Grace across China NOW

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MINISTRY//Maybe not now

MINISTRY//Maybe not now

We’ve asked Pastor Wang to help us arrange for a teaching trip to China this fall. When we have traveled in China, we have frequently asked him to gather students from his area for our seminars.

This pastor has been a long-time student of our Bible institute. He has found great value there and invites others to study with us.

A seminar arranger

I met Pastor Wang in China several years ago. He’s a friendly man in his mid-40s. He is married but does not have children. He serves a congregation in a village outside of the huge city we were visiting.

He brought a half dozen church leaders to attend my classes. In addition, five Christian women leaders from the city joined us. They were only able to come part-time because their unbelieving husbands limited their attendance.

We met in a hotel room deep in the city. Everyone crammed into a medium-sized hotel room with two queen-sized beds, a desk and chair, and two night stands. There was meager room for people. My class sat on the beds, the desk chair, and on the window sill. The windows, opened to provide ventilation, sucked in the noise of the busy street, street vendors, pedestrians and shoppers.

But for two days, the class paid rapt attention to my lessons on Romans 1-8. They took notes.

An institute promoter

I met Pastor Wang again two years later. He hosted a three-day seminar at his village church. Thirty leaders from his and other churches came to learn from us. After that seminar, he and his wife accompanied us to a church in the nearby city where we taught 60 church leaders. From those gatherings, two dozen more students enrolled in our institute.

But perhaps not now

We’ve asked Pastor Wang if he could host another seminar this fall. Unfortunately, China’s stepped-up efforts to control Christianity are making it difficult for him to say yes. He is considering the possibility of gathering a handful of church leaders to meet with our teachers. But those plans are tentative, at best.

We are grateful that Pastor Wang is considering our request. Church leaders in other parts of China have told us that visits to their areas are not prudent this fall.

Perhaps, this year, Pastor Wang will have to say, “Maybe not now.”

What you can do: Pray for the gospel to come to increasing numbers of souls in China. Ask that the Spirit uses 316NOW to have a significant role in that. Praise the Lord because he remains greater than any challenge.