Update on Shi Weihan

China Aid Association reported yesterday that imprisoned Beijing book store owner Shi Weihan has been suffering a deterioration in health. As a result of poor prison conditions and lack of diabetes medication, Shi has lost more than 10 kg in body weight amidst the constant physical and psychological torture employed by prison officials.

Please continue to pray for Shi’s release. To speak up for Shi by writing to the Chinese Ambassador in the UK, go to www.opendoorsuk.org/advocacy

Thank you for praying with us

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