Speaking Hope

Rebuilding Spiritual Fellowship in China

Rebuilding Spiritual Fellowship in China

Dedicated learning and quality time for spiritual connection continue to equip leaders to build and strengthen the Church in China. Learn more about how God is providing for the needs of China's spiritual climate!

In Scripture, the book of Nehemiah details Israel’s release from Babylonian captivity and tells the story of a physical and spiritual rebuilding of Jerusalem. As China faces hardships, God changes lives through SOTA training and fellowships in a pattern that unfolds similarly to how Nehemiah’s desire to see God glorified led the Israelites toward faith and obedience in God. With leaders equipped to build and strengthen the Church in China, SOTA members and students learn to revere the truths of Scripture, commit them to memory, and turn to them to fulfill every spiritual need. As we pray for the needs of China’s spiritual climate, we can trust the words of Proverbs 19:21: "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand" (ESV)!

With religious meetings, activities and promotion restricted in China, those who desire to grow in faith are challenged with exhausting degrees of fear and persecution. The country also continues to navigate reopening from a zero-COVID policy and visa complications that affect one’s ability to travel in and out of the country. However, dedicated learning and quality time for spiritual connection through retreats and fellowships close the gaps that distance, stress and uncertainty have caused in the tired hearts of SOTA students and graduates over the past several years.

One SOTA graduate and missionary shared, “When we were most confused, the missionary fellowship organized by SOTA entered our lives like a fresh spring. Through the bi-weekly fellowship, we are not only equipped with knowledge in mission, but we were also able to share our feelings and difficulties and pray with other missionaries around the world. It is just like home for me.” Praise God this time of sharing and offering encouragement builds hope and helps establish synergies among the teams for the future.

When we are stressed or confused, or it feels like our enemies are working against us, let us not be afraid but trust in the Lord because of who he is, what he has done and how he provides for our needs time and time again. Upon completing the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem, Nehemiah wrote, “When all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God” (Nehemiah 6:16, ESV).

Through Nehemiah, we learn the power of trusting in and working with God’s timing, and making time for prayer that allows us to reflect on how God wants to move in us for his glory. When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem, he found that although the walls were strong, the people were morally weak. To re-establish a commitment to God, he prayed and encouraged the people to revival by reading and adhering to the Word of God.

As we reflect on how God works mightily through his people, let us pray for the leaders and pastors in China who are being equipped in their roles, and pray for God to provide SOTA students with ample encouragement. When we bring our sorrows to him in prayer and express gratitude for what he has done, we can be sure that God will hear us and give us the tools we need to carry out his purposes in China and beyond!