SIT REPORT: God is Still at Work- China

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China is experiencing incredible growth that comes from an insatiable hunger to fill the God-shaped void, produced by a communist, atheistic political system, with a deep and satisfying walk with God.

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The book of first Peter was written at a time when the Roman Empire had declared war on the Christian faith. Persecution and suffering were everywhere. But surprisingly, during this chaotic and worrisome season, the Church thrived, with thousands placing their faith in Jesus across the empire. From this we learn two things: 1) In times of great testing, the Body of Christ rises above the chaos of life, displaying inner peace that baffles the general population; and 2) the unsaved of the world, who are without hope, earnestly seek comfort and security, and are drawn to those who have found it. For this reason, the Apostle Peter, wrote the following in 1 Peter 3:14,15 (NIV):

Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”

In our current world crisis, people are searching desperately for hope and answers. As believers in Christ, we possess this sought-after hope and live under the power of the Holy Spirit’s presence within. If you project the hope that so many are searching for, you must be prepared to speak about Jesus, because people will ask why you are smiling in the face of turmoil. Christians are most effective at winning others to Christ when we are living in a time of upheaval and distress. That is why these next few weeks, months and maybe years will be good for the Kingdom. We are about to grow!

And now for a global update from one of Empower’s national church leaders.

CHINA

Current Situation:

The Good News:

Due to the current conditions, there is an unprecedented opportunity to share the Gospel, primarily online, as well as through Christians and pastors handing out food and face masks to needy people.

People are thinking more about their life and death. The virus is so small — smaller than dust — and such a small thing can control the whole world. China has boasted that they will be economically and militarily #1 in the world. The leadership and some people were very proud of themselves. Now, this microscopic virus has brought them to their knees. The virus shut down the economy of the whole country. People are thinking about life and the afterlife. Their pride is breaking.”

Ron’s Question to a Church leader: When Christians present food and masks to needy people, do they appreciate it?

Answer: Words cannot describe their appreciation. The gifts of love are received with tears. They felt entirely forgotten. But when Christians come, they love them and show compassion. Then they talk, talk, talk! It is a golden opportunity. The reputation of Christians is so good in China now. People hear the Gospel with every bit of food delivered, and every mask handed out. Pastors and workers are fearless. They may be arrested by police for sharing the Gospel or may even get sick by exposing themselves to the virus, but they don’t care. Because they are sensing that people are hungry for love and truth and hope.”

A Story Revealing God’s Power to Change Lives

Government Official in Wuhan Becomes a Christian in Wuhan

The man pictured below is a government official serving in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak first struck. He attempted to find protective face masks for himself and his family, but with no success. One of the local house church pastors in Wuhan that Empower works with, went into the streets, praying for opportunities to share the masks Empower provided, as well as the Gospel. Every mask given to a pastor in China is another opportunity to share Christ.

The fearless pastor spotted this government official on the street and said, Sir, I have something important to share with you, as well as this gift.” He handed him a new mask. I see you don’t have one and walk the streets unprotected.”

The official was dumbfounded. I tried buying some for my family but couldn’t. I know my boss has many, yet he didn’t give me one! I am at risk every day while I work. How much is this mask?”

Free! Have you ever heard the Name of Jesus?” asked the pastor.

No, but it doesn’t sound Chinese. This man Jesus, did he donate the mask?”

The pastor smiled warmly and said, If you have ten minutes, I can tell you the story of Jesus.”

No one has dared to come out of their homes except for you. It’s boring to stand on the streets alone, and you seem like a nice guy. Please tell me about Jesus.”

The pastor spent 30 minutes with the government official and brought him to Christ! He is a member of the Communist Party and cannot tell others he is a believer, but he has joined the Bible studies conducted over the WeChat app. He is listening to sermons whenever he can. The house church in his area continues to follow up with him and is excited to report he is becoming a firm believer and follower of Christ.

Pictures of Wuhan and China Compassionate Outreach:

Hundreds and hundreds of people have heard the Gospel and turned to Christ during Empower’s latest outreach initiative that involved providing for some of the poor, needy, suffering, forgotten, and hungry in China with food packages and face masks to offer people protection from the virus. Both believers and unbelievers were the recipients of Empower’s compassionate assistance.

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