Editor’s note: As we wrap up a month of sharing about partnership between churches in China and the West, we close with these thoughts from Chinese believers about how being involved in a gospel movement has impacted and changed their lives.
These reflections have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
China Partnership: How have you seen transformation in your life and in your ministry since you became involved in this gospel movement in China?
Ou-Yang Jun: One of the ways the gospel movement has impacted me is that it has fine-tuned my understanding of church ministry as a whole. One thing that is more obvious is that I am not lonely. Another is that, whenever I think about the advancement of church ministry, the word that comes to mind is “kingdom.” I always want to think about how all things are related to Christ’s kingdom.
Wu Enhui: In my personal life, there has been a shift from self-centeredness to other-centeredness. I have experienced God’s grace at a deeper level, especially when I am dealing with my own deep-seated sins, such as people-pleasing and seeking control. In my ministerial life, the change is also great: from advancing more ministries to focusing on the gospel itself. This is all because I have had a deeper understanding of gospel. The ministry change starts from my heart to serve out of love.
Would You Pray With Us Today?
CP: If you could speak to yourself five years from now, what advice would you give your future self? What is one thing you would tell yourself to hold onto and remember?
Would You Pray With Us Today?
Ou-Yang Jun: There are many things a person may be able to do in a lifetime. Although everyone has his own gifts, I need to constantly remind myself that there is a limit to how much I can do, and there is a limit to how much time a person can spend working in a day. I am very thankful. When I was young, I thought this was too important.
I had to come to understand what God had entrusted to me to do. I had to do that one thing, and do it faithfully. A temptation here is that I might think I am perfectly capable of doing another thing if I just put in a little bit more time and effort or just sacrificed a bit more. Now I have been humbled and can be honest enough to say that I can’t do that, I can’t be a perfectionist. Instead, I need to be careful to do the best I can with the thing that God has entrusted to me. A person must be driven by a godly commitment and a biblical vision, otherwise he is bound to drown himself in criticisms and people-pleasing. I don’t think the servants of Christ should live that way!
Wu Enhui: It’s hard to predict what it will be like in five years’ time. The one thing I would say to myself is to always ask where Jesus is, no matter what the situation is. Where there is the gospel, there is the glory of God. I especially ask from God that he will allow me to keep my heart focused on him. This is one thing I especially want to hold on to and remember.
CP: What is one big prayer request you have that would be impossible without God’s power and help?
Ou-Yang Jun: I don’t think anything is possible without praying for God’s help. Indeed, I don’t even think it is possible to eat and stay alive without God’s help. One of the most significant events I have experienced in my ministry in the gospel movement was the pandemic in 2020. At that time, we had arrived in Malaysia three weeks early and were making all kinds of preparations. A week later, the news of the pandemic in China came in from all over the place. In my planning book, I had written nearly a hundred pages with various emergency plans, none of which could be used in that environment.
During that time, the news in China was updated two or three times each day, but none of the news was good. I was scared for a number of reasons. Mostly, I worried about the ministry, the conference participants, and the fact that we were all detained in a foreign country. At the same time, I was also worried about my family; my wife, my child, and my parents were also coming to the conference.
In the midst of all this, I was greatly touched by the pastors in GTC who came to lead us in prayer when we felt really helpless. Each morning, we rose early to pray. We also prayed together before bed. Praying brought us before this God who himself works and sovereignly leads. Prayer led us into the ministry that God had himself prepared, and prayer opened our eyes to see his glory and his power. During that time, I felt every day that we had no power on our own, but were uplifted by prayer. I do not think we have a great deal of wisdom to make all kinds of decisions. Every decision is made in response to the immediate information we have access to, but God keeps every decision, so that everything is carried out the way it should be. It is a wonderful thing. It was also wonderful to see my family emboldened by prayer to make the decision to still attend the conference. This is truly something I will never forget my whole life.
Wu Enhui: Nothing we have prayed can be accomplished without the power and help of God. I have been particularly encouraged through practicing kingdom-centered prayer all these years. The more I pray, the more I know God, the more I am humbled to rely on him rather than on my own ability, and the more I am willing to ask for great things for God rather than for myself.
Ou-Yang Jun pastors and lives in Xiamen. Wu Enhui is a pseudonym for a prayer ministry leader living in southern China.
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