CHINA: Thousands Converted Through Young Evangelists`
Children and teen-agers are among the evangelists being used by God in a
move that is sweeping China. Young preachers travel from village to
village, keeping one step ahead of the security forces that are
desperately trying to stamp out the mushrooming underground church.
Details of the youthful emphasis emerged from a fact-finding trip
undertaken by American healing evangelist Randy Clark, who helped spark
the "Toronto Blessing" revival in Canada in 1994. While meeting
clandestinely with leaders of one of the country's largest unregistered
church movements, Clark heard reports from two teen-age girls typical of
the new wave of evangelists. The young women, ages 18 and 16, told how
they left home twice a year for months-long evangelistic trips. With
less than $25 between them for food and travel, they move from town to
town sharing the gospel until someone is converted. The new believers
then often invite the itinerant preachers to stay in their homes, and
they invite other friends and relatives to hear about Jesus.
After a church has been established, the pair move on to another town or
village, often sleeping in the open or under trees if they cannot find
shelter. On their most recent trip, their feet were left bruised and
bleeding after 40 days walking through the countryside. But during that
time they established 18 churches with about 40 people in each. They
told Clark that they had seen many signs and miracles when they prayed.
"The Lord just gives us the word and the faith to declare what Jesus can
do," one told him. In the last week of their travels, more than 10,000
people received Christ in one coastal city, where the two used
microphones to preach at open-air meetings. Although men and woman of
all ages are involved in evangelism, young women are sent out more
frequently because villagers are sometimes less suspicious of them than
they would be of two strange men arriving unannounced in their
community. Despite the increasing reports of miraculous signs and
wonders, none of the leaders of the church movement Clark met with
claimed any kind of titles for themselves. "I asked them if they say
that some people have an apostolic ministry," Clark said. "One leader
told me: 'No, we don't think like that. We're all just brothers and
sisters." One evangelist said: "We, the so-called leaders, have only
elementary schooling. Our education is not high; how could we do this
work? I believe it is the work of the Holy Spirit."
SOURCE: March 13, Charisma News Service, [www.strang.com]
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