TO CHINA WITH LOVE!
"Was Jesus a real person or just a myth?" asked the ambassador. "When was He born?" "Where was He born?" "Did He teach His followers to obey the civil government?" The questions came thick and fast as I stood in the office of Li Zhaoxing, ambassador from the People's Republic of China to the USA. I reported this historic meeting briefly in the April newsletter, after being invited to the Chinese embassy last February to answer questions about the Christian faith. To my wonder and delight, I learned that the leadership of China is reaching out and searching for a new moral compass -- yes, a FAITH to guide its ONE BILLION, TWO HUNDRED MILLION souls into this new millennium!
Fifty years of Mao Tse-tung's cultural revolution under communism has left China spiritually empty -- a vacuum pleading to be filled with the love of God! To compound the problem, false cults have rushed in seeking to take advantage of the intense spiritual hunger of the precious Chinese people. The Falun Gong cult is one of the worst, causing mental and emotional breakdowns and even suicides.
After assuring the good ambassador that the Christian faith was, indeed, the answer, and after leaving a marked Bible in his hands with references to the questions he had raised, I was overwhelmed by his next invitation: Would I be willing to travel to China and meet with top government officials to explore the possibility of Christian television for China? Of course I agreed and was assured that his first secretary, Hu Yongtao, would accompany me to interpret and be my escort on this historic journey to the capital, Beijing! And so began one of the most exciting and historic odysseys to one of the most mysterious and forbidden regions of the world -- CHINA!
As I reported in earlier newsletters, our journey took Jan and me first to Nairobi, Kenya, to join up with Benny Hinn for a great miracle crusade. We rejoiced to see over a MILLION precious souls in the great sports arena! And, yes, TBN is ON THE AIR in Kenya! Signs, wonders, healings and miracles brought an awesome harvest of souls to the altar as dear Benny led a multitude to Jesus! Praise the Lord!
From Kenya, Jan returned home and I journeyed on to India and then to China. In India, as I also reported, I was thrilled beyond words to see the fruit of Christian television. Our partner, Michael Hughes, and Sarah, his dear Indian wife, are doing a magnificent job getting Miracle Network-TBN into millions of homes all over India! By last count, over 145 million souls can tune us in 24 hours a day! Praise God! India will soon be covered with the Good News!
I also visited the tomb of Saint Thomas, who first brought the Gospel to India -- a very moving experience. His martyrdom was the first precious seed planted in India. Today, we are reaping the glorious harvest of this martyr's blood! Praise the Lord!
When I spoke to a huge gathering of over 300,000 in Madras, I told them of the many miracles that God did in raising up this great voice called TBN. When I asked how many could see the Christian programs, it looked like every hand was raised! Praise God, dear Partners -- we are ON THE AIR in India!
But, now, for the greatest miracle in my "around the world" missionary journey: CHINA. As promised, Mr. Hu Yongtao, the first secretary of the embassy, met me in Beijing. He is a very capable diplomat, who speaks excellent English -- thank the Lord! Michael Hughes and Greg Rice, our partners in Hawaii, with Dr. Elizabeth Vaughn, from Dallas, Texas, made up our visiting party to China. I must say that Dr. Vaughn's pioneering efforts, doing eye surgery and teaching in the medical universities of China, were one of the keys to our amazing reception. And what a reception it was!
For several days, we met with eight of the top governmental agencies of China: the national TV network; the Ministry of Communications (like our FCC); the Ministry of Information, which controls all information going into and out of China: the Cable and TV Department, both local and national -- on and on we met. The Ministry of Religion was especially interesting, and finally a meeting with Vice Premier Qian Qichen! An invitation to meet the premier was extended, but because of an unexpected change in his schedule, we received an apology informing us that our meeting had to be postponed.
All in all, we found the Chinese leaders to be some of the kindest and most hospitable people on earth! They could not do enough to please us or to make us feel at home. Just as the good ambassador had briefed me, China's leadership is opening the door to new relationships, new friendships and new opportunities for trade and cultural exchange. Yes, they were interested and concerned about two things: the entrance of China into the WTO -- World Trade Organization; and the false religious cults, which are springing up in China.
My response was twofold: I promised to contact our congressmen and senators urging China's acceptance into the WTO. By the way, shortly after our return, the Congress did vote to receive China! I have since received notes of thanks for our efforts on their behalf.
The next issue on cults opened the door in a miraculous way for the acceptance of Christian television. The Holy Spirit helped all of us as I explained to all the leaders that the answer to false cults is the true teaching of the TRUE FAITH of Jesus Christ! Why? Because the Christian faith teaches that we must obey the civil government, pay our taxes and be honest God-fearing citizens. They loved that truth! What a joy to speak these great truths to open, receptive hearts that seemed to know NOTHING of our faith!
Next, I gave them the simple truths of Jesus' teaching: "Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you." I think I shocked them by asserting that, in some ways, Jesus was communistic! I hastened to say, "He is NOT atheistic, since He is God! But He taught us to: 'Feed the hungry; clothe the naked,' etc., etc. He also taught: 'If you have two coats and brother has none, give him one of yours!'"
Ah, dear Partners, I could write a thousand pages on my historic journey to China, but bottom line: Immediate permission was granted to bring TBN into the hotel for a press conference, which is the first step to all hotels, motels and international compounds. The next step is: cable, and then ALL China TV! Praise the Lord! So, dear Partners, rejoice, rejoice, again -- we are seeing the great miracle of Christian TV moving into the last great population areas of this world -- CHINA and INDIA! Together, we see our purpose and destiny from the Lord:
God bless you, our dearest Partners in this great TV ministry. Jan and I love you and need you NOW more than ever! Please write and let us know you are still with us -- praying and supporting this great voice called TBN! We will fight on -- will you?
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