Posts in Ryan Zhang
Light Up the Fire in Your Heart – How to Support the House Church in a Time of Persecution

Despite raids by police, house churches continue to meet and preach and pray on every Sunday. Their devotion to these spiritual disciplines is preparing their bodies and souls for whatever is to come. If we were placed in their situation, would our spiritual disciplines give us the resilience to endure this kind of suffering? 

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Zhu Yingtai and Liang Shanbo – A Relentless Love in China’s Folklore

This is one of China's four most celebrated folklores. Like the other great love stories, it contains humor, separation, longing, heartbreak, death, and of course, unrelenting love. We cherish these stories with plays, films, and music because our souls are helplessly stirred by their yearning. They echo the great cosmic love story that we live in, which also contains humor, separation, longing, heartbreak, death, and unrelenting love. In all of these stories, our souls are not satisfied until the lovers are united. So too with the cosmic love story in which we live; our hearts are restless until we are united with the God who pursues us with his relentless love.

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Joy to the World On Christmas Sunday

Christmas is not a national holiday in China (and in many other nations), and I do not imagine that my relatives in China will be getting together to sing carols and exchange presents. But I am willing to bet with my life that in China, in other parts of Asia, in the Middle East, in Africa, in South America, there are thousands of followers of Jesus who will be risking their livelihood to gather on this Christmas Sunday for no other reason than being together to celebrate our hope in the birth of Christ. I know Christians in recent years have often only held services on Christmas Eve, but this Christmas Sunday should be especially meaningful because we will not only be celebrating with our earthly families, but also with our brothers and sisters around the world. Even the closest earthly families are only foretastes of the communion of the saints we have in God's eternal kingdom, and this Christmas Sunday we will have a chance to celebrate both.

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Lost and Love on The Way Home

We may not identify with their experiences, but stories like these still resonate with us because you and I both know we long for unconditional love like this. Regardless of what we have done, how long we have been missing, or whether we are still recognizable, we want someone who will love us enough to search for us when we are lost. 

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How I've Been Shaped by China: Part 2

China has risen to be an economically rich country, but it lacks rich social and moral fabric; the alarm bell rang through the hollow body of a little innocent girl. In the early evening of October 13, 2011, a two-year-old girl nicknamed Little Yueyue was playing outside her family's hardware store in Foshan, China. She was run over twice by different vehicles. As she lay injured in the middle of the street for nearly ten minutes, security cameras captured at least eighteen different pedestrians passing by and ignoring her. Some stepped around her, some spotted her and picked up their pace, one motorcyclist stopped, looked at her, and kept going. This incident stirred reactions across China. As it shook the conscience of the Chinese people, even up to the highest levels of government, almost everyone was forced to ask, “What has happened to the souls of the Chinese people?”

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How I Have Been Shaped By China

We lived in one of the biggest cities in China, but when I first started elementary school, we would meet in one-story huts whose roofs would leak during rainy days. We had not yet heard of McDonald’s or Pizza Hut, none of our homes were air-conditioned, and the best toys I had were the ones passed onto us by our relatives in Hong Kong. The first major change in my life occurred when my school moved into a brand-new, six-story building in 1994. Unfortunately, this was not the only major move that year. In the great transition from public enterprises to private companies in the early 1990s, many state-owned companies began to decline. Since our little apartment was provided by my parents' work, the decline of their state-owned company also meant the loss of our home. This was not particular only to my family. Others like my parents – in their early 40s and poorly educated due to the Cultural Revolution – suddenly found themselves without work and without a state safety net to support them.   

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The Cry of a Subversive Patriot: My Reflection on this Fourth of July

When I took my citizenship oath in the summer of 2005, I renounced my fidelity to any foreign sovereignty and pledged my allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America. Nevertheless, I must admit that at best I can only be a subversive patriot, not because I am looking for opportunities to betray my country, but because I have been called into the Kingdom of God. Every day of my life – when I see injustice, violence, evil, sickness – I will pray that the people of this Kingdom will be a light in darkness and that the glory and authority of our King will soon be fully established in our world. 

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