From Nik Ripken’s The Insanity of Obedience:
In one location, more than 150 house church leaders were being trained. It was shocking to have them ask me, “Is Jesus known in other countries or is He known only in China?”
I began to share with them stories about believers in Africa and believers in America. It was exciting to watch them breaking out with spontaneous celebration as they were so excited that Jesus was also known in other countries! But the more I described faith, church, and practices in America, the quieter they became.
Suddenly the house church leaders began to cry out: “Why, God, don’t You love us like You love the believers in America? Why can we not experience the miracles that You grant to the believers in America?”
I could not believe my ears. I asked them to explain their anguish. Their experiences rivaled the stories of the apostles. Miracles of healing were common. Thousands were coming to faith in Jesus. Almost half of their pastors had served multiple years in prison for sharing their faith, and they often planted churches in those prisons! How could they possibly compare those miracles to what I had told them about America?
There were surprised that I did not understand.
“Which is more miraculous?” they asked. “That we can divide our Bibles book by book, giving each pastor one torn-out section of Scripture or that you say you own dozens of Bibles, along with music books and study materials?
“Which is more miraculous? That Chinese are being healed by the hundreds of thousands and that maybe a thousand of them will come to discern that their healing has come from Jesus or that you have access even to Christian doctors, nurses, and health care any time you choose?
“Which is more miraculous? That we move from house to house, meet on different days of the week and at different times during the day trying to avoid disruption of the church and arrest or that you can gather for worship all day every day and no one would ever think of arresting your pastor?
“Which is more miraculous? That we view prison as our theological training ground or that you can study in special schools set aside just for believers and their training?
“Which is more miraculous?”
It was my time to weep. I realized that what I had called “common” in my own country and in my own faith would be considered profoundly miraculous by most of the believing and persecuted world.