Over the years we have seen and been told some remarkable accounts of how God has supernaturally moved among people groups in Asia. We would like to share some of these stories with you, exactly how they have been told to us. We have made every effort possible to verify these events from different sources, and feel confident that the posted testimonies are true.
NOTE: Many of the testimonies on this page are also available to listen to on a free audio book. Thanks to Vic Zarley for producing this helpful resource.
The Experiences of a Chinese Pastor in Prison
…the first question the prisoners asked him was “Who are you?” He replied, “It doesn’t matter who I am, but let me tell you about Jesus Christ.”
In 1993 Philip, a house church leader in China, was thrown in prison after he and a number of believers were arrested. His ‘welcome’ to prison was a savage beating from the guards. They kicked him viciously with their steel-capped boots, beat him with batons, and tortured him with electric cattle-prods, designed to shock his body with high voltage. Philip was left unconscious with a broken collarbone, arm, and ribs. The prison authorities then threw his bloody and bruised body into a small cell that already contained 28 prisoners. The cell had just one bed and a bucket, used by all the prisoners as a toilet. The cell leader was a rough man who had already formed a gang inside the prison. No one was allowed to sit on or touch his bed. When Brother Philip’s lifeless body was thrown inside the cell, however, even this hardened criminal had compassion on Philip and lay him down on his bed.
At around 2 a.m., according to the testimony of the other prisoners, a supernatural light or glow appeared over Philip’s body. It shone on him for several hours. The other prisoners were absolutely terrified and backed up against the corner of the cell. They cried for the guards to come and let them out. The guards also saw the supernatural light and were terrified, but they refused to let the prisoners out.
By sunrise, Brother Philip was much better and had regained consciousness. At no time did he actually see the light, but all the other prisoners did. Surprisingly for the serious injuries he
had received the previous night, he was feeling much better and his broken collarbone and ribs seemed to be healed. Not surprisingly, the first question the prisoners asked him was “Who are you?” He replied, “It doesn’t matter who I am, but let me tell you about Jesus Christ.” He led all 28 of the prisoners to faith in Christ!
Today Brother Philip continues his ministry and is responsible for hundreds of house churches across China. He is a godly, humble and committed Christian who is willing to die for the Gospel. He receives no income and often goes hungry. Believers sometimes give him love gifts, but most rural Christians in China are so poor that their sacrificial gifts are barely enough for Philip to buy a train or bus ticket to the next town. There are thousands of Gospel-warriors like Philip in China and in the surrounding nations of Asia. In this issue of our newsletter we launch a new project, called the “Asian Workers Fund,” in which we invite you to consider partnering in prayer and finances with workers like Brother Philip who are being used by God to do mighty works in different locations around Asia.
The Miracle Mushrooms
As a powerful revival swept across central China in the 1990s, many Christians responded to God’s call to preach the Gospel in unreached regions of the country. Two teenage girls from central China travelled to remote Qinghai Province to reach the Buddhist ethnic minorities living there. They had no financial support, no return tickets and no contacts. The whole region was completely devoid of any knowledge of Jesus. After arriving, the duo’s hearts were filled with compassion. They tried to share Christ’s message, but the local women opposed them and drove them out of their homes. They were forced to sleep wherever they could find shelter: under bushes, in abandoned farm sheds, and the like. They were struggling, their stomachs were empty, and nobody would listen to the good news they desired to share.
One day the two girls heard about an abandoned cave that the locals avoided because they believed it to be haunted by ghosts. The girls saw this as the Lord’s provision and prayed against any unclean spirits as they moved into their new home. The girls prayed for many hours with tears in their eyes, asking the Lord to help them. One night they were particularly downcast and hungry. They felt that unless the Lord did a miracle, they would die. They prayed until they fell asleep. In the morning they awoke to find that during the night mushrooms had sprouted right outside the entrance of the cave! They immediately boiled them, thanking God for their nutritious meal.
The next morning they woke to discover more mushrooms had grown up again during the night! This continued every morning for about a year. Even in winter these miraculous mushrooms never failed to appear, poking their heads up through the snow outside the cave entrance. The girls learned how to enjoy mushrooms in every possible way. They boiled them, fried them and steamed them. They always tasted delicious, because they were miraculous provision of God.
Gradually these two young women started to be accepted by the local community. They were able to lead some women to Christ. A small church was established for the first time in the region. After about a year, one of the young women secured a job washing dishes at a local restaurant. The very same day she commenced work the mushrooms stopped appearing outside the cave! For many years now the "haunted" cave has been used as a Bible training centre for new believers. Now hundreds of people have come to Christ in that area.
The Burning Tooth
Do you know that the country of Vietnam is home to about 150 different tribes and ethnic groups, each one having their own customs and language? Some of these tribes live in extremely remote areas in the mountainous central and northern parts of the country. Some tribes have embraced Christianity, but most remain completely cut off from the Gospel.
One such tribe is the Churu (pronounced "Ju-Ru") people, who number about 15,000 people. They live in foreboding mountains along Vietnam’s border with Cambodia. For countless centuries the Churu people have lived in spiritual bondage under the power of local shamans, or witch-doctors. A number of years ago we were told the following testimony by a Vietnamese evangelist. The following events were witnessed by many people…
To reach the Churu people we walked for several days. Many wild animals and leeches inhabit this part of Vietnam. Each time we crossed a river or stream our legs and arms were covered with leeches. After many struggles we finally reached a Churu village.
A number of tribes in the mountains of Vietnam received the Gospel before missionaries were expelled in 1975, but the Churu inhabit such a remote area that missionaries were never able to reach them. Few outsiders had ever visited them, and they remained a completely unreached people group.
Within minutes of arriving in the village a large crowd gathered around us to hear what we had to say. Most Churu people were naked, even though it gets very cold in the mountains. They do not choose to go naked. They are simply so poor they cannot afford to buy or make even a simple cloth.
The witch-doctors among the Churu possess a lot of demonic power. All the villagers live in fear of them. If a witch-doctor places a curse on someone who is not a Christian, that person is sure to die. The people are also kept in poverty because of the evil men. Whenever someone is sick they must consult the witch-doctor, who demands the sacrifice of valuable livestock as offerings to the evil spirits, and as payment for his services.
We started sharing stories of Jesus with the Churu people, as the witch-doctor emerged from his hut and began to listen. We told the people Jesus could set them free from sin and bondage if they put their trust in Him, and that they did not need to remain under the control of demonic spirits. The witch-doctor began to stir the people up against us and we could see that a major spiritual confrontation was looming. We told the villagers not to be afraid because Jesus is the Living God and that all power and authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Him!
We told them how our God once proved He is the true and Living God by causing fire to fall from heaven on Elijah’s sacrifice, while the Baal "witch-doctors" stood by powerless.
The main symbol of the witch-doctor’s authority was a huge wild pig’s tooth which he wore on a chain around his neck. The tooth had been handed down from generation to generation, and whoever possessed it had the right to lead the community and to mediate between the people and the spirit world.
The witch-doctor stepped forward, with a furious look on his face. He took the chain with the pig’s tooth from around his neck and angrily shouted, "If your God can make this tooth catch on fire then we will believe in Him, but if it does not catch on fire we will kill all of you right here!"
As you can imagine, we prayed very fervently and cried out to the Lord! Hundreds of Churu tribesmen gathered around and watched intently to see what would happen.
After praying for some time, suddenly the pig’s tooth burst into flames by itself! The whole village saw it and were amazed. Many believed the message, and dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ.
Today we have a church of more than 300 Churu people. We constantly teach God’s Word to them through stories because they are very simple people who struggle to understand concepts except in story form.
