― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
The Lord is actively moving all across the country, and despite opposition from the Chinese government, people are receiving the gift of salvation on a daily basis by the grace of God working in the lives of Chinese believers. It’s estimated that 15,000 people come to know Jesus every day in China, and these people need to be discipled. Our ABC program is just the tool to teach pastors to disciple new members of the family of God. Even with powerful tools like the ABC Discipleship program spreading all over China, we (as well as other Christians) in China have faced some opposition and hardship.
In the latter part of 2015, our ABC discipleship program had a very close call. In the process of changing our book printers, our former printer was fined and arrested for printing “illegal religious material.”
There was also word of another printer convicted of the same charges who was sent to prison. This kind of opposition is not new to Christians of China.
According to Business Insider, Christianity rates as the most persecuted religion in the world. In a study done in 2012, data shows that Christians faced harassment of various sorts in over 139 different countries (Berlinger 2012). The World Christian Database records that an astounding 1,093,000 Christians were martyred on a global level between the years of 2000-2010. Needless to say, the church in China (and globally as well) is under serious persecution.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
― Romans 8:35-37
In the wake of the persecution that has affected not only our ABC team but believers all across China, the Lord continues to be profoundly faithful.
Our ABC program enrolled 1,700 new students making 2015 our biggest year thus far. Our program has graduated over 2,000 students who are now serving our Lord and the community of believers in house churches all over China. The Lord has proved His goodness and mercy to us again and again and also has brought us to our knees in awe and gratitude for what He has done and continues to do for His people.