Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Powerful Illustration from China - with a great challenge

I want to share with you an article I read today out of Relevant Magazine. IT is an individuals story of doing ministry in China.

In China there are 70 million Christians who worship in secret. The Government has imposed stipulations on what churches can teach and how their members should view God and Jesus.

Let me just share one story I ready today.

“We arrived for the meeting (church) that night a few minutes late, in separate taxis that drop us off at different parts of the apartment complex. A lookout is stationed at each of the three entrances of the facility to look for police. Once inside the tiny apartment, I crouch on a small stool in the front row. There are 50 or more people behind me filling every spare inch. As pastor Paul opens his Bible, a shrill ring interrupts him. In this moment, I know. He answers his cell phone, and in one word, we shoot out of our seats, grabbing cameras, purses, bibles. I remember that morning’s instructions: Don’t hesitate, don’t look back. Jonathan and I tear down the stairs, trying to retrace our steps out into the openness of the night. In the openness I feel even more vulnerable. I tighten in expectation of strong hands grabbing me from e behind. As we run, I pray to become invisible. I pray for the innocent faces of all the church members who held back, letting us flee first. I pray the alarm is false, that there are no police in the area. I think it is in the panicked moments where I really believe that God makes miracles happen. “

WOW now I don’t know about you but that is intense. IN America we worry a/b things like: why did the pastor take that away from us, we don’t have our “material,” I don’t like that time, why would you do worship that way, etc…

Then in China they worry about: have enough sim cards for their cell phone because their cell phone gets taped into by the government so they can find the underground churches, will we have enough time to actually get to worship today, will we get through more than one verse before the spotter calls to tell us the government has found us, will we make it out, will we be raped and tortured today simply for loving Jesus.

Yes I could go on and on the bottom line is are we worshiping a God that is all about him or about us. IF are next sentence is “well I am not in China I am in America.” One word describes you, SELFISH. We should be grateful that we have freedom to worship and stop worrying about the things WE want and worry a/b the things of God!!!

Lets reach people and do whatever it takes to make it happen. The message can never change but methods have too. The people in China could teach us that. They just want to worship a living God! They are willing to change locations every week, travel hours and do whatever it takes to do so.

That really puts it in perspective.

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