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  • NEWSBRIEF--2002-03-14

    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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