from Marilyn Harmon . . .
Thank you, women of Newberg Friends, for the fun luncheon. All this week I’ve thought about Elizabeth Todd’s question—What can we learn from the Chinese church?
One personal lesson I learned in China: God doesn’t need us, but if we’re blessed and lucky, he uses us. God works out his plan of loving and calling his own. His Holy Spirit can call the seeking without any human interference, but sometimes we’re lucky enough to be used. Many Chinese Christians told stories of hearing the Holy Spirit when they were not in contact with a church. I think that is true in America too. God calls people to himself.
God loves our child-like dependence on him. In our weakness, he can show himself strong. Most of my Chinese friends have not had a lifetime of learning from the Word. Sunday school was forbidden, so children of church members sat with their parents through the long adult services. But, today these grown children love scripture and read it daily. In email to me they share newly learned scripture passages. They love reading the Bible and know the power of scripture in their daily life. New Christians devour the Word; Bible study groups encourage each other through daily sharing.
The Chinese church shows great love and passion in their worship and seeking to know God better. The Holy Spirit drives them to share the good news with joy and enthusiasm to the unsaved. I wonder why we sometimes hesitate – perhaps because of cultural conditioning or more likely the lies of Satan. But the Chinese enthusiastically share their faith, though it often means they will be persecuted, rejected by family and friends, or lose out on a job promotion. They fervently pray for their loved ones who do not know Jesus. When students head home for the holidays, they ask us to pray for chances to share with their loved ones. They share the good news with strangers in McDonalds or on the bus. The college campuses have groups that go to other campuses or public parks and share what God has done for them.
So, the Holy Spirit of God is at work. Our cultures are different, but God is the same. If we could all see the Christian army being raised around the world we would all be encouraged. It doesn’t make the American news, but God is calling his own and we are part of it.
Pray for Tiffany and Daisy as they prepare to go to China in the next month.
Shang Di Zhu Fu Ni (God bless you)