What If Missionaries Prayed for YOU today?
We pray for our missionaries frequently – often times assuming they have it worse than we do. For the most part – we are right. After all, most of the places our missionaries go are filled with people not as open to hearing the Word as America does. In some cases – they could be punished by death for their work. On the other hand, as Pastor Ki De Xian and wife Zhao Xia would attest, we may be the ones who need to be prayed for. This is their story as told by one of DC Talks’ Jesus Freaks books.
“Christ was the first to suffer,” Pastor Li De Xian said. “We just follow Him. There are many thorns, but we are just injured a little on our feet. This suffering is very little.”
When Pastor Li talks about suffering – he speaks from a vast amount of experience. He refused to miss a single service unless he was in prison – and that has happened often. Between October 2000 and May 2001 he was arrested fifteen times for preaching in an unregistered house church. In fact, he has been arrested so many times that he has lost count and carries a black duffle bag with him wherever he goes with a blanket and clothes in case he is imprisoned again.
Punishment and suffering is something he is more than familiar with. During one imprisonment, his captors tied his arms and legs together and then chained him to a bedpost for three days. Then, when he was released from the torture, he was forced to work on an assembly line. His work required him to assemble thousands of Christmas bulbs each day to be sent to America. “They suffered this inhumane treatment simply because they failed to meet their daily production quotas in the Chinese labor camp.”
Somehow, thru all of this, Li is not afraid. “Arrests will come at any time, but we are not afraid, as we have prepared ourselves, and we have not done any crimes.” He spends whatever time he can in prison reading the Bible – something he somehow manages to get smuggled in. Even his wife, Zhao Xia refuses to worry. “God will take care of him,” she says, “so there is no need to worry.”
Back in 2000 – officials took over his house church and welded the doors shut. The same agency then blew up at least 450 churches, temples, and shrines.
Do you feel bad for this husband and wife? Are you ready to commit to prayer for the couple and those like them? Before you do…listen to what Zhao Xia says about us – and see if it doesn’t knock you right in the gut.
“Don’t feel sorry for us,” Zhao Xia says. “At least we are constantly reminded that we are in a spiritual war. We know for whom we are fighting. We know who the enemy is. And we are fighting. Perhaps we should pray for you Christians outside of China. In your leisure, in your affluence, in your freedom, sometimes you no longer realize that you are in spiritual warfare.”
and with that…I have nothing else to say.