In 2004 we took a medical team to Xining City in the Qinghai Province of China. I was given the task of putting together a storeroom, to welcome patients and to be the general “go get it” guy. Until one day two women asked to see the shepherd. I came out of storage and they rushed over, grabbed my hands, and said in halting English’ We heard there are Christians here.”
Wow! There it was again almost felt like coming full circle! They used the very same words I had experienced years before when first working in resettlement. Once-again the cry of joy rang out but this time in China.
They wanted me to come and see one of their older members of their underground church. A missionary that had been waiting to see me. Why did they keep saying “me.” I had never been to China.
“Hurry” they said because she wasn’t well and needed to talk to me now! I agreed to go that night. So, after the evening meal the two women came and took me to a building. In the back room there was a bed and a frail looking elderly woman resting. This was the sister they had brought me to see. An ordained, seminary trained and commissioned pastor to bring the Good News of Christ to her own people. She had been detained for forty years because of her preaching and just now released.
We prayed together, we sang a hymn in Chinese. I couldn’t sing the words but I knew the tune. Through a translator she told how she had been taken away in 1959. How she never had a chance to have a family, how all her relatives were now gone and all she had now was God’s Word, and a fulfillment of a promise that she was witness to today.
I didn’t quite understand what the “fulfillment” thing was all about or why they kept smiling and touching my face. The story came out and I got the shock of my Christian walk and life.
“Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best-as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil! You are in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in Beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes. (The Lord’s Prayer-from the Message Paraphrase)
Stay on the long path….