God’s grace and love is resting upon the Churu Christians. For the first time ever they have joy and peace, and they no longer live under the power of demons. Jesus has set them free! We sent teams of strong young men back into the mountains with clothes and blankets to help our new Churu brothers and sisters.
We praise God that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever!"
The Man with Two Heads
In 1994, in the town of Nanyang in China’s Henan Province, an elderly well-known doctor named Chen developed a cancer in the side of his face. The cancer grew to enormous proportions until it looked from a distance as though he had two heads.
The ear on that side of his head moved a considerable distance from its normal position; as fluids
congregated and made it balloon out. His appearance was so hideous that people frequently turned away in disgust and horror when he walked down the street. As his condition worsened, Dr. Chen suffered terrible pain and he was unable to sleep.
Dr. Chen and his 12-year-old grandson visited a physician and was plainly told there was nothing that could be done for him. Chen was instructed to go home, set his affairs in order, and prepare to die. The physician gave some poison to the grandson, advising him to slip it into his grandfather’s tea so that his life would end ‘mercifully’.
Later that afternoon, as the boy walked down the street, he wept uncontrollably for his beloved grandfather. The boy knew he couldn’t do what the physician had asked him to do. His intense wailing and desperation caught the attention of people, including a house church evangelist who stopped Dr. Chen’s grandson and asked what was wrong. The boy told the story of what had happened earlier in the day. The evangelist told him, "Whatever you do, don’t put the poison in your grandfather’s tea." He wrote an address on a piece of paper and said, "Please bring your grandfather to this address at seven o’clock."
In intense agony and distress, Dr. Chen and his grandson made their way to the address the evangelist had given them, not knowing what or who they would find there. When they arrived they found a house church meeting in progress, with a preacher sharing the Word of God. Despite Dr. Chen’s shocking appearance, the preacher continued his message. After he had concluded, the evangelist laid his hands on each of Dr. Chen’s "heads" and prayed a simple prayer, asking God to heal him.
Dr. Chen returned home that evening with no apparent change in his condition. He fell asleep and woke up thirteen hours later, the first time in three months he had gained any good rest. The next day, however, he still had two "heads" and did not look any better. Chen and his grandson rushed back to the evangelist’s house. The preacher told them not to worry, because God had already healed him and it would take a little time for the physical symptoms to reflect the spiritual reality of what had happened.
Dr. Chen’s condition gradually improved over the following days. One week later he had been totally healed and his appearance had returned to normal. His ear returned to its normal position and even the stretched skin where his face had ballooned out now looked unscarred.
After Dr. Chen and his grandson became disciples of Jesus Christ, the doctor’s conscience was troubled because for years he had deceived people by selling them fake pills which he knew contained no medicinal value. Chen repented, and immediately went to his medical clinic and threw the pills away. He kept the pill bottles, however, and made some new labels which said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be healed!"
Hundreds of people in Nanyang had seen Dr. Chen’s condition before and after his healing, and nobody could dispute that a great miracle had taken place. The doctor became a bold evangelist, and by 1996 he had led more than 300 people to faith in the Great Physician.
Chinese Judge Astounded by Christians’ Love
During a year of intense persecution for the house churches in China in 1983, an elderly Christian widow named Chen Meiying, along with her son and daughter-in-law, lived in central Henan Province. The old woman often prayed in Jesus’ Name for sick people, and many recovered. One day a very sick man was brought to their home. He was already knocking at death’s door, but the family couldn’t turn down the opportunity to minister God’s Word to the man and pray for his recovery. The man couldn’t sit upright, so he was carried into the house and laid upon a bed. Just a few minutes later, right in the middle of their prayers, the man died!
In China if someone dies while under your care, you are held responsible. When the dead man’s non-Christian family heard what had happened they lodged a complaint with the police. The mother, daughter, and son-in-law were all arrested and charged with murder! According to the law, someone would need to be put to death to atone for the death of the man.
The day finally came for the three Christians to appear in court in Pingdingshan City. News of the trial had spread far and wide, and hundreds of people packed out the courtroom. Some came eager to see the Christians punished, others came out of curiosity, while many believers came to pray for their brethren. Since their arrest the three had been held in separate cells and had no opportunity to communicate with each other.
Chen Meiying appeared first before the judge. Instead of pleading for clemency, she amazed everyone by confidently proclaiming, “Judge, I am the one you should hold guilty for the man’s death. He came to my house and he died while I was praying for him. I am fully responsible and deserve to die. Please let my son and his wife go free – they have done nothing wrong. I am old and have lived a full life; they are young and have much to offer our nation. Please let them go free!”
The judge and the entire courtroom were shocked. Usually those who faced the death penalty cried and screamed their innocence. That day, the old Christian widow had calmly and boldly asked for the punishment to fall on her! In her heart she wanted the two younger believers to be spared, as they had more years left in this world to preach the Gospel. She had no fear of death, knowing it was merely a graduation into the presence of her loving Lord who had purchased her with His own Blood.
The judge called for Chen’s son to be brought into the courtroom. Instead of defending himself, he boldly declared, “Judge, I am the one to blame for this man’s death. I am the man of the house and should be considered fully responsible for what happened. My mother is just an old lady who couldn’t harm anyone, and my wife wasn’t involved. Please let them live. I am the one you must punish!”
Likewise when the daughter-in-law appeared she too took responsibility for the man’s death and pleaded with the judge to let the other two go free. An argument started in the courtroom between the three accused Christians, as they tried to convince each other to let them take the punishment. The judge didn’t know what to do. All three had asked to die without even having a trial! Nobody had ever heard of such a thing before. News of what happened spread all across Henan Province. It was a tremendous testimony of Christian love and courage. As a result of all three of them accepting the blame, the judge decided to sentence none of them to death. He said, “I don’t believe any of you is the true murderer.” He sentenced the trio to eight, seven and six years in prison respectively.
Undeterred, each of them saw their time in prison as an opportunity to minister for the Lord, and they led dozens of prisoners to faith in Christ.
Today they are reunited as a family, and continue to pour their lives out for the Lord, preaching the Gospel, encouraging the believers, and praying for the sick.
Going the Extra Mile in China
The house churches in Henan never pray for a change of government, but rather they pray God would save the souls of the lost in China! In fact, many Chinese Christians pray persecution will continue in China, because they are afraid if life becomes easy and their faith does not cost as much, the church will get lazy and fall asleep. They pray their attitude will be one that embraces suffering as a gift from the Lord. With that attitude, they are willing to go the extra mile, and there is nothing evil men or the world can do to them.
Brother Shui lived in Fangcheng County in southern Henan Province. During the Cultural Revolution, Christians were often forced to parade in public wearing large “dunce” hats, made of heavy bamboo. The people came out to mock and abuse the “criminals” who wore them. When the time came for Brother Shui to be paraded in public, the police were unable to find a spare dunce hat for him, so they made him walk without one. This deeply upset him, because he wanted to bear the reproach of the Lord. Each prisoner’s crimes were written on their hat. For Christians they often wrote, “This person believes in Jesus.” This was meant to be a humiliation, but many believers wore the hat as a badge of honor for their Lord. It was a witness to unbelievers, who could clearly see the peace and joy on the faces of the Christians compared to the other criminals. Brother Shui cried out , “O Lord, why did you forget me?”
On the second day a dunce hat was found for Brother Shui, which made him so happy. His face shone with joy and tears welled up in his eyes as he paraded through the streets, now he was considered worthy to fully suffer for the Name of the Lord.
