Twenty Years of China Partnership: “This Is a Movement of the Holy Spirit”

Editor’s note: For Americans, today is Thanksgiving, a special day of remembering and giving thanks for the many ways in which we have been blessed. As we at CP celebrate twenty years of God’s faithfulness to our work in China, we are grateful to share today testimonies from two Chinese believers about how God has blessed them through our partnership with the Chinese church. Little Ai talks about how her call as a Christian is to lay down her life and follow Christ in the way of the cross. Hu Yongjie reminds himself that God is in control, and his part is to follow Jesus wherever he leads.

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?

Little Ai: I learned to reflect more on myself, to analyze my motives and the idols in my heart, and to dig deeper without fear. I can do this because I believe that God, who is a thousand, million times bigger than the universe, has died for me. I need repentance at all times, because sin catches up with me as often as Pharaoh. I need the blood of Christ at all times. 

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“I learned to reflect more on myself, to analyze my motives and the idols in my heart, and to dig deeper without fear. I can do this because I believe that God, who is a thousand, million times bigger than the universe, has died for me.

— Little Ai

After my conversion, my life did not become more holy. Instead, I saw more of my own filthiness and how much I needed Christ. One time, I had just humbly relied on Christ to successfully counsel a sister. I was so excited then! But the next moment, I realized that I was waiting for her to tell others how I had helped her. I was waiting for others to affirm and praise me. I shared my inner filth with my husband, telling him: “One minute I can rely on Christ to live for him—but I so quickly give this glory to myself. I need the Lord to be in my heart all the time.”

As for ministry, being in a gospel movement has given me an opportunity to meet more church pastors and their wives, to hear many stories of salvation, to see what God is doing in different cities, and to expand my horizons. God has also shown me how he has equipped and blessed me. On one hand, this helps me to serve my family and church more on the ground. On the other hand, I am glad to have an opportunity to serve pastor’s wives, so that my life can be a blessing to others.


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Hu Yongjie: I’m a church planter in Shanghai. I identify myself as the fruit of this gospel movement. The first time I joined the basic training in a tiny, dark apartment in Shanghai, it was intense and overwhelming, but I still remember one thing: the speaker distinguished the difference between the gospel, and the fruit of the gospel. For me, coming from a legalistic church, that training opened the door of Narnia.

Later, I became fully involved in this gospel movement. I observed what God has been doing through all the men and women in this movement as they are, day by day, preaching and teaching the gospel, practicing church planting and growing a vision for their city, and experiencing gospel renewal in the midst of every aspect of their life and ministry. I have been renewed in my personal life, my marriage, my parenting, through seminary, and also in ministry by this same gospel I preach week after week. I expect this change will keep on going. This is a movement of the Holy Spirit. 

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“I have been renewed in my personal life, my marriage, my parenting, through seminary, and also in ministry by this same gospel I preach week after week. I expect this change will keep on going. This is a movement of the Holy Spirit.

— Hu Yongjie

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?

Little Ai: I would remind myself that I am walking on the path of Calvary, not the catwalk. I can’t help but want recognition, affirmation, and praise. I want to be a hero. But this is not the way of Calvary, but a catwalk, where lights are bright and applause and flowers are given. The way of Calvary is the path of the cross, which the Lord has already walked. The way of Calvary is full of denial, rejection, and humiliation. 

I will hide in the Lord at all times, and the spotlight will be on him. He is the king of kings, and he has justified me, regardless of my performance. All that I do is to draw the spotlight to this Lord, not to myself. All that I do is to lead people to see the glory of the Lord. The Lord will prosper, and I will decline.

Hu Yongjie: Maybe I would tell myself to sleep more, as the One who kept the Israelites never sleeps. Remember, we are agents. I would tell myself to believe what I have been preaching. There will be times we feel God is absent or distant. But, if we really believe Scripture, that feeling is the sign of God’s presence. Worship him, because he has been good to us. This is in the perfect tense [a completed action] on the cross.

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“Please let pastor’s wives be free from the expectations of their congregations, not bound by those expectations. Let pastor’s wives be free from the expectations of their husbands, not bound by their husband’s expectations. May these women live in the freedom given by the gospel.

— Little Ai

CP: What is one big prayer request you have that would be impossible without God’s power and help?

Little Ai: Dear Heavenly Father, 

Help me to become the woman you created me to be. Help me to honor and obey my husband, not to despise him; help me to be his helper, not to compete with him. I also pray that all pastors’ wives will understand and appreciate God’s call to their husbands. God’s call is not wrong. God will accomplish what he has called you to. May these women not be consumed by daily child-rearing and housework, full of pity and complaints for their situation. Instead, may they joyfully bring up their children in the gospel, preparing three meals a day and doing housework in service to God.

Please let pastors’ wives be free from the expectations of their congregations, not bound by those expectations. Let pastors’ wives be free from the expectations of their husbands, not bound by their husband’s expectations. May these women live in the freedom given by the gospel. Guard each pastor’s family from the devil’s attacks and from the temptations of the Evil One, so that they may be faithful to and love one another. May you protect these families, so that pastors will have strength to minister to the flock you have given them, not out of reluctance, but out of willingness; not out of greed for money, but out of pleasure. Let the pastor’s family be a blessing to brothers and sisters, so that the church may become a true community that bears witness to this crooked and perverse generation and leads people to Christ.

May your children live in peace, joy, and courage in all circumstances as they expect your return. All glory be to you! In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen! 

Hu Yongjie: Nothing would be possible without God’s help and his power. The biggest prayer is that I would be courageous to pray the first two petitions of the Lord’s prayer. “Thy kingdom come” means it is not my kingdom; “thy will be done” means it is not my will. I need faithfulness and courage from God to pray this, because when our Lord Jesus Christ prayed that prayer, he went to the cross. So I shall bear my own cross and follow him.


Little Ai is married to a preacher, lives in a city on the southeast coast of China, and is studying for ministry alongside her husband. Hu Yongjie is a church planter in Shanghai who enjoys trail running in his spare time.

Would you join us in celebrating 20 years of supporting the church in China by giving an anniversary gift today?

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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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ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

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Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

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Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

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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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Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

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About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

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About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

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About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

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About Shenzhen

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About Chengdu

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About Beijing

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About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

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