The Chinese New Year is approaching as I arrived in Shenzhen, a thriving metropolis, on the south Coast of China. Red Chinese lanterns were on display in the streets and in shops everywhere.
It took two tube rides and a bus trip to go from Hong Kong into China. The translator that I met in Manila, Philippines, showed me the ropes of negotiating all the travels and the customs on the Chinese border.
The winter on the south coast is mellow compared to the heavy snowfall in the north. It speaks prophetically of the persecution: in the north it is more severe.
I was privileged to meet Brother “X” from a certain province in the north, the leader of the Underground Church in China. He is a personal friend of Brother Yun (known for the book about his persecution in life as a preacher, ‘The Heavenly Man’.)
Brother “X” heard that I would be in Shenzhen and stayed an extra day to meet me. He has just been released from prison again. So far he has spent 20 years of his life in prison for preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. He told me about his life in prison. It was horrific. Often he was so weak that he could not walk or even stand. Many times he came close to death. The food in prison is ‘pig’s food’ he told me. But you have to eat to stay alive.
I wondered about so many things after meeting him. I go away for three weeks from my family and church on missions and that is hard for all of us. He only saw his youngest son when he turned seven. His wife worked as a farm worker to keep the family alive.
I acted out my sermon on ‘The Apostolic Orange’ in church in GuanLan town, where Brother “N” is the pastor. (The Underground Churches have no names in China. They are simply known as the Church – as in the book of Acts.) I showed how an orange on display is of no good to anyone. The orange has to submit to the knife and the squeezer to give juice and vitamin C. I showed how Jesus Christ died on the cross for us to give us life. Then I shared about suffering for Christ and included some of my close to death experiences.
When I finished preaching Brother “X” got up and expounded on my sermon sharing about his sufferings. It made perfect sense to people who understand suffering for Christ’s sake.
In the West people often see God as a means to their ends of prosperity and material blessings. Here in China they go to Bible School for only one reason: to lay down their lives for Christ.
They let me address the group of forty students on Sunday afternoon after lunch. (The lunch included soup with chicken paws and sheep teeth! But it was tasty!) They only have two female teachers. They asked if we cannot send a Bible School teacher for three months to China.
Apparently I am the first foreign missionary to ever preach in this Bible School! What an honor! I got to act out the story of Onesimus in the book of Philemon. Onesimus’s name means ‘useful’ but he was useless to Philemon as a servant because he stole from him and landed in jail. Fortunately, Paul was in the same prison and got him converted. Then Paul wrote the letter to Philemon to take him back as a brother.
Melody that I met in the Philippines arranged the meetings for me and also did all the translating. She helped me to go from Hong Kong to China as well. She offered to start translating some of our Miracle Bible College courses into Mandarin because hardly anyone speaks English in Yantian town, in Shenzhen city.
The first night I preached in a youth meeting in the church where Sister Y is the pastor. It is quite significant that my first sermon in China was to the youth of China. They have it very difficult and the education system is very demanding on the kids. They are so nervous about writing exams. I encouraged them and prophesied to several of them.
It is very cheap to publish books in China but expensive to ship them out! I enquired about printing my book, ‘God’s Genius’ and the next three books over here.
I stayed in Da Mei Sha in Shenzhen. It is a holiday resort area near the beach, but because it is winter there are no people here. It was absolutely quiet and I felt like the only living person in Da Mei Sha.
China is a prosperous country and Shenzhen is a modern metropolis with many high-rise buildings and apartments of nothing lower than thirty stories high.
Everything is so well organized and clean, and the public transport systems are excellent. But no one speaks English!
Nola, Leigh and others prophesied about China and I decreed their prophecies wherever I went: it is the time for China. God kept them hidden for many years but now it is their time. China belongs to God for all the earth is His. There will be great changes in the future: social and spiritual changes!
The timing of God, as always, is perfect. Many people want to meet Brother “X”, but cannot. I met him on the second day in China. He happened to be in the same city God sent me to. How amazing is that?
I asked him what we can do for the Underground Church and he said: ‘Just what you did: come over here and teach us – we need training for our pastors!’ And then he added: ‘and never stop praying for us.’
A businessman from the north bought an entire complex and gave it to the Underground Church Bible School. I also met him. He told me how God keeps on prospering him so that he can support the work of God.
Brother “X” invited me to come to the north to the provinces to teach and train the pastors. Although it is dangerous he said they would guide me through the dangers.
As a young man I supported the Underground Church with meager offerings. I sent regular support to them in both Russia and China and now God allowed me to come to China to minister. I am humbly thankful to God for this privilege. It is no sacrifice at all…
Our teenagers at Harvester Cape Town held two Chinese Mission days where they painted their faces to look like Chinese, hung red lanterns in church, played ping-pong, ate Chinese food with chopsticks and learned a few words in Mandarin which Kate taught them. Then they interceded for me and sent me to China.
One of the teenagers (Jessica) prayed: God let there be a Miracle Bible College in every city of China! It was beyond my wildest dreams! But we agreed with her. Who knows in generations to come her prayer could be answered.
Apostle Andre Pelser