I met with my seminary staff today in Chengdu. They needed some encouragement and direction in light of the events from last week. Once again Pastor Wang Yi was detained on June 4, the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. This time his wife was with him. He was released within 24 hours.
I asked Wang Yi the day before our staff meeting if he wouldn’t mind sharing a devotional with our seminary staff. He agreed. The meeting started at 10:45am and he came down to meet us at 11am as I had asked him. I gave him the floor and he shared his experience, encouraging all of us from Psalm 66.
On June 4 when he was brought into the police station his wife was with him. They were able to encourage one another and turn to the Lord for strength and support remembering things from a book they have been reading by J.C. Ryle about revival.
He shared a funny story with us that morning about his detainment that brought a smile to all of our faces. “I ended up giving one of the policemen a pre-marital counseling session”, he said. “The young police officer watching us that day confided in me that he was having relationship problems with his girlfriend and wanted advice. He was so open. My wife and I sat there giving him counsel in his relationship. The more he talked the more he opened up. When another officer would come into the room he would stop talking but after the other officer left and it was just my wife and I with this young officer, he continued to open up and pour out his heart.”
The staff smiled and laughed as did I. This is the way God is using his people here in China. They don’t see the police as their enemies. In many cases the police are just carrying out orders given to them from one or two levels up. One Chinese brother shared with me that in fact the police in many parts of China have a positive view of Christians and really don’t wholeheartedly carry out orders aimed at harassing the church.
Jesus told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. I feel encouraged as I witness the humble actions of these house church pastors that I can see Jesus being reflected in their actions and attitudes.