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Making disciples among the unreached
     

Resurrection Power

Tags: Canada, Diaspora Ministry, Story

By Jason* 

What do you do when you see your vision crumbling right before your eyes, and there is little you can do to save it? Your dreams, your hopes dashed to pieces, and you’re helpless!

Birth of a Vision

Recently teams from Canada completed three trips to S*, a place in Russia where there is no Chinese or Vietnamese church. Our first trip to S* was for scouting - exploring the feasibility of establishing a church there. Our mission was to see what the land, the people and the government were like. We found that while the regime is hostile to the gospel, there are Chinese students who are ready and willing to hear.

Our second trip was to establish a a Chinese bible study fellowship (BSF). Caption-Diaspora-StoryThough difficult, by God’s grace we managed to gather half a dozen Chinese Christians together to start a weekly BSF. This was the birth of a vision - that with this seed a house church would be planted among the Chinese people there!

Our third trip was to provide the Chinese students some much needed follow-up through a weekend camp. Aside from the two group leaders N* and K*, the members are “babies” in Christ who came to the Lord during the first two trips. Another objective of this trip was to evangelize the Vietnamese (VN) merchants.

Death of a Vision

No sooner had we sown good seeds, the Enemy came to sow seeds of discord. The two leaders of the BSF, having different leadership styles, argued so much about how the group should be led that they parted company, barely three months after the BSF started. The group disintegrated on it's own. Along with this, the eight people who initially signed up for the weekend camp dropped to just two! On top of both of these disappointments, while the VN merchants received us warmly during the previous trip, the atmosphere turned very somber this time. In the time after our last trip, the economy took a nose dive - the local currency depreciated and business plummeted. The number of migrant workers has dropped substantially, and some merchants have returned to Vietnam for good. Most of those who stayed are not in a mood to listen to the gospel. Our vision of a healthy church plant became just a vaporWhat would you do? What can you do?

The Power of the Resurrection

There was nothing we could do except to pray.

Wheat-Diaspora

But as we prayed, we were reminded of a principle we learned a long time ago about God’s ways, based on John 12:24: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." God sometimes allows our vision to die so that we do not rely on our own might or power. He then raises our vision from death to life again by His Spirit, so that we will always trust in the power of the resurrection. This was the case with Abraham:

  • Birth of a vision - God promised Abraham that he will be the father of many nations (Gen 12:2a; 15:5; 17:4-5),
  • Death of a vision - yet he had no children (Gen 16:1a),
  • Resurrection power - Abraham grew strong in faith and God fulfilled the promise (Romans 4:19-20).

The same pattern can be seen in the life of Moses, David, or Paul.

Our Mission Trip

How did this principle work out in our trip? In a very remarkable way! We have been praying for a Christian professional or businessman to help stabilize the BSF, since students come and go. A while back we received an inquiry on social media about the BSF from G* who was looking for a Chinese church in S. After exchanging some info, nothing further developed. Then when we arrived on our third trip to S, we phoned G to invite him to attend our weekend camp. He asked if he could consult his pastor first, which we readily agreed to. But as the weekend camp began on Friday we still had no word from G. We thought we would never hear from him again. Then to our surprise, that Sunday afternoon he called to see if we could meet him in the evening. We already had a dinner appointment with our hosts, but we finished dinner early to meet him!

Answer to Prayer and New Possibilities

G showed up with his pastor and pastor’s wife and an interpreter. It turned out this pastor had a vision to reach the local Chinese and had been praying about it for several years, but until now did not have a means to do so. So it was an answer to his prayer when G connected with us!Diaspora-prayer We, on the other hand, had been praying for a Chinese businessman, and G met all our criteria – a Christian with a heart to serve who speaks Chinese and the local language. We agreed to meet again before we left, and introduced G and K to each other, entrusting them to the Lord to start a new BSF. Meanwhile the other student leader N will try to restart the old BSF upon his return from China, so that there will be two branches at two different universities! Coincidence? I don’t think so! I believe God brought us together such that His purpose will be accomplished, but in a way that we know it is not because of anything we have done. It is all because of His power that brought about the resurrection of the vision. What about the VN portion of the vision? That’s another remarkable story that you can read here. May His name be praised!

* This is a true story, but some names have been changed for security reasons.

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