By Warren Larson
I have just returned from an amazing conference in the far East! There were approximately 1000 people present, and though some were still in university, most were holding down jobs in well-respected careers. Caucasians, like myself, were rare. Some pastors from China, who had planned to come, were denied permission; in a few cases their wives were allowed. Worship, led by skilled musicians, was exuberant and uplifting, and though some songs were western, apparently two-thirds of them had been written by a gifted Chinese Christian woman.
It was thrilling to hear them sing from their hearts! Plenary addresses were in either Mandarin or English, and technology for translation was superb. It was moving to hear people cry out to God in repentance–sometimes out loud–praying for God’s name to be proclaimed among the nations. They confessed the sins of their country (oppression and godlessness), but also their own neglect in mission. There was a sense of revival that we long for in the West, but seldom experience.
My part (through the help of an excellent translator from Columbia International University) was to present a ninety-minute seminar on reaching Muslims for Christ, and I stressed the fact that currently God is drawing them to Himself as never before. The chaos and trauma, and even the refugee crisis—be it ever so heart rending—is allowing many to finally hear the Gospel and respond. I had taken about 20 Jesus DVD’s (16 Muslim languages, with English subtitles), plus 100 tracts that could be given out to Muslim friends, and these were much appreciated. I met a few students who had attended CIU, and at least one knew of my course on Islam, translated into Mandarin, that was being used some in China.
Personal testimonies were powerful: For example, there was a Tibetan monk, highly skilled in Buddhist Scriptures, who was now preaching the good news. He said he knew ten languages, and besides English, did speak a little Hindi with me. Another was a Korean worker, reportedly also proficient in Mandarin, who labors among a tribal group near the Cambodian border. He said that gradually people invited him into their hearts and homes, and some had turned to Christ. That night, over 100 committed to missions, mostly for unreached minority groups in China.
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