Earthquake destruction in the town of Beichuan, China. Of the town's population of 12,000, 8,000 died.
I wanted to pass on some news from China concerning the Sichuan earthquake that will never be reported in the secular press. The first news comes from Hong Kong pastor Dennis Balcombe, who has helped us distribute 45,000 copies of the Chinese version of The Disciple-Making Minister to house church pastors all over China. Teams from Dennis' church have been reaching out to earthquake survivors with essential needs and the gospel. Dennis reports, "It is so easy to preach the gospel now." One church where Dennis preached in Sichuan Province had grown by 400 people since the earthquake. Hearts are opening.
In Beichuan County, out of a population of 20,000 people, only 4,000 survived. The photo below shows a posted list of students who survived in the Middle School. Out of 3,000 students, 2,000 lost their lives. The list was posted so that parents who have a child missing can find out if their child might be in a hospital somewhere. Because of China's one-child policy, most parents who lost a child lost their only son or daughter. It is difficult to imagine.
There are, however, some wonderful reports of how God protected His own. Dennis writes:
In Beichuan [just mentioned above, a county where 16,000 out of 20,000 died] there were only six Christians, for the Gospel was never accepted there. There is no church. It is a center of idol worship and witchcraft in that part of China. The six Beichuan Christians had to go by vehicle to a nearby city for meetings on Sunday. None of the Christians were killed or even hurt. Now the city has been abandoned and the government will locate the city to another place...
However the survivors in this and other cities are now very open to the Gospel, and they realize their heathen gods did not help them, but God helped the Christians and even protected most of the churches. But almost all the [heathen] temples were destroyed....
We know of one Chinese man who was in Wenchuan (the epicenter) and very close to Beichuan, and was doing evangelism (passing out tracts). The Lord clearly told him to leave on the 11th, though he was scheduled to be there for several more days. He left and returned to Chengdu on the evening of the 11th, and the earthquake hit the 12th.
Another pastor in that area had scheduled his weekly co-workers meeting on the 12th. God told him that he must insist everyone in the church come, even if they were on a job. They had to attend the meeting. Then the Lord directed him not to have the meeting in a building in the city (which they usually do), but to go out into the forest (this is the area where the pandas live). They were there when the earthquake struck, and though they were shaken up, nobody was even injured.
I have on video many other testimonies of God miraculous sparing Christians, but it will take time to transcribe them all. In several cases the Lord led the people to leave their homes or other buildings. They did not know why. Then the earthquake struck and the buildings collapsed. A few left the area for business, to visit people, to go to minister, and so on. Many lives were thus spared.
Brand new baby Christians in the city of Mianzhu, not far from the earthquake's epicenter
A second good report comes to us from a missionary friend who lives in China whom I can't safely name. He has carried four tons of food and the gospel to earthquake victims. He writes:
The earthquake destroyed over 7,000 classrooms in the quake zone. Thousands and thousands of students were killed. Even as far away from the epicenter as 20 miles, a school completely collapsed killing most students inside. Thousands of parents are demanding justice as it has become obvious that the classrooms were built horribly with contractors cutting corners to make more money.
Right in the epicenter there is a school that did not collapse and all the students were safe. That school is where an "M" [English-teaching missionary] has some disciples and people his family is witnessing to. His school was spared, and his students and family are fine!
We praise God for these good reports of the Lord's protection of His own. And we thank Him for the many Christian workers who are serving in the earthquake regions of Sichuan Province. We'd like to continue partnering with Dennis Balcombe and our unnamed missionary friend as they continue to share the gospel and the love of Christ to earthquake survivors---and to meet the pressing needs of believers who have suffered property loss or damage.
If you would like to help, 100% of what we receive towards the China Earthquake Relief Fund will be forwarded to these two faithful brothers in Christ. To contribute securely by credit card (UK citizens) click here.
To contribute by cheque please make payable to "China Relief" and send to:
Heaven's Family U.K., P.O. Box 3736, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7WR.
On behalf of those who will benefit from your compassion, thanks so very much.
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