The Beiguan Adventist Church in Shenyang serves more than 3,000 members.For the first time since Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, a Seventh-day Adventist world church president has been able to lead an official delegation to visit Adventist believers in China. In May Pastor Jan Paulsen and other church leaders from the world church headquarters and the Northern Asia-Pacific Division traveled to China for a week-long itinerary coordinated by Pastor Eugene Hsu, a Chinese-born world church vice president. Pastor Paulsen spoke to Adventist congregations in Beijing, Wuxi, and Shenyang; visited with local church pastors; and met with religious and political officials.
GREETING THE FAITHFUL:Pastor Jan Paulsen preaches at the Beishi Adventist Church in Shenyang, China, while Eugene Hsu translates.When Hao Ya Jie looks at you, even though somebody else is translating her words, there is an incredible sense of strength and warmth in her eyes.
A choir of Seventh-day Adventists performs at the Wuxi Protestant Church during a service at which Paulsen preached.Well, China is incomparable. Whatever you see in China, you can’t place other things next to it and say, “Therefore….” Their journey has to do with hardship, and it has to do with God finding an Elijah in a setting where things are so difficult. God is finding these voices, this commitment, these people, and is spiritually equipping them and using them in this phenomenal manner.
The world church president greets members of the Wuxi congregation after a Wednesdsay evening prayer meeting.I saw those believers sitting in the hallway, faces alight, singing hymns as though they were on the front row. And they were only within earshot of an old, decrepit loudspeaker. It was deeply moving to me to see how absolutely attractive the gospel is to them.
Hau Xajie, pastor of the Beiguan Adventist Church in Shenyang.Well, I hope they felt enormously affirmed; that they received the sense that, “We’re part of a family. We haven’t been forgotten. We’re not outside the circle. And these people, by coming here, have showed us that we’re family.”
Pastor Paulen, Jairyong Lee, Eugene Hsu, and Reverend Gao Feng, president of the China Christian Council/3-Self Patriotic Movement hold a special “Follow the Bible” copy of the Bible, written in several languages.I would say that Adventists in China, because of the extremely delicate nature of their situation, are best placed to take care of their own mission. Sometimes when supporting ministries go into places such as China they create vulnerability and exposure that is not helpful to the church. So I would say, “Please pray for your brothers and sisters in China. If there are resources you can make available to help them, then do so. They need more churches. But let them carry the initiative.”