After the ceremony Brother Shui asked the police if he could keep the dunce hat and take it home when he was released from the prison, as a reminder of his “crimes.” The police found this request very strange, but they consented! When he returned to his farm, his neighbors were amazed to see Shui tending his cows and sheep while wearing the dunce hat! For him it was a treasured souvenir of when the Lord allowed him to suffer for the Name of Jesus. His neighbors thought he had
lost his mind, and that he was a shameless man. They despised him. But Brother Shui was a man who loved Jesus with all his heart. The government was infuriated when they saw Brother Shui embracing what was meant to be his humiliation. They realized they could do nothing to make him change his ways or renounce his Lord.
The world can do nothing to a Christian who has no fear of man.
Brother Shui wholeheartedly served the Lord for the rest of his life until he went to be with Jesus last year, leaving a testimony of courage and faith to many believers.
In 1966, in Nanzhao County (Henan Province), in a small town called Yunyang, one brother also had the experience of wearing a ‘dunce hat’ and being paraded through the streets for the Gospel. This brother was blind and couldn’t see a thing. Everyone knew he had been totally blind for many years. The people came out and beat him on the back and on the front, smearing dirt and rotten things on him, and riled against him. Two guards were placed on either side of him in order to lead him forward. Suddenly this brother began to shout, “Please don’t guide me anymore! I can see! I can see!” God had miraculously opened his eyes right in the midst of his persecution!
This brother is still alive today in Nanzhao, and can still see!
Henan, China: Testimonies from the House Churches
God’s Wrath Leads Many to Repentance
The persecutors of the church in Henan have done unmentionable things to the believers, but they haven’t always had things their own way. Some government officials who ordered a crackdown on the church were suddenly struck with cancer, while the family members of some persecutors began to die in accidents. The officials knew they were being judged for their actions against God’s people.
There was one well-known official whose actions against believers had been particularly brutal. He showed no mercy or remorse, and treated Christians like animals undeserving of compassion. The one person this official loved dearly was his young daughter. She was the apple of his eye. One day he returned home to find that daughter had suddenly become insane. For weeks she was unable to respond normally to her parents or anyone else. Leading doctors and psychiatrists were brought in to treat her, all to no avail. The official’s daughter could only say one sentence during this time. Constantly, day and night, she declared, “You should stop persecuting the Christians! You should stop persecuting the Christians!”
Finally, realizing God’s wrath had fallen on him, the official decided he wouldn’t persecute God’s people any more. On the same day he repented his daughter was fully restored to sanity.
Man Dies For Mocking God
In 1995 three female evangelists traveled to Xinye County in southern Henan. Just one week later 1,100 people had repented at their preaching, and numerous people were healed of sickness. During one meeting, an unbeliever came up and cursed the sisters at the top of his voice with vile and disgusting remarks. The women tried to ignore his filthy display. After the meeting concluded, a group of unbelievers came up and asked how the three could continue without retaliating, and how they even appeared to have compassion in their eyes for the vile man. They responded, “We leave this man in the hands of God.” At the exact time they said these words, the blasphemous man fell to the ground and died. This caused the fear of God to fall on the people who had witnessed this judgment, and many more people repented and accepted the Lord.
Frozen by the Lord
The official Three-Self church in 1997 conservatively estimated 160,000 Christians living in Henan’s Zhoukou Prefecture, although house church sources say there are probably in excess of a million believers in the prefecture. Much of the growth in Zhoukou has been due to signs and wonders, and unusual events drawing unbelievers to Christ.
In 1995, five local ruffians came to disrupt a Gospel meeting. These five were renown thugs, feared by all the people in the area. They shouted obscenities and challenged everything the preacher said. They then started to savagely kick and beat him with a stick. The relatively newly-saved preacher prayed ‘Lord, you have to answer my prayer now, or I’m going home.’ The moment he prayed, ‘In Jesus Name, I bind you’ – all of these five men immediately knelt down on the ground and placed their hands behind their backs as though they had just been bound by a tight rope.
Soon, five of the man’s relatives came and tried unsuccessfully to lift them up. The young preacher said, “God has bound them, and even if you come with a crane you won’t be able to move them.”
All of this was witnessed by hundreds of people. The fear of God fell on them and they shouted, “Please let them be free! Please let them be free!” The preacher ignored the men, and continued sharing the Gospel, carefully explaining the way of the Cross to the captivated audience. When he finished, he said, ‘Get up in Jesus Name!’ The men immediately stood up and were free.
The bound men later reported that while bound they were unable to move any of their body parts, yet their hearing and minds remained unaffected. God graciously allowed them to hear every word the preacher spoke! More than 100 people, including these five men, repented and were saved because of this sign and wonder.
Heilongjiang, China: Testimonies from the House Churches
The Salvation of a Communist Party Leader
In one part of Heilongjiang province there lives a man in his fifties who was a well-known Communist Party leader. Due to his unhealthy stressful life-style, drinking and smoking, he suffered a stroke and was paralyzed. His unloving wife, who viewed herself as a leading socialite, was embarrassed by her disabled husband and immediately divorced him. He was retired, but the local government allowed him to keep his driver and vehicle, and a personal doctor. In his desperation the man told his driver, “I have heard that those illegal Christians pray and anything can happen. Please take me to them.”
A few weeks later the leader was told that a group of house church believers would be meeting in a forest outside the city that night. He told his driver to get ready and they headed up into the mountains. After about an hour they stopped alongside a forest. The driver hesitated because he thought his boss was planning to commit suicide in his desperate state. The paralyzed man instructed his driver to pull off the road as he wanted to go into the forest. The driver had to carry him in through the trees. They walked for a few miles until suddenly through the darkness he heard noise of Christians singing and praying. It was so dark that none of the Christians could see the men arrive in the forest clearing. The driver stood at a distant and observed, while the paralyzed leader sat on the ground. He told his driver to return to the car and wait for him. In his heart the Communist leader knew that he was a sinful man and that it had come time to confront his Maker face to face. He asked forgiveness for his sins and humbly asked God to receive him into his family.
When one of the believers said, “Let us stand up,” a great miracle took place. Immediately the Communist Party Secretary stood up without thinking about it and realized he was completely healed! He shouted and jumped around for three hours in complete joy. Finally the driver came back to see what had happened and was amazed to see his boss was completely healed. The driver also accepted the Lord. To this day, the former government leader continues to love and serve Jesus, and is known by his sweet and humble spirit. He is a leading testimony in the Heilongjiang churches of the change Jesus can bring into any person’s life.
Blessed are the Peacemakers
One of the leaders of the house church in Yi’an County is Brother Wu.
Before he experienced salvation from the Lord, Wu was renown as a smart man who always topped his class at school, and was invariably elected as the class chairman. He had a knack of always getting involved with quarrels between people, skillfully showing them the solution to problems. He also had a reputation as the dirtiest mouth in the whole county. He could always out-argue people, using his ability with words to cover over his own sins and shame. Nobody could beat him in an argument or dispute. Brother Wu’s wife came to faith in Christ first. She lovingly shared the Gospel by word and deed with her husband, but he, being a Communist Party member at the time, strongly opposed her and beat her. During this difficult time for Wu’s wife, the church was constantly praying the Lord would make a way for her husband to be humbled and saved.
The opportunity for his involvement with house church believers came when he heard of a disagreement between two brothers. Unable to help himself, he got involved in the dispute, freely giving advice to both parties. His own worldly wisdom and pride in his own ability had become his god. When he first went to a house church meeting, the conviction of the Holy Spirit came upon Brother Wu in a powerful manner. He clearly saw his own desperate state, and repented by humbling himself under God’s mighty hand. Over time, the Lord started to use Brother Wu’s zeal to be a peacemaker in a way that brought glory to God. He mediated between believers with problems, giving sound Scriptural advice and counsel.
