PASTORS IN CHINA IMPRISONED TO STRING CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Their fingers bleed. If they don’t see through their day’s quota — 5,000 bulbs, they are beaten. The next day they report to duty under guards’ eyes. They thread the fine wire through plastic frames for Christmas lights to be strung for selling around the world. But their Christmas celebration is confined to being imprisoned.

Their crime? Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. This past year, 600 pastors alone were put behind Chinese bars.

Their families? Left to fend for themselves.

So tomorrow more pastors jailed by Chinese atheists will string fine wire for Christmas light insertions into hard plastic containers. A workday: 16-20 hours. Then the items will be marketed globally for believers to have Christmas lights for one more December.

It goes on and on and on.

The pastors ask the outside world to remember them in prayer that they will have the gift of perseverance. But they do not ask for the persecution to stop. They see the beatings-deprivation as its own unique ministry.

Therefore, when you come upon dawn tomorrow, remember in intercession those pastors — men and women — in atheist China who see through the work of lighting the world to honor the Baby Jesus elsewhere.

Christian Wire Service has been established to help these pastors of the Underground Church (estimated members: 80 million) upon their eventual release as well as assist their families left destitute.

Tom Henry serves as pastor-at-large for this evangelical outreach to those jailed in China. Contributions may be sent to help: a $50 contribution provides basic necessities for a family of four for an entire month.

“When we talk to these blessed brothers and sisters in China about the conditions in which they preach and minister, their response is full of humility and love and grace,” Henry said. “They ask for prayer and support for their families, and for themselves they ask for prayers focused on perseverance. They also request prayer for more souls to be won for Christ.

“But these pastors do NOT ask for prayers for the persecution to end. Persecution to them is directly proportionate to the great work to be done for Jesus Christ. They see their prison time as a unique ministry opportunity.”

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