China: How Christians respond to the coronavirus outbreak

China: How Christians respond to the coronavirus outbreak

Christians seem to be less panicked because their faith gives them strength. They also support others as a community with care and hospitality.

How do Christians in Wuhan handle the coronavirus outbreak and quarantine?

China is in a state of emergency because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a causative agent of lung diseases. The city of Wuhan, which has a population of 11 million and is believed to be the source of the virus, is particularly affected. The city has been in quarantine since January 23. Entry and exit are only possible with a special permit. The Chinese authorities have since isolated other cities. As a result hospitals are overloaded. Buses, trains and taxis stopped their services, and food prices have risen enormously.

The health crisis also has consequences for the Christian communities. Based on sources in China, German Evangelical news agency IDEA reports that because the residents of Wuhan are required to stay in their apartments and houses, there are temporarily no church services in many congregations. Instead, pastors posted sermons and songs on the internet. There are also calls to use the ‘free time’ to pray for the sick, medical staff and those responsible in politics and society. The crisis encourages fasting and increased Bible reading.

Christians seem to be less panicked because their faith gives them strength. They also support others as a community with care and hospitality.

According to the IDEA source the crisis opens people up for the Gospel, and Christians freely share God’s love as they see fit, be it in an open conversation on the street, on the internet or by watching evangelistic videos together with non-Christian family members.

Source: IDEA

Joel News International, # 1157,  February 3, 2020

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A Door opened in Wuhan, China

A Christian in China reported:

A few months ago a pastor I know, along with church members, was preaching the gospel on the streets of Wuhan. He kept on street preaching even when Christians were not encouraged to share the gospel. But nothing stopped them from proclaiming the gospel, not even the virus.

Now it is the 10th day since the city was separated by quarantine, and protective masks are the most valuable thing in Wuhan. You can’t find a store that sells masks. People are desperate.

In response, our brothers and sisters preach the gospel and give out tracts and free masks. They are sharing the word of hope and comfort from God. They have become more and more favoured in the city, even in the authorities’ eyes.

These churches in Wuhan keep themselves away from all the rumours and political issues. They do what a true Christian should do: preaching the gospel and being witnesses of the true peace and true hope that come from Jesus Christ among non-believers who are in panic and hopelessness.

A police officer came to one sister, listened to the gospel, and left with the tract and mask happily. After a while, another police officer arrived, heard, and left with the tract and a mask also. Shortly, the first one came back saying another officer would like one too. Soon four more officers came! They are the ones who used to be concerned about the message. But now they came to Christians for help, and they bow down to our God.

The yellow (Christians wear yellow suits for protection) has become the most beautiful colour in the city. Christians gained the respect that they never had before because of their willingness to risk their health to serve.

I thank God for their witness and being full of joy in our Lord’s amazing work. Please put them into your prayers. Lots of them are overloaded.  They know that this is an opportunity God gave them to gain people for Christ.

Your brother, P.Z.

Source:  Heart Cry Missionary Society, February 7, 2020 (edited).

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Video & Article: Christians distributing masks and gospel tracts to show love of God

As previously reported, one pastor in China recently penned a letter encouraging and exhorting the Body of Christ in the midst of disease and death.

“Christ has already given us His peace, but His peace is not to remove us from disaster and death, but rather to have peace in the midst of disaster and death, because Christ has already overcome these things (John 14:2716:33),” he wrote. “Otherwise we have not believed in the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15), and, with the world, would be terrified of pestilence, and lose hope in the face of death.”

He said that even if a believer dies in the midst of tribulation, it is still not a defeat.

“Spoken for today, Wuhan’s pestilence cannot separate us from the love of Christ; this love is in our Lord Jesus Christ. These words are so comforting for us, we have already become one body with Christ,” he wrote. “… Therefore, Christ is with us as we face the pestilence in this city; the pestilence cannot harm us. If we die in the pestilence, it is an opportunity to witness to Christ, and even more to enter into his glory.”

The pastor said that the current challenge with the coronavirus reminds him of Abraham facing Sodom and Jonah facing Ninevah, as they Abraham interceded and Jonah preached repentance to the saving of men’s souls.

“[M]ay we like Lot be grieved over all those in this city (1 Peter 2:7), and like Abraham who earnestly prayed for Sodom (Genesis 18:23-33),” he urged. “You see, Jonah with difficulty proclaimed the gospel to Nineveh, and Nineveh repented and was saved. We are this city’s Abraham and Jonah. We must pray for God’s mercy upon this city, and bring peace upon this city through our prayers and testimony.”

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Christians at the centre of China’s virus outbreak still preaching on streets

Evangelism thrives on the streets of China’s Coronavirus hot zone

As if rallying around the apostles’ declaration that “We must serve God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), Christians have continued to boldly share the Gospel in the streets of Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Witnesses who share their faith openly not only face possible infection from the dangerous respiratory disease caused by the virus, but also could be subject to potential persecution by authorities, as well.

Despite the potential dangers, CBN News Asia correspondent Lucille Talusan reports that Christians in Wuhan are meeting needs created by the crisis and by doing so are creating opportunities to share the Gospel.