God also has greatly worked through Brother Wu’s unique personality and gifts to help the local churches avoid the many cults that are present in the area. There are more than 100 house churches in the county who were corrected and taught how to avoid heretical extreme teaching by Brother Wu. His salvation shocked many people in the community, as Wu was considered the least likely person to ever believe the Gospel. Because he was already well known, his ministry for the Lord came under close inspection, which landed him a time in prison where he suffered for Jesus.
Brother Wu is a living example of how God can use renew a person who submits his or her life to Him, and still use the gifts and unique personality that God has made each one of us to be.
An Entire Village Surrenders to Christ
As the revival fires of the Gospel began to sweep across Heilongjiang Province in the 1990s, in many places whole villages of people believed the Gospel and submitted their lives to Jesus Christ. Let’s hear the words of one bold evangelist as he explains how the Lord glorified Himself in one village in Lalin County (in the extreme south of the province) in 1997….
“I was sent by the Lord to Xiaoshan Village and after hearing the Gospel almost every household believed and put their trust in God. They smashed their idols and ancestral altars and became new creations in Christ. Five families refused to believe however, despite the prayers and earnest pleadings of their fellow villagers.
After holding some more evangelistic meetings four of the five families also believed in Christ, leaving just one family holding out against the Word of Life. The whole village prayed earnestly for that family’s salvation, as the new Christians believed God wanted to be honored among the entire village, and to have one family of unbelievers would simply not be good enough! Finally the one family realized that if everyone else in his village was a believer and experiencing God’s protection, then their family was vulnerable to attack from the devil! They also committed his life to the Lord and his family followed him into the family of faith.
To this day every family in the village continues to serve God. They actively share their faith with neighboring unreached people and are known as an honest people who are blessed by the Lord. It is because of the clear testimony of changed lives in villages such as Xiaoshan and in hundreds more like it throughout the province that the Gospel has spread so rapidly in Heilongjiang.”
An Elderly ‘Uncle’ Persists and Overcomes Hostility
When evangelists go out from the house churches in Heilongjiang they are supported with tremendous prayer backing from the numerous old ‘aunties’ who have such simple and sweet spirits. These old women live for prayer and worship. They often prostrate themselves on the floor during prayer meetings, with hot tears streaming down their cheeks, they intercede for the lost and wrestle in the spirit on behalf of those who are venturing out with the Good News.
With that background, an elderly ‘uncle’, known as Uncle Liu, went to preach the Gospel in an unreached village near Acheng City, 41 km (25 miles) southeast of Harbin, with a warm heart. When he knocked on one door, asking to share the Gospel with the inhabitants of the house, the people angrily drove him out of the village. Undeterred, Uncle Liu withdrew to a quiet place and earnestly prayed for the family who had rejected him. He then went back to the same house. The second time, the family threw water on him, drenching him to the bone, and with furious words and threats they again drove him from the area.
Uncle Liu didn’t give up however, and again he prayed for this family, believing it is not the Lord’s will for anyone to perish, but for all, including this one family, to come to faith in Christ.
For the third time he visited the family and told them they must repent and believe in God’s Son. This time the family members got large sticks and violently beat Uncle Liu. They swore at him and cursed him for his stubbornness, and again drove him from the village, this time soaked in blood and suffering from wounds to his body. This old brother however would not be deterred. After recovering from his blows for seven days, he went back again. This time the owner of the house did not oppose him. Amazed that he would come back again, the father of the family agreed they should all sit down and listen to what the old man had to tell them. As Uncle Liu preached the Gospel to the whole extended family, great conviction seized their hearts. Every single family member received the Lord into their lives.
The Obedience of Sister Chang
“The reason I wrote to you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.”
2 Corinthians 2:9
When God spoke to Sister Chang, a house church leader from Henan, he told her to do something that made no earthly sense at all. He told her to go and preach the gospel on the steps outside the local police station. Such an action may lead to arrest even in Western nations, and in Communist China it is a sure way to invite severe punishment. But the more Sister Chang prayed about it, the more clearly the inner voice of God continued to tell her to do it. Finally, she saw no option but to obey God.
Standing on the top step outside the police station, she boldly proclaimed the gospel to astonished onlookers. Within a few minutes, several officers dragged her inside and placed her under arrest. To the human eye her obedience looked foolish, but God can see things that we can’t.
Sister Chang was sentenced without a trial and sent to the local women’s prison, where she was placed alongside thousands of spiritually lost souls. She boldly and lovingly proclaimed the gospel to her fellow prisoners. The light of the gospel spread like wildfire. Within just three months, 800 women believed in Jesus! The entire atmosphere of the prison changed, and new sounds of praise and worship were heard echoing down the prison hallways and in the courtyard.
The prison director was greatly impressed at the change in the atmosphere and was able to trace it to the preaching of Sister Chang. He brought her into his office and said, “You have made my job easy! There is no more fighting between the prisoners and the women have become gentle and obedient. We need more people like you working here. From today, we have decided to let you go free. We want to give you a full-time job here in the prison, and we will pay you 3,000 Yuan per month” (about US$ 375, a fortune in rural Henan). He continued, “We will also give you a car and your own driver, and will find you comfortable housing.”
Sister Chang briefly considered the offer, and then replied, “Twenty years ago I became a disciple of Jesus Christ and he has been wonderful to me. I don’t believe your offer of a car, driver and salary is in line with what Jesus wants to do with my life, and I belong to him. All I want to do is preach the good news.”
Despite her rejection of his offer, the director released her from prison that day, and she continued her ministry for the Lord.
It always pays to do what the Lord tells us to do. Don’t argue, don’t fight it, and don’t try to work out all the details with your mind. Just do it. That is one mark of a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
Sister Yuen of Shanghai
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.”
Sister Yuen came from one of the wealthiest families in Shanghai. In 1967 she was arrested and sent to prison. At the time she was a widow with two young children, a son aged eleven and a daughter aged nine.
After Sister Yuen has been a year in prison her mother – who had been taking care of the children – died. The authorities decided to have “compassion” on her so she could go home and take care of her children. They told her that all she had to do was produce a written confession of her “crimes” and they would free her. They said, “This past year your conduct has been excellent, so now we plan to reward you.”
The officials arranged for her small children to be brought to the prison gates for a visit. Yuen was ordered to pack her bags as if she was going home. As soon as she caught a glimpse of her precious children, her heart was torn and tears of love welled up in her eyes.
Then the guards asked her, “What do you want, your Jesus or your children? If you want Jesus you will remain in this prison. If you want your children, you can go home. Surely your God would want you to be kind to your own flesh and blood?”
Sister Yuen’s son and daughter called out, “Mommy, we miss you! Please come home!”
A prison guard gave Sister Yuen a pencil and a piece of paper and asked her to write down her confession. She wrote in large characters, “Jesus can never be replaced. Even my own children cannot replace Jesus.”
She chose to stay in prison.
The warden shouted, “Listen, you kids! Your mother has rejected you! She doesn’t love you!”
She remained in prison for twenty-three more years.
When she was finally released, her son was 34 years old and worked in a government job in Tibet. Sister Yuen had not seen him even once in all those years. He had been taken by the state and raised in atheistic schools, so he had no belief in God and had been told his own mother had forsaken him. Many Christians had visited him and shared the gospel with him, but he always responded by saying, “Your Jesus took my mother away from me, why should I believe in him?”
Upon her release Sister Yuen went to Tibet to find her son. He rejected her, screaming
that he had no mother, and pushed her from his home. She has never seen him again.
Sometimes it is not easy being a disciple.
