Jesus loves China! I can see no other explanation for the amazing things that He’s doing in the hearts of the Chinese students here at Mizzou. In the last two weeks, the number of international students who come to Chi Alpha worship is growing in ways we’ve never seen before. Each service, a Chinese young man I’m connected with has given his life to the Lord! Now begins the difficult process of discipleship, but I’m excited about it–especially to see how the Holy Spirit might use these young people to reach their fellow Chinese students.
I want to stress that this isn’t simply me being great at this job. The Lord has already obviously been working in the hearts of some of these students. But also, the American students have been doing an amazing job of connecting with the internationals as their English language conversation partners. Last Friday, we had our annual hayride and bonfire. There were over 100 international students there, and it was beautiful to see students, many of whom I know to be shy, stepping out in the boldness of the Holy Spirit and befriending internationals. Praise God!
Finally, I asked one of the girls on leadership with Chi Alpha to share about her experience with a Chinese girl recently. The words below are hers:
[A couple weeks ago], I met with a girl from my small group whose American name is Helen. She is from China and has only been here about 6 weeks, but she has been diligent in coming to Bible study ever since her first day. The week before our conversation, she had ridden home from Chi Alpha service with another girl, and apparently told her that she “didn’t believe in [our] Jesus, but can see why [we] do.” The next night was a Bible study on worship and sacrifice, at the end of which we asked if anyone needed to make the decision to follow Jesus. No one raised their hand that week, but I was excited to talk to Helen about what she had learned.
Usually, we try to ease into these hour-long conversations with questions like, “How was your week?” and “How is school going?,” but before I could even get to that, Helen essentially said, “So let’s talk about Bible study.” Okay! I can’t provide an exact dialogue, mostly because the Spirit was speaking through me and I can’t remember the technicalities of what I said, but Helen continued with, “When you ask us to raise our hands, does that mean we become Christian?” Yes, it’s as simple as that decision. “Well, I think I misunderstood the question,” she said. She compared the political system in China (and how they require a proven loyalty to a party before being able to join) and how she thought it was with God. She said she thought we had to clean ourselves and reach a high standard before He welcomed us. I joyfully explained that that was not at all the case, and that in fact the entire point of salvation is that we could never do it ourselves. I could tell she was getting to a huge place, so I asked her a few more questions to make sure she understood what Christianity means. Then, just like that, she said, “Well, then, I think I am ready.”
Once I got over my shock and praises, I said, “That’s awesome! Can we pray?” She looked around the crowded lounge and said, “Here? Now?” I told her that we could pray to God anytime and anywhere, and her reply was simply, “If it’s okay, then okay.” (Her willingness constantly blows me away.) After she prayed to receive Jesus, she looked up with the biggest smile on her face, positively glowing with the Spirit, and said, “This feeling I have is wonderful!” I could have cried! I told her that that was Jesus living inside her, that was freedom, and she said that that was exactly what it felt like. Still beaming, she said, “Before, I didn’t understand why you all were so warm and nice and would give us rides home. Now, I am starting to understand.” This past week at small group, Helen told the group how she used to want to be a better person so others would like her, and now she wants to improve so that she can be closer to God. All I keep thinking is that that kind of thing does not happen, not without God! Thank You, thank You, thank You.