During the the 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testament it seemed as if God was quiet as if his activity had slowed compared to that of the Old Testament. However, It was during this time that God was moving on a Global level to prepare the nations for his son, Jesus. Then at the fullness of time there was this explosion of obvious supernatural activity. The five months of preparation for our trip and these first two days of spiritual and emotional building seemed like the 400 years of silence. Yet God was moving and getting everything ready for Tuesday! On Tuesday we experienced the EXPLOSION of his activity! WOW! There is so much that happened it will be difficult to communicate it within this short blog post. It began like any other day, but little did we know, we would experience the Person and Power of God in a very real way. We got up and divided into groups; The Castle Hills group met to go over the day’s theme, activities, and to make sure we stayed focused on relationships. The Chinese group met to discuss our camp verse. “I am the Lord your God…open your mouth wide and I will fill it” Ps. 81:10. They met to discuss how they viewed God and who God was based on this verse. After they finished, we came downstairs and the students surprised us with a song they had written. It was Ps 81:10!! They were singing it in Chinese and English! To hear the name of God on their lips…it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard! What a moment!
Our planned boat ride down the YuLong river took significantly longer than expected due to strong currents, yet the God who knows all and created the currents knew what he was doing. There was incredible relationship building and amazing conversations taking place between the Chinese and the Americans. God seemed to slow our time down to establish relationships for what he was getting ready to do.
During the planned afternoon rest time, a few of the members of our group sat down with our translator and had coffee. Susan, one of the translators is not a believer but has been observing our actions and hearing our words and was very curious about our purpose. Over our two and half hour conversation, we were able to share the Gospel and personal stories of God’s love and provision within our own lives. Moved to tears, Susan said she was amazed at the love of Christians and it was something she was looking for. She said God’s love seems so amazing and too good to be true. Please continue to pray for her!
In the evening, we went to a nursing home to love on the abandoned elderly people of the village. We were all very uncertain and had no idea idea how this would go. Some were thinking…this is probably a waste of time. The Chinese group did great at trying to visit but honestly many of us westerners weren’t sure what to do. One of the people there explained to us that their families are busy and can not take care of them. Very seldom do they have visitors. It was obvious it was a place of loneliness for many of them. After a short time, we made our way down to the courtyard outside of the building and in the distance I could hear the Chinese and Americans singing our camp verse song. The Chinese were teaching the Americans how to sing it! This nursing home was about six stories high and people were looking down over their balconies in curiosity. It was one of those moments when you just know God is leading. So through the translator we told these people that we came from America to meet them and sing them a song. These people who are so lonely and feel abandoned heard these words being sung to them! “I am the Lord your God…open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” It was a Holy moment in which you could feel and sense the Spirit of God. After the song we thanked them, wished God’s blessing on them, and that God would show them His Love. We got together for a group picture and one by one Chinese people began to come down to join our picture! They asked if someone could bring them a copy so they could have remember this moment. We said..YES! Another opening of a new ministry opportunity here!
At dinner we divided into groups and the Chinese shared about who they believe God is. They were very open in sharing about their desire to know God better. Some had been exposed to God and expressed a desire to know more. Susan was in my group (the translator who we spoke with about Jesus). Jasmine, one of the Chinese girls, quietly said she would like to share first. Then spoke for over twenty minutes describing how she became a follower of Jesus and how the love of God drew her to Him. Jasmine said at first, the love of God seemed “too good to be true,” but quickly came to know Him and experienced His changing her on the inside. Susan’s eyes filled with tears as she translated Jasmine’s story! Then ZoeYi, one of the Chinese boys, shared that he was also a believer and gave his testimony. By this time Susan was just looking at me with understanding eyes! WOW! They both spoke of how difficult it was to be a Christian when none of their friends were. It opened into a wonderful time of sharing…GOD IS ON THE MOVE here in China…but remember He is on the move in America too. Look for His activity and be a part of His work wherever you are!
What an amazing day of ministry. Praying for you guys constantly now and for people to embrace Jesus in saving faith. If I could venture out to share something with the group that might help. I remember in sharing Jesus on Chinese university campuses that it really seemed to help to at some point show them the three kinds of faith and tell them the difference. 1) intellectual faith- believing facts about God- that He exists and his son is Jesus (still this does not give a person eternal life) 2) temporal (or temporary) faith- this is where we experience a need and see God meet that need as we ask him to help us. When the situation for which we were believing comes to pass, that faith is no longer needed or active. (this does not give a person forgiveness or eternal life) and finally 3) there is saving faith- this is when a person realized who Jesus is, that he has the power to change their lives and then that person puts all his or her trust in Jesus alone for forgiveness and eternal life. I hope maybe this will be one more tool you guys have have in your toolbox as you share Jesus. Know that you are on our hearts and in our prayers.