When God Would Not Let His Name Be Defamed
A remarkable testimony occurred when new house church believers traveled to a village in Lingao County, in the northern part of Hainan Island, in November 1995. The church planting team arrived in one village to preach. The local people said there was no way they would believe in the Christian God because they already worshipped the most powerful spirits.
The locals gave a stern warning to the evangelists. They said that the village shaman (witchdoctor) had, six years previously, received a vision that Christianity was the one true religion. This man was so convinced that he immediately burned all his spirit charms and other paraphernalia, even though he had not yet heard the Gospel and was not a believer. As soon as he did this, the people said, the shaman started to have visions where he saw many demons flying at him to eat his internal organs and completely destroy him.
He was so scared that he tore his clothes off, ran around naked, and went insane. He also lost the ability to speak. The shaman would pick up stones and throw them into the air, throwing the stones at the demons that were tormenting him. He lived in a hut with a thatch roof and walls so soon his rock throwing and other antics had completely knocked away the roof of his home. His life had become pitiful. He was exposed to the elements, naked, unable to speak, and completely tormented by demons.
The shaman was only kept alive by the kindness of the local people. Every night they would place some rice and other food outside his door for him to eat. The villagers said that the shaman’s experiences were proof that their local spirits were more powerful than the Christian God, so they told the evangelists not to waste their time, for they would never believe in the Christian God. They said if the Christian God was truly able to heal and deliver this man, then they would all know that Jesus is the true and only God.
The evangelists were new believers. When they heard this story they didn’t know what to do, so they returned home. Over the coming weeks the church started to pray and fast for this village and for the shaman, asking God to glorify His Name among the villagers because His Name was being defamed.
The evangelists were taught how to cast out demons. They then returned to the village and cast the demons out of the man. Immediately he regained his speech. They clothed him and helped him rebuild the roof of his home.
After hearing the Gospel, the ex-shaman became a Christian. When they saw the tremendous change in the man’s life, almost the entire village became Christians. The new believers then took the Gospel to the neighboring village and the vast majority of that village also believed.
As a testimony to God’s power over the forces of darkness, the Christians began to meet for worship and Bible study in the home of the ex-shaman! He was not the church leader himself, but his powerful life-changing experience was the catalyst for many to come into the Kingdom of God, and for the Name of Jesus Christ to be rightfully honored among the people in that area.
“We Just Prayed!”
One of the most remarkable stories of how God is using humble, simple-hearted Christians to build His kingdom on Hainan Island was related by Carl Lawrence in his book “The Coming Influence of China.” Lawrence recounts how, in the mid-1990s, two young women came to faith in Christ in another Chinese province after hearing the Gospel via shortwave radio broadcasts.
The two new believers received Bibles and immediately wanted to serve God with all their hearts. A Hong Kong-based pastor met with the two and tried to teach them that they should remain where they were and minister to their neighbors. The girls protested, “No! The Bible you gave us says Jesus told us to go into all the world. We want to go.” Finally the pastor, feeling ashamed at his own comparative lack of zeal, relented and told the girls there was a need for workers on Hainan Island.
The duo had never heard of Hainan Island before but were certain God wanted them to preach the Gospel there.
Two years later the girls returned to the Chinese mainland where the pastor met with them. He had not heard any news since their departure. The Hong Kong pastor used the meeting to introduce the girls to several visiting Western church leaders. After introductions, the girls were asked how their work had been and whether or not they had been able to start any churches. Lawrence explains:
“The women put their heads down and answered, ‘Oh pastor, we have only been there two years…yea, two years. Not many. Not very many’. Their voices were apologetic. ‘We have only been there a short time. The people were not very friendly, no, not very friendly. Sometimes they became very vicious. Yes, sometimes they told us they were going to drown us in the ocean. Several men threatened us. Oh my, and because we were so young, even some of the ladies did not like us. Yes, some even called us terrible names… so not many churches… no, not many’.”
Finally, after being asked again by the frustrated pastor, the girls apologized that they had been only able to start 30 churches since their arrival on Hainan Island!
The pastor and his Western friends were taken aback by the news. They asked how many people attended their new churches. After again going through a process of apologies and self-effacing comments, they answered, “Two hundred and twenty.” The listeners presumed that meant the
girls had won a total of 220 converts in their 30 churches, but 220 was the number of members in the smallest of their churches!
“How many people do you have in the largest of your churches,” the pastor demanded to know. “Oh…not many…. Less than five thousand. Only four thousand nine hundred. Yes, less than five thousand. We have just started.”
The Western visitors were so touched by the humility and zeal of the two young ladies that they began to weep. One of the visitors told the pastor to ask the two ladies how they managed to achieve such great results.
“What did we do? Why nothing. Yes, we did nothing, nothing.” The amazed onlookers protested, “You did nothing? You have thirty churches – the smallest with two hundred and twenty people, the largest with almost five thousand new Christians! And you did nothing?”
The two evangelists simply said, “We just prayed…. After we prayed, the Holy Spirit would tell us exactly what to do. We would keep praying and He would tell us what to do, we would do it. Then we would pray again and he would tell us what to do again.
Note: When we first read this story of the two faithful girls, we were not sure of the story’s accuracy, as it almost sounded too good to be true. We sent the story to a friend who is an expert on the church in Hainan Island. Somewhat surprisingly, our informant responded that indeed the story is true, these two young women had done great exploits and planted many churches in the face of great opposition and struggle. They primarily worked in southern Hainan Island, including several counties around Sanya City. However, our friend also added that because of a lack of follow up and discipleship, that much of the fruit had been lost to cults, and that by 1999 perhaps “only” 5,000 of the duo’s converts remained true believers.
Sister Li and the Earthquake
The terrified prison director asked in a stammering voice, “Comrade Li, how…how did you know that you should push the button when you did?”
In the early 1950s as persecution swept through the Chinese church, a pastor named Li lived in Guangdong Province in southern China. Li had a wife and five children, aged from twelve to a newborn baby. The authorities arrested Li for ‘counter revolutionary’ activities, and sentenced him to prison with hard labor in an iron mine in remote northeast China.
Li was ordered to take a train more than 2,000 miles to Heilongjiang Province, where he was to begin his sentence of many years. Li’s wife was understandably devastated. She had five children to take care of including a newborn, and now their only source of income was taken from them. They had nowhere to turn except the Lord. The Lis decided they should travel with their father all the way to Heilongjiang, hoping they would be allowed to visit him in the prison from time to time, and if a miracle happened and he was released early they would be near him. They sold most of their possessions and made enough money to purchase seven train tickets for what in those days was a week-long train journey. During the trip their hearts were heavy. Pastor Li prayed for his beloved wife and children, exhorting them to follow the Lord at all costs and praying earnestly for them, hoping to somehow compensate in a short period of time for what would be years of silence to follow.
The Li family finally arrived at their destination. Many tears flowed as Pastor Li entered the prison. His destitute family found some wooden planks and bits of canvas, and constructed a makeshift hut on the side of the road not far from the labor camp. The icy winds and winter temperatures of minus 20° cut like knives through the hut and thin clothes of the abandoned family. The children cried night after night, especially the newborn baby who could not get enough nourishment or warmth. Their existence was so miserable that words cannot adequately describe the inner and outer pain this family went through – all because they loved and served the Lord Jesus Christ.
Life inside the labor camp for Pastor Li was intolerable. He and the other prisoners were forced to work 14 hours per day, seven days a week. The backbreaking work of hauling heavy loads like a pack animal, coupled with the putrid and meagre food rations, quickly caused his health to deteriorate. The worst pressure of all for Pastor Li was the knowledge that his beloved family were suffering in freezing conditions just outside the prison gates. Three months after entering the prison, Pastor Li died.
