Three times this past weekend I heard Brother Yun speak, the Chinese evangelist whose story is told in “The Heavenly Man” book. His mother had become a believer through Westerners in China before the rise of communism in 1949, but when the missionaries were expelled, churches destroyed, and pastors imprisoned, her faith became dormant and even forgotten. She married and had six children, but in their great poverty, Brother Yun’s 15 year old brother starved to death, his dad was dying of cancer, and his mother was about to commit suicide when she heard the Lord’s voice, “Don’t give up! Call on Jesus!”

She woke up her five children, told them to kneel around their father’s bed and to call on Jesus to heal him. They had no idea who Jesus was, had never heard His name, but they obediently did as they were told. Within the week the father was healed and the mother began to tell all her friends who also began to follow Jesus. And she, though illiterate and never having even seen a Bible began pastoring one of the early house churches. She taught only what she remembered from the missionaries and what God personally imparted to her. For weeks they began to pray for a Bible. Brother Yun promised God he would memorize it and would spend his life telling others about Jesus if only he had a Bible.

Today one million Chinese a month are coming to the Lord and it’s estimated that there are as many as 160 million believers in this nation of a billion and a half souls. They are now sending missionaries – workers, businessmen and women – to all the nations between China and Israel in a movement called “Back to Jerusalem.” Besides missionaries, this movement has produced tiny audio Bibles that currently are being sent into North Korea and Iran.

May we be challenged to live Revelation 12:10 to the fullest: Overcoming by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony and not loving our lives so much that we shrink from death. After all, if we really have died with Jesus already, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Don Finto