By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
HENAN, CHINA (ANS) — ChinaAid has revealed that the President of Chinese House Church Alliance Pastor Zhang Mingxuan “Bike” and his wife visited three house church Christians who were recently released from prison in Zhoukou Village, Taikang of Henan Province, after being held for over one year.
|Pastor Zhang (center) spent the day encouraging Shu Wenxiang (left) and Tang Houyong (right), after their release from one year in prison
“As Pastor Zhang greeted the three Christian brothers one by one, he sought to encourage them, and ascertain the condition of their families,” said a spokesperson for ChinaAid.
“Finding that Shu Wenxiang and Tang Houyong were filled with peace and joy, Pastor Zhang said pleasantly, ‘Praise the Lord. You had suffered from prison but you have experienced the presence of God. The bodies of Christ from all around the world have been praying for you.'”
ChinaAid said that Pastor Zhang was very concerned about Brother Shu Wenxiang’s health and he told him, “You don’t look well; I am sorry that you and your wife have suffered so much.”
He also asked concernedly about Brother Xie Zhengqi’s health and about his family.
Pastor Zhang expressed deep concern for Brother Xie Zhengqi, who is 64-years-old.
Pastor Zhang encouraged them by saying, “Brother Tang was released on October 21st, Brother Shu was released on November 1st, and Brother Xie went home on November 11th. Don’t you see, all these dates contain 1st. It’s a new beginning! Let us rely on the Lord and follow Him. Let us unite in Him for the furtherance of the Gospel.”
The ChinaAid spokesperson went on to say that on December 3rd, 2008, Xie Zhengqi, Shu Wenxiang and Tang Houyong were arrested by members of the Bureau of Public Safety in Taikang. On December 16th, they were sentenced to one-year Re-education through Labor. They authorized Ms. Wu Chenglian to be their litigating representative and to file their administrative appeal. However, the Zhoukou Court rejected the appeal, confining the three Christians to a very long year of suffering.
In early June of 2009, Xie’s wife was diagnosed with heart disease. At that time, their son was away at college. Nobody was at home to take care of their farmland. Xie’s daughter and son-in-law had to quit their jobs in the city to come home and reap the wheat in the field.
Shu Wenxiang’s father turned 79-years-old while he was in prison. Shu’s wife was recovering from hysterectomy and was still weak. With no one to tend to their crops, the Shu’s garden went barren, eliminating their sole form of income. The whole family suffered from this financial crisis.
Tang Houyong’s wife continued to serve at a church in Xinyang City. Tang’s other family members live in the rural area as well. At one time, his family had to try and make ends meet with no income.
“Pastor Zhang made personal efforts to help the families and protest on the prisoners’ behalf while they were separated from their families,” said the ChinaAid spokesperson. “On August 16th, 2009, Pastor Zhang Mingxuan appealed for them in his fourth open letter to President Hu Jintao, but it had no avail.”
The spokesperson said that as he embraced the men at their meeting, Pastor Zhang gave thanks to the Lord for the trials they had experienced and encouraged them to serve the Lord with faith.
He told them, “The mission of Chinese House Church Alliance is to unite, help and encourage the bodies of Christ. The Lord protected you from being beaten in prison and His name was glorified because you did not bribe the officials. The Lord is pleased in you because you obey and trust in Him.”
The spokesperson added, “ChinaAid affirms the testimonies of these faithful believers, and the persistence of their families’ and the CHCA’s efforts to free them from their bondage. We have supported the CHCA in helping these families of prisoners, and will continue to do so, as they recover and re-build their lives and ministries together.”
For more information, go to www.chinaaid.org.