We are back!! Our team had an amazing and adventurous time traveling throughout three provinces to minister to minority people groups in the underground church. We had a powerful time of praise, worship and prayer. Most of our time was spent preaching, teaching, and encouraging our Chinese brothers sisters. And although we were going there to bless them, we received far more than we gave! Truly our time together was very special!
Early on we experienced first hand what it is like to be persecuted for being a follower of Christ. We were asked to leave the first province we visited shortly after we arrived. We spent nearly a day traveling to this province but had to change plans when we were informed that the local federal authorities found out we were coming. Before we had an opportunity to do any ministry we were asked to depart, and were followed to the bus station and airport to ensure we were gone. The opposition we faced could have easily discouraged us and kept us from continuing our mission, but greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). So we prayed and sought the Lord, and He directed us to press forward. We made some adjustments, exercised wisdom and continued with our plans.
We then traveled throughout two other provinces without further trouble and made several stops. We went to a couple of underground training centers to encourage the students in their walk. At one of these centers the students asked to pray for us before we left. We have never experienced more fervent prayer in our lives! They poured their hearts out, wept and cried out to God, they knelt on their knees and blessed our feet. It was powerful! On our last stop for ministry we visited the E people in a very remote village in the countryside. Our drive there was treacherous and it was only by the grace of God that we arrived there safely. At first sight this place had nothing to be desired. The sleeping conditions were not favorable and the brutally cold weather made our stay even more uncomfortable. However, it was in this remote underground church that we had the two most powerful days of ministry! The anointing was strong and His presence so thick. It was there that many were filled with the Holy Spirit!!!
During our time in China we also learned about the persecution the church body faces on a daily basis. They are constantly dodging the flaming arrows of the enemy, and even when they are thrown in prison they continue to praise God and preach the gospel. The underground church cannot be stopped. They are fueled with passion! They have discovered the greatest treasure of all and are willing to give up everything for it. They refuse to conform to the ways of the world and will not give up preaching the good news until all have heard. They put their lives and their families lives on the line daily, but as Paul said to the Roman church, it is not worth comparing the sufferings to the glory that is to come (Romans 8:18)! We were humbled by the time spent with our brothers and sisters and look forward to seeing how God continues to transform that nation!
Our team sent out 160 leaders to fulfill The Great Commission; plant churches and make disciples! Please lift them (and their families) up in prayer and believe for much fruit. We thank you for your prayers!
Tom Lyly Ledbetter
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV