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China’s Lantern Festival

China’s Lantern Festival falls on February 11 this year. The festival is observed at the end of the Chinese New Year celebration. People hang lanterns of different sizes and shapes in front of their homes and stores. Red is a common color for the lanterns. Families watch colorful parades and performances during the festival.

China is a big country. The population is 1.3 billion. Some people believe that as many as 100 million people in China are followers of Christ.

That’s a lot of people! But it means that more than 1 billion people in China do not yet know Jesus.

Make a Chinese Lantern
Fold a piece of construction paper in half lengthwise. Cut slits 1 inch apart from the fold to 1 inch from the edge of the paper. Open the paper and staple the short ends together at the top and bottom of the lantern. Staple a strip of construction paper to the top to make a handle.

Write Bible verses about light on the top and bottom borders if desired, or make a design on the borders. Some possible verses include: “The Lord is my light” (Psalm 27:1); “Let your light so shine before men” (Matthew 5:16); “Your Word is…a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105); “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14); and “The Lord God gives them light” (Revelation 22:5).

Pray that all people in China will hear about Jesus, the light of the world.


Ada’s Mission

Ada's Mission
A Christian youth group in Nepal

In the snowy mountains of Tibet, “Ada” helped people called “nomads” grow food gardens. Nomads live in tents and move from place to place each season. They wear clothes made of sheep’s wool or yak hair from the animals they raise.

One day, police showed up at Ada’s house and took her to prison. They told her to write a paper that said she had broken the law. But Ada was doing God’s work. She had not done the bad things they wanted her to write. “What should I do?” Ada wondered. She prayed for God’s help, and Jesus told her to write only the truth.

Instead of saying that she did the bad things, Ada wrote about the good things Jesus has done for her. This made the police angry. They snatched up Ada’s paper and ripped it to pieces. Then they shoved another blank paper toward her and told her to write what they wanted. Ada only wrote about Jesus. The police became so mad they beat her.

Ada was afraid she would not be strong when she was in prison, but Jesus was with her, just like He promised. Jesus worked through her to tell her persecutors that He loved them and wanted to forgive them. Ada prayed for the men who hurt her and told them, “Jesus loves you.”

When the police realized Ada would not write what they wanted, they let her go. They said, “Leave our country and don’t come back.” They didn’t want her to tell anyone else about Jesus.

Not only did Jesus help Ada through her suffering, but He also helped her love those who hurt her. Ada loved the people of Tibet so much that she cried when she had to leave. She still wanted to share Jesus’s love with them.

But God had a plan for Ada. Tibetan nomads also live in a nearby country called Nepal. And that’s where God sent her next. Now Ada shows God’s love to the nomads in Nepal.

J.G. Spires, who wrote this story, was a college intern at The Voice of the Martyrs in the summer of 2016.


What’s Happening to the Crosses in China?

Fewer than 10 percent of the people in China are Christians. But in some parts of China, Christianity is growing.

Not everyone is happy about that. News reports in the United States this week told about government officials in China who are ordering that crosses be removed from churches.

Read more about what is happening in China below.

  • In 2013, a top government official visited Wenzhou, a Chinese city where many Christians live. He noticed that the new Sanjiang Church had a very large spire on top, and he didn’t like it.
  • The government decided to remove many crosses and churches. Officials said it would make the area safer and prettier.
  • In 2014, the government destroyed the Sanjiang Church.
  • More than 1,000 other churches have also been affected by the new rules. Some pastors have been arrested and believers injured when they tried to protect their churches.
  • A Christian lawyer started a group known as “Lawyers for the Protection of the Cross.” Thirty Christian lawyers joined the group.
  • The lawyer who started the group was seized in a police raid along with several pastors.

Pray

  • Thank God that many in China are coming to Christ.
  • Pray that lawyers and pastors in China will be treated fairly by police and officials.
  • Ask God to guide Christians in China in their relationship with non-Christians.

(Sources include: VOM Canada, The New York Times, China Aid, CBS News)

For more information about Christians in China, download Bold Believers in China from the Downloads section of this site.


China: Cheng Jie

A previous post told about Cheng Jie, a Christian mother in China. In the video clip below, her husband talks about their situation.


Julie

Julie

Learning About Jesus
Like many people in North Korea, Julie and her parents were often hungry. They moved from place to place searching for food.

Sometimes Julie’s parents traveled to China to look for ways to make money or to get food. During one of these trips, Julie’s mother learned about Jesus! And her father gave his life to Jesus a year later while he was in China. When he got back home, the family began to worship God secretly. They prayed before going to bed at night and when they got up at dawn.

Soon, Julie’s parents decided to send her to China to learn more about the Bible from Chinese Christians. While there, Julie gave her life to Christ.

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