Last Thursday: As I climbed the double stair case up to the room where our College & Career group meets, I noticed below me a Chinese man sitting at a table in the church foyer reading his Bible. He was of average size, dressed in a suit and appeared to be a quiet and gentle man.
Have you heard of Peter Xu?
If you've read The Heavenly Man, Peter was Brother Yun's pastor and mentor.
Perhaps you've never heard of Peter - I hadn't either.
Pastor Peter is a tried and true saint of our Lord. He has had a life of persecution, torture, and suffering. He has faced death... and had no fear.
Peter is the founder of an Evangelical Christian movement in China variously called "New Birth", "All Range", or "Born Again Movement."* There are estimated to be 25 - 30 million believers in this Christian movement. He has been imprisoned for his faith five times (1965, 1971, 1982, 1988, 1997), tortured for hours on end, separated from friends and family for years.
I met Peter.
We all - RMC's young adult group - had the honor to hear selections of his testimony and have him encourage and pray over us. He brought us to laughter and tears... and to our knees.
American Christians have it so easy. We can freely meet with other believers, evangelize, sing worship, purchase Bibles...
I have often heard that the Church in America is a mile wide and one inch deep.
That's not the case in China.
They have great depth of faith. They know what persecution is. They have chosen Jesus Christ and have no fear to die for Him.
God give us faith like theirs.
Pastor Peter and Brother Yun have a great vision. It's called "Back to Jerusalem". The Chinese believe the gospel traveled west from Jerusalem, into Europe, down to Africa, across to the Americas and finally reached the western coast of China. They believe it is their responsibility to take the gospel baton and continue to run with it, all throughout China and then beyond China into the Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist nations, all the way back to its source in Jerusalem.**
The Lord is calling His laborers. What have we to fear? Death is the greatest fear of all. But if you believe in the work of Christ and His resurrection - the hope of eternal life - then you have nothing to fear.
*Wikipedia - "Peter Xu"
** China & Back to Jerusalem