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Heilongjiang, China

Testimonies from the House Churches

 

 

The Salvation of a Communist Party Leader

 

In one part of Heilongjiang province there lives a man in his fifties who was a well-known Communist Party leader. Due to his unhealthy stressful life-style, drinking and smoking, he suffered a stroke and was paralyzed. His unloving wife, who viewed herself as a leading socialite, was embarrassed by her disabled husband and immediately divorced him. He was retired, but the local government allowed him to keep his driver and vehicle, and a personal doctor. In his desperation the man told his driver, “I have heard that those illegal Christians pray and anything can happen. Please take me to them.”

 

A few weeks later the leader was told that a group of house church believers would be meeting in a forest outside the city that night. He told his driver to get ready and they headed up into the mountains. After about an hour they stopped alongside a forest. The driver hesitated because he thought his boss was planning to commit suicide in his desperate state. The paralyzed man instructed his driver to pull off the road as he wanted to go into the forest. The driver had to carry him in through the trees. They walked for a few miles until suddenly through  the darkness he heard noise of Christians singing and praying. It was so dark that none of the Christians could see the men arrive in the forest clearing. The driver stood at a distant and observed, while the paralyzed leader sat on the ground. He told his driver to return to the car and wait for him. In his heart the Communist leader knew that he was a sinful man and that it had come time to confront his Maker face to face. He asked forgiveness for his sins and humbly asked God to receive him into his family.

 

When one of the believers said, “Let us stand up,” a great miracle took place. Immediately the Communist Party Secretary stood up without thinking about it and realized he was completely healed!  He shouted and jumped around for three hours in complete joy. Finally the driver came back to see what had happened and was amazed to see his boss was completely healed. The driver also accepted the Lord. To this day, the former government leader continues to love and serve Jesus, and is known by his sweet and humble spirit. He is a leading testimony in the Heilongjiang churches of the change Jesus can bring into any person’s life.

 

Blessed are the Peacemakers

 

One of the leaders of the house church in Yi’an County is Brother Wu.

     

Before he experienced salvation from the Lord, Wu was renown as a smart man who always topped his class at school, and was invariably elected as the class chairman. He had a knack of always getting involved with quarrels between people, skillfully showing them the solution to problems. He also had a reputation as the dirtiest mouth in the whole county. He could always out-argue people, using his ability with words to cover over his own sins and shame. Nobody could beat him in an argument or dispute. Brother Wu’s wife came to faith in Christ first. She lovingly shared the Gospel by word and deed with her husband, but he, being a Communist Party member at the time, strongly opposed her and beat her. During this difficult time for Wu’s wife, the church was constantly praying the Lord would make a way for her husband to be humbled and saved.

 

The opportunity for his involvement with house church believers came when he heard of a disagreement between two brothers. Unable to help himself, he got involved in the dispute, freely giving advice to both parties. His own worldly wisdom and pride in his own ability had become his god. When he first went to a house church meeting, the conviction of the Holy Spirit came upon Brother Wu in a powerful manner. He clearly saw his own desperate state, and repented by humbling himself under God’s mighty hand. Over time, the Lord started to use Brother Wu’s zeal to be a peacemaker in a way that brought glory to God. He mediated between believers with problems, giving sound Scriptural advice and counsel.

 

God also has greatly worked through Brother Wu’s unique personality and gifts to help the local churches avoid the many cults that are present in the area. There are more than 100 house churches in the county who were corrected and taught how to avoid heretical extreme teaching by Brother Wu. His salvation shocked many people in the community, as Wu was considered the least likely person to ever believe the Gospel. Because he was already well known, his ministry for the Lord came under close inspection, which landed him a time in prison where he suffered for Jesus.

 

Brother Wu is a living example of how God can use renew a person who submits his or her life to Him, and still use the gifts and unique personality that God has made each one of us to be.

 

 

An Entire Village Surrenders to Christ

 

As the revival fires of the Gospel began to sweep across Heilongjiang Province in the 1990s, in many places whole villages of people believed the Gospel and submitted their lives to Jesus Christ. Let’s hear the words of one bold evangelist as he explains how the Lord glorified Himself in one village in Lalin County (in the extreme south of the province) in 1997....

 

“I was sent by the Lord to Xiaoshan Village and after hearing the Gospel almost every household believed and put their trust in God. They smashed their idols and ancestral altars and became new creations in Christ. Five families refused to believe however, despite the prayers and earnest pleadings of their fellow villagers.

 

After holding some more evangelistic meetings four of the five families also believed in Christ, leaving just one family holding out against the Word of Life. The whole village prayed earnestly for that family’s salvation, as the new Christians believed God wanted to be honored among the entire village, and to have one family of unbelievers would simply not be good enough! Finally the one family realized that if everyone else in his village was a believer and experiencing God’s protection, then their family was vulnerable to attack from the devil! They also committed his life to the Lord and his family followed him into the family of faith.

 

To this day every family in the village continues to serve God. They actively share their faith with neighboring unreached people and are known as an honest people who are blessed by the Lord. It is because of the clear testimony of changed lives in villages such as Xiaoshan and in hundreds more like it throughout the province that the Gospel has spread so rapidly in Heilongjiang.”

 

 

An Elderly ‘Uncle’ Persists and Overcomes Hostility

 

When evangelists go out from the house churches in Heilongjiang they are supported with tremendous prayer backing from the numerous old ‘aunties’ who have such simple and sweet spirits. These old women live for prayer and worship. They often prostrate themselves on the floor during prayer meetings, with hot tears streaming down their cheeks, they intercede for the lost and wrestle in the spirit on behalf of those who are venturing out with the Good News.

 

With that background, an elderly ‘uncle’, known as Uncle Liu, went to preach the Gospel in an unreached village near Acheng City, 41 km (25 miles) southeast of Harbin, with a warm heart. When he knocked on one door, asking to share the Gospel with the inhabitants of the house, the people angrily drove him out of the village. Undeterred, Uncle Liu withdrew to a quiet place and earnestly prayed for the family who had rejected him. He then went back to the same house. The second time, the family threw water on him, drenching him to the bone, and with furious words and threats they again drove him from the area.

 

Uncle Liu didn’t give up however, and again he prayed for this family, believing it is not the Lord’s will for anyone to perish, but for all, including this one family, to come to faith in Christ.

 

For the third time he visited the family and told them they must repent and believe in God’s Son. This time the family members got large sticks and violently beat Uncle Liu. They swore at him and cursed him for his stubbornness, and again drove him from the village, this time soaked in blood and suffering from wounds to his body. This old brother however would not be deterred. After recovering from his blows for seven days, he went back again. This time the owner of the house did not oppose him. Amazed that he would come back again, the father of the family agreed they should all sit down and listen to what the old man had to tell them. As Uncle Liu preached the Gospel to the whole extended family, great conviction seized their hearts. Every single family member received the Lord into their lives.

 

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