Grace across China NOW

Tired and Sick

 
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God turns weakness into strength

Chao (a pseudonym) is one of Gracetown Church’s key leaders. She is a remarkably capable entrepreneur. She and her husband have started and run several successful businesses. She served on the staff of a local government-registered Christian church. 

For the last half-decade, Chao has introduced friends to our online Bible institute. They study together with one of our professors each week. Chao promotes the courses so her friends don’t miss any of the classes.

Weakness

Chao is also battling a liver disease. 

When I taught at Gracetown Church in October, we met in Chao’s apartment. We met there because she and her husband have opened their home to their church for worship, Bible study, meetings, and fellowship. Chao spent much of the time sitting, while her friends took over arranging the room, cooking our food, and ensuring everything ran smoothly.

Chao also accompanied us on our trips into the mountains to visit the groups of ethnic Chinese Christians they have befriended. She should have stayed home to rest, but she refused.

“We don’t know what we will do without Chao,” one of the members told me. “She is the glue that holds us all together.”

Strength

Chao and I talked about her illness. I told her that she reminded me of the Apostle Paul. Her determination to serve our Savior, her many gifts, her love for God’s grace and his Word are very much like Paul’s. She also shares a thorn in the flesh, a disability that seems to diminish her kingdom service. 

“Chao,” I told her, “God’s grace in Jesus is stronger than your weakness. What he said to Paul, he says to you, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9). I know it is hard for you not to be fully involved in your church’s ministry. But the grace that has washed all our sins away is powerful enough to overcome the greatest challenges our weaknesses create.” 

“I am praying that you will always say with Paul, ‘For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Corinthians 12:10).”

Grace at work

Our December posts have illustrated the power of God’s grace in Chao’s life and in Gracetown Church. His turning weakness into strength is apparent in the church’s new building, in its aggressive ministry to ethnic Chinese, in its exemplary commitment to growing in their knowledge of the Scriptures.

Chao and Gracetown Church: Two more examples of our Father overcoming our weakness with the strength of his grace.