When the news was passed on to Mrs Li and her children, all hope was lost. The family plunged into deep depression and despondency. Mrs Li could see no way out, and longed to die. The children were miserable beyond words. Mrs Li told them she would have to find a job in order for them to survive. Her eldest child, a daughter aged twelve, said, “No mama, you cannot work. Our little brother needs you. He cries all day for you and there is no-one else to help him. I will go and look for a job.” The little girl entered the prison office and requested to see the director. She said, “My father was put in this God-forsaken place because of his love for Jesus Christ. That is the only crime he ever committed. He was a good man who loved and helped people. Now he is dead. We have nothing. We have no money, no place to live, and no food. We cannot even return to our home in the south. I want to know if there is any job at all in this prison that you can give me.”
The prison director knew about Pastor Li’s death and, realizing that his little orphaned daughter was now speaking with him, a slight tinge of compassion welled up in his heart. He told her, “I have a job, but it is not interesting and pays very little.” She exclaimed, “I will take it!”
The prison director took her outside to an area above where 3,000 prisoners worked below the ground in an iron mine. He said, “Do you see this red button? Your job is to stand next to this pole all day, every day, and when someone tells you to push it, you must push it straight away. This button is the emergency button and when it is pushed a siren is triggered deep below the ground that makes the men evacuate as fast as they can. This button should never be pushed by accident, or without us telling you to push it.” For day after day, week after week, young Sister Li stood next to the pole with the red button. When she received her first pay—just a few dollars—she and her family were overjoyed.
One afternoon, as she was standing next to the pole, she suddenly heard a voice say, “Push the button!” She spun around to find no-one near her, and was confused. A few moments later she heard the same voice again, this time louder: “Quick! Push the button now!” Sister Li again turned but saw no-one. She thought she was losing her mind and just stood there confused. She couldn’t push the button unless there was a major emergency, and nothing looked any different from normal. A few seconds later she heard the voice for the third time, but on this occasion it was with great authority: “Sister Li, push the button now!”
This time she realized it was no less than the voice of the Lord that had been speaking to her. She didn’t understand why He was telling her to push the button but she knew she had to obey. She immediately pushed the red button and the emergency alarm sounded deep underground.
Three thousand men emerged to the surface as quickly as they could, confused and eager to learn what emergency had taken place. The prison director came running from his office and demanded to know why Sister Li had pushed the button and brought production to a halt. Then, just moments after the last man had evacuated from the mine, the ground started to shake violently. A strong earthquake struck that lasted for about 20 seconds, completely collapsing the mine to such an extent that nobody has been able to enter again to this day. When the shaking stopped an eerie silence came upon the gathered mass. Every eye was fixed upon the tiny frail figure, still standing next to the pole and the red button she had so jealously guarded.
The terrified prison director asked in a stammering voice, “Comrade Li, how…how did you know that you should push the button when you did?” She was given a fruit-box to stand on so that she could be seen just above the heads of the gathered men. In the loudest voice she could muster she said, “It is the Lord Jesus Christ who told me to push the red button. He told me to do it three times and finally I did. Jesus Christ is the only way for you to know the true and living God. He loves you, as seen by the fact he saved all your lives this day. You need to repent of your sins and give your lives to him!”
Immediately all three thousand men, including the prison director, knelt down and prayed with great sobs, asking Jesus to come and forgive them and live in their hearts.
Radio Revival among the Hmong in Laos, 1950’s
Listeners in one particular Hmong village inside Laos in the mid-1950’s were responsive to Christian messages, but being illiterate, had no idea how to communicate with the Vientiane Post Office box given on the program. The chief of the village, therefore, sent a delegation down several days’ walk to the capital, to the main post office, where they inquired if there was a religious man associated with a particular mail box.
Postal officials did not understand the request and referred them instead to a member of the locally established religious hierarchy, who sent a representative back with the delegation, several days’ walk return trip to the mountains. However, when the chief asked the representative to acquit himself in terms of his views, he was dissatisfied with the result and declared that it was ‘not the same’ as they had heard on the radio. He therefore apologized to the representative and sent him on his way back down the mountain. But the village were determined to make contact with the broadcaster.
So, again a delegation went back, three days’ walk, down the mountain to Vientiane, where they gave more details to the postal officials, who then decided these people must be referring to a foreigner who indeed had a mailbox. This missionary returned with the delegation, preached the Gospel to the Chief and his men, and all accepted Christ. As is quite ordinary in Hmong culture, the Chief ‘gave permission’ to his village to become Christians, every one. And as a common response to a Chief’s suggestion, the whole village followed suit.
(reprinted from Miao Messenger, Vol.6, No.1, Fall 1997)
Radio Revival among the White Hmong in China, 1990’s
There are about 150,000 "White" Hmong living in southern China, and perhaps 500,000 in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand combined. They are called ‘White’ because their women traditionally wore white dresses, but they also speak a different language from other Miao/Hmong groups. The Chinese commonly call these groups ‘Miao’, but this name is not used by the people themselves. In their own language they call themselves Hmong Daw, which means ‘White Hmong’.
Although there have been Christians among this group in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos for most of the past 30 years, in China they remained completely unreached without any knowledge of Christ.
One White Hmong Christian was a refugee who was able to flee from Vietnam to California after the war. He was deeply burdened for his people back in Asia. He started recording Gospel messages in his native language, which were aired by FEBC (Far East Broadcasting). For years they broadcast the Gospel in White Hmong without receiving any feedback from China.
In 1994 an old White Hmong man in Jinping County, Yunnan Province, China, was tuning his radio one day when suddenly he heard his own language being spoken. He was shocked! He ran outside and gathered his family to come and listen with him. They too were amazed because their language is not allowed to be used in media within China. They heard about Jesus, who they had never heard of
before, and did not understand, but they were excited to hear their own language. The next day, when the broadcast came on again, the old man had notified the whole village. Hundreds of people gathered around a radio to listen to see if it was true.
Soon after the old man decided he should tell other White Hmong villages about the broadcast. Because he was too old to work he had plenty of spare time, so he walked to 18 other villages and tuned their radios for them to the short-wave broadcast. Within weeks, thousands of White Hmong were listening to the Gospel every night. Slowly, their understanding started to be pierced by the truths of the Gospel. This radical teaching so gripped their hearts and convicted them that they decided they must make a decision to accept the Gospel or else to never listen to this teaching again. The leaders of all 18 villages gathered for a summit meeting. At the meeting they decided all of their people should become Christians!
Not having any churches, evangelists or pastors to advise them, except for the radio preacher, the White Hmong decided they must obey whatever the radio told them to do. One day they heard a teaching about idolatry. The people immediately smashed their idols and tore down their ancestral altars that had been on the walls of their homes for countless centuries. God was moving among the White Hmong in a powerful way. Drug addicts were being delivered from their bondage, fragmented marriages were put back together, and wrongs were made right. Another time they heard a teaching about water baptism. The new believers, out of the simplicity and innocence of their hearts, dug pits in the ground, filled them with water from a nearby stream, and baptized each other.
At this time FEBC did not know these events were taking place, but continued to faithfully broadcast the Gospel in the hope that God would use their efforts. One day a teaching came on the radio about the Lamb’s Book of Life. The White Hmong did not fully understand the teaching, but they knew they wanted to be in this Book! About six months later a large package arrived at the FEBC office in California. It came from China and had been sent by sea mail. Not knowing what it is, they opened it and found the names and signatures of some 10,000 White Hmong people. Attached was a cover letter saying,
"Dear Sir, please include the following people in the Lamb’s Book of Life"!!