The believers, often operating underground to avoid persecution and prosecution by Communist authorities, are taking advantage of the need for surgical masks. In addition to helping prevent contracting the respiratory disease caused by coronavirus, the masks also help shield the identity of the witness.

Talusan reported that a “very courageous” group of Christians in Wuhan have hit the streets to distribute the protective facemasks. As they hand out the masks, Talusan said, “They say that they are Christians and they share the love of Christ and point to Jesus to bring hope to them and their families and the whole of China. … This is really a breakthrough.”

Talusan said that the uncertainty of the crisis has helped heighten the receptiveness to the message of Christ.

video shared by Father Francis Liu from Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness shows that encouraging sermons are being broadcasted to their communities through speakers placed on balconies.

A Christian rode his bike to a pharmacy where people gathered and played a sermon through a portable speaker, according to International Christian Concern.

Another video shared shows that Christians were distributing face masks and Gospel pamphlets to passersby on the streets. Playing in the background was a message broadcasted to address the fear and uncertainties of the ongoing crisis.

Pastor Huang Lei from Wuhan’s Root and Fruit Church published an article on January 24, saying, “While the real situation is possibly more severe and complicated than what is known, regardless of what circumstances we are in, we should not worry and fear all the disasters, pandemic, and death, ‘because He is the Lord of our lives. If He does not allow [it to happen], we will not even have a single hair fall out from our heads.’”

Pastor Tan Songhua from Wuhan Cornerstone Church also told his congregation that although they face trials of faith and personal safety, Jesus only has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11).” He then called on Christians to pray for this city, and bring the peace of Christ to everyone.

The U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) reports that membership in non-sanctioned churches is growing. The CFR website says that “research by Fenggang Yang, of Purdue University’s Center on Religion and Chinese Society, estimates that there are between 93 million and 115 million Protestants in China, with fewer than 30 million attending officially registered churches.”

Source: International Christian Concern, and christianheadlines.com

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Reports of Supernatural Healing, Revivals in Midst of Coronavirus Outbreak

“We’re being told that people are coming in swarms to churches, house churches, that there’s gospel and evangelism going out in the streets, person to person, that there’s supernatural healing.”

Source: CharismaNews, February 18, 2020

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Doctor Li Wenliang

Doctor Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old ophthalmologist, raised the alarm on December 30 about the novel coronavirus.

The doctor was a son of God. A man who recognized Jesus as Lord and Saviour of his life. He was not afraid to report the truth.

All across China, people are talking about Dr Li Wenliang 李文亮醫生. He was the doctor who discovered the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and in the early morning of 7 Feb, 2.58 am, he was promoted into glory and went home to be with our Father in heaven.

He continued to care for patients up until he was infected himself. What a legacy to leave behind of what it means to be like Jesus to those hurting in a time of crisis.

Please pray for his family, especially his wife who is also infected and 8 months pregnant with their second child. May God heal them supernaturally and give them grace, peace, strength, and comfort during this time.

“The Hero who Told the Truth”

Here is part of a captivating, heart-touching Chinese poem translated into English. It was written in memory of Li Wenliang:

我不想當英雄。
只是做為醫生,
我不能眼看著這不明的病毒,
傷害著我的同行。
還有那多無辜的人們,
他們盡管已奄奄一息,
可眼睛裏總望著我,
帶著生命的希望。
“I don’t want to be a hero.
But as a doctor,
I cannot just see this unknown virus
Hurting my peers
And so many innocent people.
Though they are dying,
They are always looking at me in their eyes,
With their hope of life.”

誰成想我競死了!
我的靈魂分明在天上,
望著那張白色的病床,
床上分明是我的軀體,
軀體上還是那熟悉的臉龐。
我的父親母親在哪?
還有我親愛的妻子,
那當年我苦苦追求的姑娘。
“Who would have ever realised that I was going to die?
My soul is in heaven,
Looking at the white bed,
On which lies my own body,
With the same familiar face.
Where are my parents?
And my dear wife,
The lady I once had a hard time chasing?”  …

再見了,難舍的親人。
永別了,武漢我的故鄉。
但願你們在災難過後,
還記得曾經有人,
努力地讓你們盡早知道真相。
但願你們在災難過後,
學會正直,
不再讓善良的人們,
遭受著無盡的恐懼,
和無奈的悲傷。
“Goodbye, my dear ones.
Farewell, Wuhan, my hometown.
Hopefully, after the disaster,
You’ll remember someone once
Tried to let you know the truth as soon as possible.
Hopefully, after the disaster,
You’ll learn what it means to be righteous.
No more good people
Should suffer from endless fear,
And helpless sadness.”

“那美好的仗我已經打完了,
應行的路我已行盡了,
當守的道我守住了。
從此以後,
有公義的冠冕為我留存。”
《聖經》提摩太後書4.7
“I have fought the good fight.
I have finished the race.
I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness.”
2 Timothy 4:7, Holy Bible

Source: A Glorious Church Life and Shine Pharmacy, February 9, 2020 (edited)

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