October 19, 2010
Lausanne Congress Days 2-3: Gospel on the Move
Cape Town delegates hear amazing stories of God's work around the world.
In the last two days of the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, we have heard the stories and seen irrefutable evidence of God's presence in the world. On Monday night we heard from an 18-year-old woman who fled North Korea with her family. She came to China where her father found Jesus Christ. She told about the hardships of being discovered and her parents' deportation back to North Korea. Her mother died, and her father was imprisoned.
After escaping a second time to China, her father decided to return to North Korea to take the gospel to his suffering countrymen. He was never heard from again. The young woman was adopted by a Chinese pastor's family, but she still had not come to believe in Christ herself. Understandably, as a teenager she was filled with grief and anger. But in a dream Christ came to her, made his love for her unambiguous, and promised to be her father. With tears she shared her determination to serve Christ for the rest of her life and, like her father, see Good News brought to North Korea.
The 5,000 delegates here in Cape Town cried with her. It was powerful and beautiful. One friend said the Congress could have ended at that moment and would have all been worth it.
On Tuesday the Congress focused on the issue of reconciliation and the movement of the gospel in the Middle East. In more than one session, we saw what many in our world believe is impossible--Palestinians and Israelis embracing, blessing, and calling one another "brother" or "sister."
We heard about a Palestinian man mourning the death of his father who had been shot by an Israeli soldier. But rather than fueling hatred or anger, his loss bonded him with an Israeli who shared about family members killed in the Holocaust. Together they found comfort as followers of Jesus Christ.
The remarkable stories continued in my private conversations with other delegates attending from around the world. A young business leader from India told me over dinner about the terrible and abusive relationship he had with his mother, marked by violence and neglect. He said that as a teenager he daydreamed about killing his mother.
"When I thought of my mother, I tasted blood in my mouth," he said. Then he encountered Jesus Christ. Through Christ he was set free from hatred. He said the forgiveness was truly miraculous. His family has been healed and restored by God.
There are many more stories to share . . . but not on a public website like this. I have heard many remarkable things about the gospel reaching distant lands and transforming people. Unfortunately we cannot openly discuss these things for security reasons and for the sake of brothers and sisters living in these countries. But what is happening around the world is truly amazing. I will simply say this--be encouraged, Christ is building his church and the gates of hell are not prevailing against it.