Because this took place in Communist China, the government was not happy with this mass turning to Christ and soon stepped in to persecute the movement. All 18 leaders from the 18 villages were arrested. Most were released after paying fines and receiving severe warnings. Some of the other leaders were imprisoned. We received reports that the local police even burned down the houses
of some of the White Hmong Christians in a bid to intimidate them.
Starting in 1994, Asia Harvest has delivered several thousand White Hmong Bibles and teaching books to the believers in southern China. These have been received with great joy and thankfulness. However, the persecution has continued. In 1995, 100 White Hmong Christian families living in Jinping got fed up with the persecution from the local authorities and relocated themselves 200 km to Xishuangbanna Prefecture, where the officials are less harsh. Please pray for the White Hmong!
Note: The above testimony occurred in China, but similar events took place across the border in northern Vietnam, where as many as 100,000 White Hmong have come to Christ in the past ten years, primarily as a result of the FEBC radio broadcasts.
David Livingstone: Far More Than Just an Explorer!
You have probably heard of David Livingstone, the great Scottish missionary to Africa. Unfortunately, the secular media and historians have focused on Livingstone as an explorer, rather than what he really was, a missionary with God’s heart for the lost.
Sixteen years after his first journey into dark Africa, Livingstone returned to Scotland for a time of rest and speaking engagements. He was asked to speak to the students at the University of Glasgow. If he knew what awaited him he might have declined the invitation.
It was the custom of the undergraduates in those days to heckle speakers that came, and they were well prepared for this preacher. They had peashooters, toy trumpets, rattles, and noise makers of every description. Livingstone walked out onto the platform with the tread of a man who has walked eleven thousand miles. His left arm hung limply at his side, having been almost ripped from his body by a huge lion. His face was a dark leathery brown from sixteen years in the African sun. It was furrowed with innumerable lines from the bouts of African fever which had racked and emaciated his body; he had been attacked by savages and by the Turks who plied their vicious slave trade. He was half deaf from rheumatic fever and half blind from a branch that had slapped him in the eyes in the jungle.
The students stared, and they knew that here was a life that was literally burned out for God. Not a rattle moved, not a foot shuffled. A hush crept over that vast auditorium and they listened in rapt silence as David Livingstone told about his journeys and about the tremendous needs of this vast African population. "Shall I tell you, "he asked, "what sustained me in the midst of these toils, hardships, and incredible loneliness? It was a promise, the promise of a gentleman of the most sacred honor; it was this promise, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto
the end of the world’."
Born in Blantyre, Scotland, in 1813, Livingstone had dedicated himself to Christ at an early age. A great missionary to Africa, Robert Moffat, came to Livingstone’s town and spoke, He said…
“Often, as I have looked to the vast plains of the north, I have sometimes in the morning sun
seen the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been." Livingstone soon set sail for Africa. He plunged into the jungle from the south and found it impenetrable. After numerous hardships, he finally opened up a way into the interior. A huge lion almost ripped his arm
from his body and left him permanently crippled, but also brought a blessing is disguise, for while he was recuperating, Robert Moffat came and brought his beautiful daughter, Mary. For David it was love at first sight. Soon they were married and she shared his zeal and concern for the evangelization of the Dark Continent of Africa. Unfortunately, the months of hardship and toil were too much for Mary. They had watched one of their children die as they had attempted to cross one of the vast deserts of Africa – a burden that had almost crushed Livingstone. Finally, there came the most difficult decision of his life – to send his wife and three remaining children back to England.
How difficult was the burden he was to bear. Perhaps the most cutting of all was the criticism that he had left his wife and children to go rambling about Africa because he really did not love them. His letters tell a far different story:
“My dearest Mary, I see no face now to be compared to that sun burnt one which has so often greeted me with its kind looks…. Gather the children around you and kiss them for me. And tell them that I love them and that I have left them for the love of Jesus, and they must love Him too…”
For five long agonizing years he never saw his wife or his children. Then the time came
when, finally, he was going home – home at last! With great expectation and joy he burst into his old home in Blantyre to find it empty. They had just buried his father! And this man who had
faced the spears of hostile savages and the roaring of wild beasts without so much as blinking, fell down and wept like a child.
After months of sweet fellowship with his family, his dreams were again haunted by the vision of a thousand villages in the morning sun. So with great agony of heart, he set sail for Africa again. The years passed and, when the children were old enough, Mary wrote that she would be able to come and be with him. For months she sailed upon the ocean and up steaming African rivers, finally to be greeted by her husband, only to be smitten by a grievous African fever. Night after night, day after day, he sat up with his beloved wife and wiped her fevered brow. Slowly she worsened and she breathed her last. Mary was dead. David Livingstone buried her under a huge baobab tree and fell on that mound of dirt, and again he wept. His body was broken; his loved ones were gone; he seemed alone, discouraged. Was he overcome? Listen to the words he wrote in his diary:
“My Jesus, my King, my life, my all, I again consecrate my life to Thee! I shall place no value on anything I possess or anything I may do, except in relation to the Kingdom of Christ.”
When he arrived at Ujiji, natives stole his food, and worst of all, they stole his medicine chest with the quinine and other medicines to heal those terrible fevers. For Livingstone it was a sentence of death, and he cried out, "O God, you promised to be with me." For five years he had not seen the face of a white man, and now, in the midst of the interior of Africa, he looked up from that prayer and saw a white face walking towards him. It was Henry M. Stanley, who uttered those unforgettable words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume.” Stanley had searched until he found him,
brought medicine and wholesome food, and nursed him back to health.
For four months Henry Stanley lived in the same hut with Livingstone. Stanley described himself in this way: “I was the biggest swaggering atheist that could be found in all of the world.” But Stanley could find no fault in Livingstone’s life. His compassion, his earnestness, the quietness with which he went about his work, the sympathy he showed to all about him quickened the sympathy in Stanley’s own heart and he said, “Finally, after all these months, Livingstone converted even me to Christ.”
Livingstone, however, would not return to civilization, but plunged deeper into Africa; and for him the end was approaching. His diary says:
“Lord, help me to finish Thy work this year to Thine honor.”
And so he did. He came to the place where his strength was completely spent; his feet were lacerated with boils, all his teeth loosened and fell out. He could neither walk not stand; he could not go another step. Livingstone commanded his friends to put him on a stretcher and carry him onward. Deeper and deeper into Africa he plunged on a stretcher. Propped up, he proclaimed the riches of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all with whom he came into contact. Finally, during a night of prayer, Livingstone passed from this life into the presence of Jesus Christ. Livingstone died on his knees.
He lived his life and he left his life in the presence of Him who said, “Lo, I am with you always.” Thirty-nine years he trudged twenty-nine thousand miles upon the face of the continent of Africa. Light shined in the darkness. Two million Africans were brought the Gospel, and the
Light continues to shine today.
(Adapted from a pamphlet by Dr. James Kennedy, "The Secret of Commitment")
Saved for His Glory: A Testimony from the Himalayas
“Praise the Lord! My name is Dolo Sono. I grew up in an area where nobody had ever heard of Jesus Christ, not even once in our lives. My fathers worshipped the spirits for countless centuries, and they encouraged me to follow them and become a priest of the Donyi-Polo (Sun-moon) religion. We didn’t know who the Creator was, so my tribe had no option but to worship His creation. We considered the sun and the moon our father and mother, giving sustenance and light to us.
