For most of us, the current Coronavirus pandemic has given us new and unexpected experiences, yet we know from the Word of God that far greater challenges lie ahead in this world before the Lord Jesus Christ comes to sort out the mess people have made.
In this issue we would like to share the story of another epidemic in China that you have probably never heard of - the pneumonic plague that struck northeast China in 1910-11.
While today's Coronavirus is bad, can you imagine how devastating things were back then? One report said:
"The impact of the epidemic was widespread, with 100 percent fatality rates reported for those infected. 43,942 cases were recorded, and 43,942 deaths. There was no authenticated case of recovery. As this inexorable deadliness became known, it seized on the public imagination, and the general terror of the forward march of the disease was quite out of proportion." Read more....
Revival is Stirring in China Again
Many people are asking "where is God" during the current crisis. Friends, He is where He always is - ruling over the universe and working His perfect will and plan of salvation, as time marches forward to the end of the present age.
In recent months, house church leaders across China have reported a new openness to the gospel since the virus appeared, and even though meetings are not allowed and the Communist Party has shut down many Christian websites and social media platforms, many thousands of people have placed their trust in the Lord anyway. This week, our contacts in China wrote:
"More people are realizing that money and possessions will not save them, and many churches have been started through telephone and website evangelism, which has been very effective! Church planting has been going on, and just last week, in a five-day period, we distributed almost 40,000 Bibles to new believers! The more difficult the environment, the more opportunities we have for ministry. Now it is very effective to share the Word of God with non-Christians in China."
As you go through the adjustments to your life currently, please don't lose a heavenly perspective. Jesus is still on His eternal throne, and God remains good! And by the way, although the plague that struck northeast China in 1910-11 seemed devastating to Christians at the time, looking back they viewed the experience as a mere blip on the radar of God's wonderful plan.
The three northeast provinces (formerly known as Manchuria) contained 20,000 Christians at the time of the plague in 1910. The Church quickly recovered, and by 1922 the number of Christians had increased more than 50 percent to 30,575.
Today, northeast China is home to more than 11 million believers!
We encourage you to keep looking to Jesus, study His Word every day, and use this time to grow in Him as you share the Good News with those around you.
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8).
The team at Asia Harvest