Throughout our lives, it seems God has given us the honor of working in a particular nation at a divinely opportune moment. There are seasons in history when God highlights a certain nation for kingdom purposes. Prophetically, it is critical to "seize the moment" and give our time and energy to those places.
It is not difficult to recognize that China has a purpose and destiny in the 21st century—both spiritually and economically—to affect the course of nations. The prophets have spoken about a change coming in which the United States will still have a major place in world events, but China will be the giant. As Americans, we need to lovingly partner with this shift.
Our recent visit to China was done in such a spirit. We have a deep love for our Chinese brothers and sisters. Some of you may have heard my testimony of how God called me to pulpit ministry when I was nine years old, after I heard the story of the great Baptist missionary, Lottie Moon, who gave her life for China at the turn of the nineteenth century.
Our love for China has been part of our lives since our early days of marriage when Mike sold his favorite sports car, an Austin Healy 3000, and we sowed the entire amount from the sale into the Lottie Moon missions offering for China. As we went into China this time and were shown such favor, we reminisced on this, marveling together that God never forgets a seed.
After an exhausting trip over, our first stop was in Wuhan. When we landed in the airport, the Holy Spirit showed me that this is a very important city for China. We found out later that it is a significant place historically—the revolution that freed the people from the absolute power of the emperor was birthed from here. It is also considered the heart of China, which proved to be accurate, as we found the people of Wuhan to be warm and inviting.
The meetings took place in a Three Self Church that has a lovely building. We taught a combination of Wagner Leadership Institute students and seminary students from the large Three Self Church. One thing that really touched us was the joy of the Lord that the leaders displayed.
The two days of teaching also gave us rich moments of fellowship with the family of God.
I taught on both the gift of prophecy and the office of the prophet. For a portion of those in attendance, it was the first time they ever heard teaching on these subjects. The power of God fell like fire as we had times of impartation. Some of the attendees were from a cessationist background (those who believe that spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues, healing, and prophecy ceased after the twelve apostles were gone), but they seemed to love it!
At the risk of seeming unspiritual, I want to tell you about the break times when we went for meals. Then again, after being in China and experiencing the endless courses they feed you at each meal, I think the Chinese feel that eating is close to a spiritual experience! Eating in China is a food adventure for American visitors. One quickly realizes that what we call Chinese food is totally westernized. We exclude entire parts of an animal that are considered delicacies—like jellied chicken feet! Other food, like jellyfish, we might not even consider as a dish to be eaten, but it is special there. All this is wonderful, and I love the lack of boredom in international dining!
One night, there was a special concert by a famous psalmist who has written over 1600 songs. Her name is Xiao Min; she doesn't read music or play an instrument, but what a voice! Her songs are included in the Canaan Hymns and sung by all the churches in China as well as by the overseas Chinese churches.
After Wuhan, we flew to Shanghai. I taught two sessions for the Full Gospel Businessman's fellowship, and I prophesied over the city.
On Sunday, I preached for a Mandarin-speaking Taiwanese church in the city, and we had around 20 people either re-affirm their salvation or get born again.
Sunday night, I ministered in the International Church; we had what seemed to be hundreds filled with the spirit and another thirty or so accept Christ. What a great time of fellowship we had!
On Monday, we took a whole day off, which we really savored! Our friend, Roy Ying, grew up in Shanghai, and we got a royal tour, from 19th century Old Shanghai where he was raised, all the way to the ultra-modern, not yet opened Shanghai Towers, which will have room for 15,000 residents, gardens on various floors, department and grocery stores, and office space. It will cost $1,000,000 to buy an apartment, but even money won’t be enough to secure a place—prospective residents will have to be vetted and formally invited to live there. Mind-boggling, huh?
One thing I noticed about the streets—lined with curved, pointed roofs and carved doorways—was that they were clean, and I mean, really clean. I didn't see litter anywhere in the whole city. In fact, we were told that the government has all the buildings (many of them multi-storied) in a certain area washed, so the city will be pristine. Shanghai is a beautiful city, and its newer section is filled with flower baskets suspended from poles, as well as many lovely parks.
Tuesday, we taught a seminar for Bible School students from 30 provinces and then had another sumptuous Chinese meal! I was encouraged by the students’ responses as I taught on “the orphan heart.” Many wept after I asked who had never heard their father or mother say “I love you” to them; probably 80% said they had never heard those words. We prayed for God to heal their broken hearts.
The next morning, we flew to Hong Kong for two nights and one day to celebrate Mike's 67th birthday. Mike hung out with Roy Chen, while Yuk Lynn Chen and I went to a prayer session with IHOP worship leader, then ended with some serious shopping! There simply is no place in the world that can compare with Hong Kong.
We ended the night enjoying dinner with the Chens, Hugo and Yuen Chan, and Linda Ma—such a fun birthday party! We laughed, prayed, and reminisced. It just was so very special!
I hope you enjoyed this quick trip to the Far East with us (unless you live there, of course, in which case, we might have described your home!). Our hearts are overflowing with the goodness of God being displayed in China and the new chapter of history that is being written.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. These trips would not be possible without your prayer support or the financial seeds you've planted. We are transforming nations together!