I had the incredible opportunity of speaking with a Chinese house church leader on Wednesday. Wow, what an interesting testimony. Just like the brothers in the Middle East who have suffered all kinds of indignities for their faith (and persecution too), so our brothers in China have had the opportunity to suffer for His Name's sake. My memory verse last week was Hebrews 5:8 "Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered". 1 Peter makes it clear that we all will suffer if we are believers, and gives us all kinds of reasons why it is good for us.
Part of this man's testimony was that he has been arrested several times and was recently kidnapped for "escaping" years before (the door 'miraculously' opened and he simply walked out of the prison). If you've never read the book, "The Heavenly Man", the story of Brother Yun. I highly recommend it, as it was the best book I read in 2006. Fantastic true story that will help you understand the gracious freedom we have in the USA (for now). The passage that spoke the most to me is when Brother Yun was in a nasty prison, was treated horribly, had his face stuffed into a prison outhouse receptacle because he wouldn't deny his faith (and more). One of the prison guards commented that Yun, out of all the people there, was the only free man in the prison (including the staff). Thank God for our freedoms. Now pray that God would preserve them through the repentance of his people (2 Chron. 7:14)