Full-Time: Testimony of God’s Grace and Call

Editor’s note: Shortly after Covid-19 began to spread across the world, Wu Jinyang, a Chinese missionary serving in eastern Europe, contracted the virus. He eventually died of the virus, leaving behind his wife and young children. His widow and children have now returned to China, where the local Chinese house church supports and cares for them.

In this section, he shares how God called him into full-time ministry, and his struggle to follow the Lord’s leading in that area. To protect Wu’s identity and that of his widow and children, some details of this first-hand account have been changed or obscured.

This is the third and final part of his testimony.


Called to Serve

Ever since I received grace and was given new life, my heart for full-time ministry had sprouted and continued to grow. A year after I became a Christian, I began to serve our university fellowship. A few years later, God led me and two brothers in Christ to began gospel ministry in a university in our city. Two years after that, this gathering had more than a hundred people.

At this point, much of the work required someone full-time. We began to pray daily to God concerning this. I myself began to make plans to enter seminary in order to be equipped to become a full-time minister. But I shrank back after seeing the living conditions of pastors within the church. I doubted whether I had the heart to complete several years of theological training and then persevere in the path of ministry.

I myself began to make plans to enter seminary in order to be equipped to become a full-time minister. But I shrank back after seeing the living conditions of pastors within the church.

In July of that same year, a brother from church found me and fellowshipped with me. He said, “Jinyang, do you have a burden for God’s work and for the church?”

I replied, “Yes, otherwise I would not have served until now.”

He then asked another question, “Jinyang, do you have a burden for full-time ministry?”

I was mute. I knew I was running away. After thinking for a bit, I said, “I do have such a burden. But then I think, isn’t it good for me to serve in my current manner? This way I can work, and earn money, and make offerings. If not for my job, I would be adding to the church’s burden. That wouldn’t be good.”

The brother laughed. “How much do you make a month?”


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I answered, “Around 3,000 renminbi.”[1]

He said, “Is that really money that you earned? Before I believed in Jesus, I really knew how to make money. But after coming to the Lord, I found I no longer knew how to make money. If not for the Lord’s mercy, I really don’t know how I would live. Jinyang, don’t you know? When we rely on ourselves, we are merely earning emptiness. The Bible says gold and silver belong to the Lord. What you make at work is a gift from God. The Lord has used this method to bless and provide for us; he can likewise use other methods to bless and provide for us. I am praying for you. If you are truly willing to do as you say and be a living sacrifice, and if you have a burden for the house of God, you should go to seminary, equip yourself well, and be better used by the Lord.”

I repeatedly ran from God’s calling, continually giving myself excuses not to step onto the path of full-time ministry. On that day, the Lord once again allowed me to see the lack in my own life. Through a brother in Christ, he helped me reflect on my life and the promise I made before God: that I would offer myself as a living sacrifice. God reminded me that he would use me, and that I should give my life to him, setting aside the work I thought would satisfy me.

What you make at work is a gift from God. The Lord has used this method to bless and provide for us; he can likewise use other methods to bless and provide for us.

Equipping and Serving

Once again, I knelt before the Lord Jesus. I surrendered to him my past ignorance and rebellion, asking for his forgiveness. I thanked God that he had given me several years of serving opportunities. Now, I was willing to fully offer myself for the Lord to use. I couldn’t help but remember Psalm 139: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” I did not dare to run again. I told the Lord, “I am here. If you would accept me, please use me.”

Since then, I have served full-time in the church. As the church grows in numbers, the needs of brothers and sisters also continued to daily grow. I myself have clearly felt my oil run dry. Eventually, I saw I was no longer able to continue serving the needs of the church by myself.

At this point, God used another pastor to recommend I seek further equipping. I went overseas to study for three years. On the eve of graduation, I heard someone share about he needs of the church in Europe. In my own prayers, I also sought God’s will. I was hoping that I might become a Chinese person who goes to Europe to repay our gospel debt.[2] After graduating, it was recommended that I serve in eastern Europe.

I heard someone share about he needs of the church in Europe. In my own prayers, I also sought God’s will. I was hoping that I might become a Chinese person who goes to Europe to repay our gospel debt.

I served a church in eastern Europe for several years, and it became clear that God did not want me to stay in that position for the long term. After that, I established a Mandarin international gospel fellowship on my own. I began my gospel work among Chinese students in eastern Europe, and established student fellowships in several different eastern European cities.

[1] At the time, this was about $417 USD.

[2] Among many house churches, believers often speak with gratitude of the Western missionaries who served in China and brought the gospel to Chinese believers. This phrasing of “repaying a gospel debt” is closely tied to the Back to Jerusalem movement and can be controversial in some Chinese Christian circles. Nonetheless, it is undoubtably a key motivation for many of the Chinese believers who serve outside of Mainland China.


Wu Jinyang is a pseudonym for a deceased Chinese pastor and missionary who served in eastern Europe.

Pray for God to satisfy all the needs of Chinese believers in full-time ministry.

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Further Reading

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

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Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

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