Recently we were honored with time with a 70-year-old elder from a large Chinese church network. CP staff sat down to hear his stories and heart for China. It was a memorable conversation and we hope you are encouraged and blessed to read his words. God has done amazing things in China and CP stands on the shoulders of great men and women of God. Make sure to check out the rest of the series - Time With A Living Legacy Of The Chinese Church - Cultural Revolution Experiences and Time With A Living Legacy Of The Chinese Church – Prayers for China Today.
I was born in the countryside in a rural area and into a poor family, so we were a hard working family. My mother’s father died very early and my mother’s family were orphans. When my mother married my father she was only thirteen years old. We had to work very hard in order to support the family. We worked on the farm. At that time the official government policy did not allow people to do business. The only way to live legally was by planting and farming.
I had five brothers and two sisters. I am the fourth child. The whole family converted, and it is by God’s grace that we had three brothers who became preachers. The second, the third, and the fourth all became pastors.
We converted because my uncle had a [disease] and was healed. Because of my uncle’s sickness, he came to stay with my family. During that time there were no church buildings, so a [pastor] came to pray for my uncle in our home. We were so poor we didn’t even have a good meal for him. But the preacher who came to pray was very kind hearted. He didn’t mind and he introduced us to another church with a church building. He sent my uncle to that church building for three weeks, and that is where he was healed in that church. Because God healed him, the whole family converted.
My parents converted in 1943, and in 1946 a worship gathering started in their house. My family had two worship gatherings. My mother loved the Lord very much. Many people who were possessed by demons would send for my family and my mother to pray for them, and then they would get help. Actually when I was a young boy, I saw a lot of miracles happening among other people.
I also had a rich experience myself, because I could genuinely realize that God exists. I had a very obvious experience of calling, and my life was completely transformed from pride to repentance. I also had the constant reminder of scripture verses. My mother prayed for me a lot. We didn’t have a church building during that time, but she prayed for me a lot.
My father died when I was fourteen, and my mother was very weak physically. My father’s death caused some very bad experiences. He didn’t die of natural disease, or something like that; he fell down from a huge, steep hill. I wondered why if he preached for others and prayed for others, God didn’t take care of him. Why did God punish him with death? So with this question I got hurt. But eventually the Holy Spirit moved and inspired me from the heart, from the inside. I began to love people and love my God. When I was 27 years old the zeal came from within.
As a pastor there was a period in my life when I had some temptations. I had already become a preacher, but I began doubting whether there was a soul. There were two difficulties for preachers in that day. First, there was security; second, the family pressures on preachers. It was difficult for families to live when the living standards were very low. You know the other peasants – the nonbeliever peasants – also existed with pressures. So my temptation was that if the soul didn’t exist, then I wouldn’t have to make such an effort [for other people].
How did I solve this pastoral difficulty? First, I considered my calling experience and the scriptures that supported it. I began to study the Bible particularly in regard to those verses. Second, after I prepared and studied the scriptures, I preached.