Yang Yang - during the 45 minute pre-preach sermon - i noticed a young couple enter the service late. I thought, “that is the picture of the new China”. Young, very attractive couple, dressed fashionably - they looked like they could have just come from a magazine photo shoot. They both responded enthusiastically to the appeal.
The pastor at the end gave an altar call, he simply invited anyone who wanted to become a Christian to come to the front and stand on the platform facing the audience - the young woman was the first to the front, her name is Yang Yang. He asked me to lead the six people in the sinners prayer - they were crying at the end of the prayer. Then I was to pray a prayer of blessing over them, more tears, then they are invited, after dismissal into a circle for initial discipleship - Yang Yang is completely engaged smiling, bowing in respect, hands clasped in front of her chest, wiping tears, almost jumping - so sweet. Later as we are having tea in the pastors office she bursts into the room with my host Jimmy, runs over to Yali (Jimmy’s wife), and screams and hugs her. Now the back story.
Eight years ago Yang Yang (pronounced “young young”, her name means "little lamb") was a tour guide for a group of six couples in another province. Jimmy and Yali hosted the group, they prayed for their meals, worshipped in the vehicle, were very joyful and kind. At the end of the tour Jimmy shared with Yang Yang that she should receive Christ - they lost contact, an earthquake (literally) caused the loss of phone and contact info. Only after a chance meeting in the church bookstore where she asked Jimmy which bible to buy, did they realize she was that tour guide and he was the same one who had shared with her eight years prior. She was only visiting Guangzhou for three days, her boyfriend is a nominal believer who brought her to this church, on this day, to the afternoon service (because she was hung over), I am speaking, Jimmy is interpreting (because I am the guest - he hasn’t attended that service for over two years) - now they are all jumping and shouting and hugging and crying realizing how God has connected all the dots of this day! I have seldom if ever seen someone come to Jesus with such joy - it went on and on, she would laugh, and cry, and jump up and down - throw her head back and laugh, hug Jimmy, hug Yali, run over and hug me… cry some more…honestly it was the most beautiful thing - Praise God. We said goodbye, she ran back (good runner in 4 inch heels) clutching her new bible and asking me to sign it for her. The conversation continued in the traffic as the boyfriend angled his car up beside ours and began talking and sharing more through the open windows, he was inviting my hosts for dinner on monday night.
Yang Yang - “the harvest is ripe but the labourers are few” - we all were very inspired and grateful to God for a miraculous reminder that the gospel is truly alive, truly like a mustard seed. Thank you Lord.