My son developed a blood disease. He suffered terrible pain as his condition worsened over time. My wife and I could hardly stand to see the pain he was in. I called on the spirits to help, but he only grew worse. I visited other priests and asked them to pray for my son, but the more they prayed, the worse he became. Then, like a dagger through my heart, my precious son died. I was grief-stricken, and wept uncontrollably as I stared at my little boy’s lifeless body.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but a Christian lived in a nearby village. When news spread that the Donyi-Polo priest’s son had died, the Christian came to my house and asked if he could pray for my son, who had been dead for four hours already. I didn’t see any harm in letting the
follower of Jesus pray for him. He started to pray, and a short time later my boy suddenly came back to life! He sat up and was fine. We later found that he was also completely healed from the blood disease that had caused him so much suffering! As you might imagine, when news of this great miracle circulated, everyone was amazed and rushed to our home to see my son for themselves. I didn’t know anything about Jesus, but from that moment I knew that He alone was the true God, and I
decided I would serve Him for the rest of my life.
The first thing I did was search for other Christians. I thought they must be really special and powerful people, because they followed the true and all-powerful God who has the power to bring the dead back to life and change people’s hearts on the inside. After searching far and wide, I was shocked to discover that there was just one church in my entire region, with only eleven people in it. The eleven Christians were weak and persecuted. They met in a small, run-down building. I found this really sad. My own temple where I had served as a priest was beautifully decorated by comparison. I could scarcely believe that the followers of Jesus were so crushed and timid even though they possessed the Truth.
My forefathers had followed Satan for centuries without any light from God. Those who followed lies were much larger in number than those who followed the Truth. This was wrong, and I decided to do something about it. From that day onwards I determined to help God’s Church grow.
From the day God raised my son from the dead, I started telling people about Jesus. This was the least I could do. I thought everyone would be excited to hear about Jesus, but I soon found that it made people angry. My own parents and family threatened to disown me if I continued to follow
Jesus. I told them I must follow Him, because He is real and he raised my son from the dead! I started preaching everywhere I could, walking from village to village and encouraging people to abandon the false worship of our forefathers and to stop bowing down to the sun and moon. I didn’t know anything about the Bible, but I boldly testified to what had happened, and that Jesus alone was true and powerful.
A short time later someone told me there were many Christians in Nagaland, a state south of Arunachal Pradesh. This news excited me, so I caught a bus there and met with many true
believers in the Lord. Almost the whole of Nagaland was Christian, and I was greatly encouraged. I returned home with more Bible knowledge, and could better explain the gospel to people.
The tribes of Arunachal Pradesh have worshipped spirits and demons since the beginning of time. The only other religion that people respect is Buddhism, which came from Tibet many centuries ago. As I continued to preach about Jesus, I experienced many attacks and problems. People thought my conversion to Christianity had brought great disgrace on my ancestors, especially because I had been a priest. I was beaten on many occasions, and attacked with swords and spears, but God preserved my life, and there were always a few people interested in listening to my message.
Jesus helped me so much in those early years. Once I visited some villages for the first time and found that God had prepared the people by giving them dreams in advance of my arrival. Because of this, the people were kind to me and listened to the Good News I had come to share. I believed everything the Bible said. I read that Jesus told his disciples to only take one coat with them when they went out to preach, so I only wore one shirt until it was filthy and covered with lice.
The years went by and I was so glad that many more people in my tribe and other tribes started to follow Jesus too. In many places I saw people healed by the Lord and delivered from demons. Hundreds of people believed in God. In each place where people decided to follow Jesus, we organized small house groups for them to meet together in.
A strange thing happened right at the time when God was moving so powerfully and saving many people. Other Christian leaders started to attack me and tried to stop me preaching. They said I was not qualified to preach, because I had never been to a seminary. I told them it was a shame I didn’t fit into their mould, but that there was no way I could stop preaching because Jesus was in my heart and He must come out!
This only seemed to make these religious people angrier and they even traveled around different villages, telling lies about me and warning people not to listen to me. People in many places turned against me and refused to welcome me. God encouraged me from the Bible, as I read how many of His children in other times had experienced similar opposition from those who claim to be His followers. Jesus was always attacked by the Pharisees, and I realized that there were many people
like Pharisees operating in Arunachal Pradesh.
I wept many times because of the lies being spread and the great opposition. I became depressed. Then one night I had a dream where I heard a voice saying, "Dolo Sono, I have called you to
preach. Get up and preach!" I replied, "But no churches want me any more. The religious people have told the unbelievers not to listen to me. What is the point?" I then heard the Lord say, "God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble."
After this dream I knew that I could no longer bow to the threats and intimidation. I read in the Bible that if God is with me, who can be against me? I obeyed the Lord and started preaching again, and God helped me and opened many doors and opportunities. In many villages, people who had worshipped the sun and moon were saved and Jesus entered their hearts.
For years now I have been travelling all over Arunachal Pradesh. People know me as the former Donyi-Polo priest who found the true Way. By the power and grace of the Living God we now have more than 60 fellowships, and more people are meeting Jesus all the time. Please pray for our state, and the 60 tribes who live in it. Please pray that everyone in Arunachal Pradesh would soon love Jesus.
Thank you and God bless you!"
A Great Miracle in the Midst of India Disaster
On the morning of October 29, 1999, a terrible storm that had been developing for several days overthe Bay of Bengal headed toward the coast of India. Meteorologists proclaimed it the largest storm of the century and gave it status as a "Super Cyclone". The storm hit land over the coast of the state of Orissa. Winds of up to 300 km/hour (185 mph) smashed into thousands of exposed coastal villages.
Because most of the people are very poor and live in simple homes made of mud and straw, thousands were instantly killed and had no chance of surviving the onslaught. Tall trees were snapped in half like match sticks. Some parents, fearing the worst, tied their children to the ground with ropes in the hope they would not blow away. The sound of the wind was so loud that it was described to us as "like standing directly behind the engines of a jumbo jet."
Soon after, tidal waves 35-feet high started crashing through the villages, drowning everything that the wind had failed to destroy. Thousands of villages were smashed to pieces during the two-day onslaught.
When the storm finally subsided the true impact of the damage was revealed. A stretch of coastline 400 km (250 miles) long and up to 100 km (62 miles) inland had been affected. The lives of as many as 14 million people had been severely hampered. Later figures revealed about 60,000 Orissans were killed. Everywhere human and animal corpses lay strewn about in the fields, or stuck in tree branches where they had been washed by the huge waves.
For those living nearest the ocean, only a great miracle could save their lives. When we visited Orissa after the storm, we were told some remarkable stories of God’s protection.
In the village of Batiagon in Jagatsinghpur District, just 4 km from the sea, there were just two buildings made of concrete: a church and a rich man’s house. The rest of the buildings were straw and clay. People rushed into the two buildings for shelter. About 300 people, both Christians and non-Christians, jammed into the church. They cried out to the Lord for His protection. At around 11 a.m., a massive tidal wave 30 feet high slammed into the village, instantly destroying the shacks and sweeping away the rich man’s house. Witnesses inside the church say the wave seemed to split and go around both sides of the building. All 300 people who had taken shelter inside the church survived.
Just a few hundred yards away was a village named Dhobei. Every inhabitant of Dhobei was swept away to the sea except one 14-year-old boy named Sania, who somehow managed to survive. On the other side of Batiagon was a village called Bartola where just 14 people survived. All the people in Batiagon village confessed that God had graciously saved their lives. The Hindus declared they would never again oppose Christianity.
After the storm, many of the secular newspapers and magazines in this part of India wrote that this calamity was the judgment of God on the State for the killing of Graham Staines and his two sons. The people feel they have experienced the awesome wrath of the Almighty God and many are humbled, especially as the rescue and aid efforts for the survivors were once again spearheaded by Christian organizations. Churches all over the state report growing numbers of inquirers and more of an openness to the Gospel than before.
Through this disaster and the loving response of the Christians a clear witness has been given about both the holiness and righteousness of God, as well as His love and grace for all those who will humbly call on His Name.