On August 9, 2009, 39-year-old Alimjan Yimit received a 15-year prison sentence on the charge of providing state secrets to overseas organizations. The real reason for his incarceration was his zealous commitment to share the gospel and the church that he lead in the Uyghur area in northwest China. While Christians enjoy increased freedom in many parts of China, in regions such as the Uyghur area, restrictions remain strongly enforced. Yimit has been held in detention since January 12, 2008, and in 2009, was sentenced to a 15-year imprisonment. In 2010, he was finally allowed to receive monthly visits from his family. In April of that year, his wife Gulnur was the first family member able to visit him since his arrest. His then four-year-old son was said to have barely recognized his father.
The past six years have been difficult for both Alimjan Yimit and his wife Gulnur, but God has faithfully sustained them, and has recently given them a new reason to give thanks. Open Doors received a short message from Gulnur in which she shared her joy that her mother has become a believer. Praise the Lord with them! Gulnur is also doing well. She has found a new job, and is encouraged by the many prayers of brothers and sisters from around the world, as well as by the support of local Christians.
Unfortunately, Alimjan’s circumstances remain unchanged. Next month will mark his 6-year anniversary in prison. His children are growing up without him, and though Gulnur can now visit him, they are limited to once a month at most.
Father, even in these difficult circumstances, we thank You for Your tender mercies on this family. We praise You for the new faith of Gulnur’s mother, and pray that she will grow in faith and understanding of Your Word. Thank You for Gulnur’s job, and we pray Your continued watchful care over this family. And even while we pray for his release from prison, we are thankful that You consider Alimjan worthy to suffer for Your name’s sake. We pray for Your joy to flood the lives of Alimjan, Gulnur and their family. Watch over Uyghur believers as they seek to faithfully serve You, and bring to this region of China a mighty outpouring of Your Spirit. In the name of Jesus who protects and strengthens His church, Amen.