I appreciate the story by Fr. David Rucker in the recent OCMC newsletter. As the son of Methodist missionaries to China, he related the story of one of the persecuted house churches.
In a three-story house church in southern China...a Cantonese congregation...packed the unassuming structure from rafter to floor board. Every week they risked imprisonment by the communist authority and abandonment by their local community.... For a people without freedom, the hope these gatherings offered were far more valuable than the risk they cost....As David left that prominent Chinese house church, however, the head pastor, who himself had spent the past 17 years in and out of prison for his beliefs, took the opportunity to evangelize the evangelist. With a simple request, this devout man completely altered David’s perception of purpose, “Please, tell the people in America that we pray for them daily because they don’t have to suffer for their faith. It must be very difficult to be a Christian without suffering.”
For the whole story, read here.